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92 comments

Lol open sores (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434214)

And yet 4 years later their open sores driver sucks more donkey dicks than a woman in a tijuana donkey show.

Re:Lol open sores (2)

mhh91 (1784516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434224)

Even their closed-source driver sucks, it's not just the open source one.

Re:Lol open sores (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434258)

The OSS driver works pretty good for antique hardware. Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well for anything vaguely modern, while fglrx pretty much doesn't support anything more than a few years old (and it does more or less suck.) Consequently, if you have anything but the fanciest (unless it's very very new) or shabbiest ATI card, you can expect it to suck rocks through straws on Linux. nVidia is better but shares many of the same flaws. However, middle-aged hardware is well-supported by the official driver, and amazingly old hardware is supported as well. That makes support much easier, and while shopping for older computers with Linux compatibility in mind, it makes avoiding ATI a no-brainer as well. This reduction in resale value causes me to value ATI less up front... But to the masses who will never run Linux on a desktop, it's fairly irrelevant. Most people don't buy used hardware.

Anyone want to buy a P4 desktop with an ATI Rage Pro in it? It runs Ubuntu just fine :)

Re:Lol open sores (1)

fa2k (881632) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434562)

Well it works fine as a marketing lie apparently. I recently had the joy of upgrading my home PC, and there was hundreds of mid-range graphfcs cards to choose from. I got the AMD mainly because they support open source (or so I thought), and I may want to switch to Linux some time in the future if they can finally get the video rendering up to the same level as Windows.. (I have used laptops with AMD and NVidia graphics card on Linux and I haven't noticed much difference actually. The most recent one was an NVidia card, and I could never get rid of the tearing artifacts on the secondary display)

Re:Lol open sores (1)

hjf (703092) | about 2 years ago | (#37437806)

The tearing on the secondary display is present in every card. I've had it since my first GeForce2 MX 10 years ago, GF4MX, GF 5200, 7300GT, 6150 IGP, intel GMA950 (i think), and now with Intel Core i5 on-CPU graphics. Seen it with VGA, DVI, Component, and HDMI outs. The secondary display always has tearing. That's why I have to switch primary/secondary screens when I want to watch a movie on my TV.

Not sure how it is in AMD land, but on nVidia and Intel, that's what it's like.

Re:Lol open sores (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | about 2 years ago | (#37438800)

in AMD land you get some minor screen tearing but on all displays. At least that is my experience with a 4200HD (on board) and a dedicated 6850HD.
It isn't a showstopper though and thus I haven't tried to fix it.
The above goes for all driver editions radeon, fglrx, mesa-dri-[a-z]{3,8}-exp.*

Re:Lol open sores (1)

lbbros (900904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434606)

I beg to differ: I've run R600 and R700 (read: 3000 and 4000 series) cards with the FOSS driver and I find it miles better than fglrx: at least it does play nicely with all other components in the system.

Re:Lol open sores (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434682)

I sure wish my X1250 hardware would work. I have a subnotebook on which I can only run Vista because of drivers. It has R690M chipset and L110 CPU and it's generally poorly supported under linux, the power scaling stuff doesn't work right either.

Re:Lol open sores (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434972)

There are some hardware solutions that suck so bad you wouldn't want Linux on their anyways.

- Dan.

Re:Lol open sores (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435472)

In capabilities the graphics are worlds ahead of anything from intel. And the CPU is also pissed off. It works great under Vista. I get 4:30 battery life (no, really) and everything works, I can play games, whatever. Under Windows 7 I get 2:30 battery life, and many games blow up the driver. Under Linux I get 1:30 battery life and even with RenderAccel, GLX etc disabled I get trashing of the display whether I use vesa or ati.

AMD royally screwed the pooch on Linux support for R690M and L110 and I am forced to run Vista on my portable as a result.

Yes, I should have done more research. This is what I get for trusting AMD to provide Linux support. Never again.

Re:Lol open sores (0)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436968)

Question: Have you tried SIW to find out what the exact chips you are running that are having Win 7 driver problems, and then replacing them with an updated driver from another model with the same chip?

Because I have found a LOT of the time when it comes to laptops when the OEM says "Windows X not supported" it means "We didn't bother with a driver for it" and I bet my last nickel that there is NO part on your machines that SOME OEM didn't write a better Win 7 driver for than what you have now.

Here is how you fix it, find out the name of your device that is having problems, lets say it is the R690m. Then all you do is Google "R690m Windows 7 driver" and choose the latest one you can find. Then simply extract the driver from the .exe (both winRAR and 7-Zip can do this) and then as I put it "Rub windows nose in it" by installing the driver manually which if you are on /. I'm sure you know how to do a manual driver install.

That's it! In less than 30 minutes you'll have a much better windows 7 driver and all those boo boos go bye bye. you would be surprised how often I have to do that trick, especially with wireless. just last week I had an HP with Vista only drivers and when the guy tried to install 7 himself it hosed his wireless. I just used SIW to find out it was a Ralink chip, found a Ralink driver for win 7, rubbed windows nose in it, and there you go. One more happy customer.

You just have to remember that with Windows there is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat. sometimes it is the most simple way, sometimes you need to add a step or two, but you should always be able to find a way around the boo boo. Hell I have a granny that bought the Win 7 HP 3 pack and decided to have me load the last license on "her spare" which was a 2.2Ghz P4 that was old as dirt. took a little tweaking but now she is happily running on it while I have her new machine here in the shop. somehow she managed to completely wipe ALL the fonts off the machine, ugh. I swear that woman could kill a Sherman tank with a toothbrush.

Re:Lol open sores (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#37437626)

Question: Have you tried SIW to find out what the exact chips you are running that are having Win 7 driver problems, and then replacing them with an updated driver from another model with the same chip?

Yep. I searched long and hard to find a driver that would work, and finally did. On the second resume from suspend, I get a free reboot. There is no improved power saving driver, either.

You just have to remember that with Windows there is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat.

The cat is a lie.

Re:Lol open sores (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#37438060)

Name the part and I'll be happy to find the driver FOR you. Just let me know which one you tried so I don't duplicate the effort. You can then get a copy of "Windows 7 Tiny" to test it, which only uses 3Gb of HDD space installed.

Hell did you just try using the Vista driver? because the Vista/7 driver model is damned near identical, just as you could run Win2K/XP/2K3 drivers interchangeably unless you were switching from 32bit to 64bit. I personally have Vista X64 drivers running on my Windows 7 install simply because nobody bothered to write a Windows 7 driver for my USB capture card. Works beautifully BTW, great picture and integrates perfectly with WMC.

BTW did you notice I got modded down for daring to try to help you? How sad that the Moonies here.....err...I mean FOSSies, have such a groupthink circle jerk that the one and ONLY posting allowed within a thousand yards of a FOSSie story is "Gee Biff, isn't Linux perfect? Why it sure is Skip, and RMS's farts smell like roses!"

Sadly as you found out trying to run it on a laptop and I as a retailer found out trying to actually sell Linux it is MORE WORSE NOW THAN EVER thanks to Torvalds constant kernel fiddling and the driver mess. Out of the 8 machines I picked at random to test Linux on, tried a half dozen distros BTW, guess how many survived with full functionality after first upgrade? NONE. Zip, zero, nada, squat. Wireless, sound, video, Ethernet, there was ALWAYS something broken.

I could provide links to fellow retailers running away from Linux, or point out that Dell has to run their own repo just to keep drivers from breaking, but what's the point? Just like Moonies they'll just stick their fingers in their ears and go "CLI is leet! copypasta into term makes our neckbeard thick! You must be M$ Ninja!" and go back to their circle jerk, so why bother. let them enjoy 1% and ignore their crazy asses I say.

Re:Lol open sores (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#37441318)

You probably got modded down for insisting there is a solution. Of course I tried the Vista driver. I tried over a half-dozen drivers. Just finding one willing to install was a bit of a nightmare. And I must add that I never did get a driver to charge my Motorola cellphone even, and I tried like ten of those that said they would work. Windows 7 is a bit of a driver nightmare.

When I tell you that the CPU is Athlon L110 and the chipset is R690M I have told you literally everything you need to know, because that's the whole fucking computer and it's the CPU and Video I'm having problems with. But if you really want to know in detail what it is, it's a Gateway LT3103u. You should be able to find a lspci if you look around.

Re:Lol open sores (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37436744)

Anyone want to buy a P4 desktop with an ATI Rage Pro in it? It runs Ubuntu just fine :)

I do. Or rather, I did...

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SAMBA845V-24-4-R&cat=SYS [geeks.com]

At that price, it's a great deal. Start a kickstart install of CentOS5.x, and deliver it to customers who need a bunch of office desktops, terminals, etc. These days, you can spend a lot of money to get super-efficient components, and still end up drawing more power, and making much more noise (above PC idles at under 40watts, and is impressively damn-near silent).

Re:Lol open sores (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434546)

And yet 4 years later their open sores driver sucks more donkey dicks than a woman in a tijuana donkey show.

That reminds me, how is CmdrTaco doing?

Re:Lol open sores (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434788)

He's having fun running the donkey show that jathleen stars in 4 nights a week.

And still after four years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434286)

...a non-free firmware blob is required to use those drivers. Can we really call them free?

Re:And still after four years... (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434342)

And a non-free firmware blob is required to operate the motherboard, nic, wireless card, etc on a linux install. Can we really call linux free, then?

Re:And still after four years... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434542)

Consider that the "binary blob" in most drivers is in reality the firmware for the card, without which it's a fairly dull FPGA with maybe some spiffy maths goodness tacked on.

Now, how exactly does that differ from the closed binary firmware in your hard disk, or keyboard, or mouse?

Re:And still after four years... (2)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434602)

Exactly

Stallmantitis is ridiculous.

YOUR COMPUTER requires a non-trivial amount of closed-source information. It doesn't matter if it's in hardware or software.

And of course the 1st post is a troll, it's anonymous.

Re:And still after four years... (4, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434698)

Well now it doesn't _require_ firmware to be closed-source. And my understanding was that typically, devices that absolutely require firmware to even work at all, well those would be the cheap corner-cutters a-la WinModem - an unfortunate plague in the hardware industry. Really, if that's where we are, then motherboards might as well just give us a thousand socketed general-purpose output pins, and we'll push on whatever connectors we want and turn the whole thing into a glorified FPGA emulator.

There's always this pendulum swing - shitty mfgs push more functionality into SW/FW, things get too slow, so along comes a bright-eyed new guy with real hardware again, that runs nice and fast. Then the new guy falls in love with money, starts peddling garbage again, and the cycle repeats.

Re:And still after four years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434900)

And my understanding was that typically, devices that absolutely require firmware to even work at all, well those would be the cheap corner-cutters a-la WinModem

Your understanding is wrong. The exact opposite is true: Winmodems require drivers because they have no firmware: The drivers provide the intelligence for the card.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435154)

Funny you mention WinModems. They are so simple the exactly opposite is true. They usually don't require a firmware (since it's the tiniest amount of hw to plug your computer to a phone line). On the other hand, a 'upload when using' fw for a 'Hard modem' would make lots of sense (this is used on some DSL USB Modems)

But yeah, it doesn't have to be closed source, still, I'm doubting Intel is releasing their processor's VHDL/Verilog files any time soon...

There's always this pendulum swing - shitty mfgs push more functionality into SW/FW, things get too slow, so along comes a bright-eyed new guy with real hardware again, that runs nice and fast. Then the new guy falls in love with money, starts peddling garbage again, and the cycle repeats.

Correct, but Moore's law is very helpful for money lovers. I'm sure something like desktop effects waste more CPU than a Winmodem today.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435272)

A winmodem is basically a sound card with an analog telephone line interface. This means all the modulation and channel coding that needs to be done to send/receive data is done in software. Real modems use a DSP to implement the modulation, and have the firmware for the DSP in a Flash chip. The only cost-cutting involved would be to do away with the Flash chip and have the device driver download the firmware each time the modem is power-cycled. Nobody did this with any modems I'm aware of, partly because being external from the PC case, it's hard to say if the modem DSP has already booted and is running firmware or not. With an expansion card, this is not an issue. Back in '98, I was able to update the firmware on a Zyxel 28.8k modem and have it support 56k, since it used a programmable DSP and allowed Flash reprogramming. Greedy marketers would usually prevent this from happening so I'd spend more $$$ to buy the 56k modem - somehow Zyxel were different at the time.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37437238)

Well now it doesn't _require_ firmware to be closed-source. And my understanding was that typically, devices that absolutely require firmware to even work at all, well those would be the cheap corner-cutters a-la WinModem

I think you have some fundamental misunderstanding of what firmware is and does. Your CPU contains firmware to implement x86 instructions. Your HDD contains firmware to implement the ATA protocol. In fact, pretty much every piece of equipment including your motherboard and graphics card too depends on firmware, they typically all have a level between the instructions and the hardware. The only real difference is whether it's stored on the device itself or loaded by the driver during initialization.

The crazy thing here is really where the line of zealotry goes, if it's on the device itself it's fine, if the open source code must load it then it's unacceptable. Why exactly? I mean the code is there either way, if you wanted OSS purity then you should refuse everything with upgradable firmware.but without source code and documentation, since the firmware can have bugs that in theory are fixable. Except you'd be hard pressed to find any hardware at all that meets that qualification.

However in practice you have to be extremely familiar with the hardware design, most don't consider it software but more like a tweakable hardware. Like, we can alter this a little bit by flashing but it's really more for development, once the customers have it then the vast majority will never upgrade their firmware, ever. And even there is a bug it'll be so tied to the hardware that really only the people with the hardware schematics can fix it.

I guess it matters to some, but then you've moved from the <1% of the market into the <0.0001% area...

Re:And still after four years... (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about 2 years ago | (#37438084)

I think that zealotry aside, a reason people don't like user-uploaded firmware is that some hardware vendors don't want you to redistribute the firmware for free, so end users have to download it from the manufacturer's website instead of having it installed alongside the rest of the operating system. Which can be an annoyance e.g. if the firmware is needed for your wifi card (that happened with the old Broadcom chips for example), as that requires you to connect your computer to the internet by wire just to download the firmware.

This is not the case for AMD's firmware which has been happily traveling with the Linux kernel since day zero.

Re:And still after four years... (2)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435346)

YOUR COMPUTER requires a non-trivial amount of closed-source information. It doesn't matter if it's in hardware or software.

It matters from a practical perspective. If there is a bug in open software, then you can fix it. If some driver threatens the stability of your system, then you can do something about it. You can't really do that if you find a hardware bug, though you might be able to work around it in software. If the open software suffers bitrot then you can update it to the latest APIs. You can't really do that with closed software. Open source software gives a skilled programmer the ability to fix pretty much any problem on their system in a way that just isn't possible with closed source.

Re:And still after four years... (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435466)

Most do, but a few run Coreboot.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

Spugglefink (1041680) | about 2 years ago | (#37438230)

Stallmantitis is ridiculous.

Mod +1 Insightful.

I've been a FOSS developer for 10 years, but I still think RMS is crazier than a shithouse rat.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435312)

It depends on what you mean by "blob". Does an average motherboard use a BIOS? Yes. Does the Linus kernel contains blobs for the average motherboard? No. Likewise NICs. Wifi cards, yes, sometimes the driver contains a blob, but many common cards don't (e.g. Madwifi dropped the HAL blob in 2007). If you are going to argue that being able to drive a device that has onboard firmware makes the Linux kernel non-free, even when that firmware is not distributed as part of the Linux kernel, then I would argue that you are using an extreme definition for the sake of making a point ("omg your Linux isn't be free because your Intel CPU isn't free!") It is perfectly possible, and in fact quite common, to have a working Linux system that uses no closed driver blobs.

Re:And still after four years... (3, Informative)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434904)

Yes. Firmware is just an enabler that lets your hardware expose the features you read on the hardware's box before buying it. It's not related to the specific uses you want to make of your hardware, it's software-independent, so you as an end user have no interest in tinkering with firmware (although being able to do so can be an extra bonus, in some specific scenarios).
Drivers, on the other hand, bind your hardware to a specific operational environment, and limit your freedom to use the hardware in any way you want. They limit the CPU architectures you can run your hardware on. They limit the choice of operating systems you can run your hardware with. They limit the adaptability of your hardware to new operating system releases. An open source driver that, even by interfacing to closed-source firmware, sets me free from all of these limits, is perfectly free to me.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

Raenex (947668) | about 2 years ago | (#37447288)

No. The binary firmware is software and updatable just like any other software. When the software is not freely distributable, when you can't modify it's source, and when you can't distribute your modifications, then that software is not free-as-in-freedom.

You can't be in compliance with the GPL if you distribute an operating system with such proprietary binaries. This is problematic because some hardware these days require firmware to be loaded by the operating system. That's why distributions like Debian separate them out and require you to download these yourself.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37453040)

In fact, firmware is not distributed under the GPL (except in rare cases).

You can distribute a GPL operating system containing non-free firmware. Linux is GPL and still it comes with firmware blobs inside its source code tarball. Debian are very strict GPL observers, yet they distribute an unsupported CD containing non-free firmware ( http://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/ [debian.org] ).

The problem is when the firmware, beyond being non-free, is not even redistributable. In that case your only option to obtain it legally is to download it from the hardware manufacturer's (or one of its licensee's) web site, or possibly to perform surgery on the Windows drivers that came with the product.

This is not the case for AMD's firmware, which is shipped officially by themselves with the Linux kernel.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454162)

You can distribute a GPL operating system containing non-free firmware.

You can, but you won't be in compliance with the GPL if you do. Just because people ignore the rules out of practicality doesn't mean the rules aren't being broken.

Debian are very strict GPL observers, yet they distribute an unsupported CD containing non-free firmware

Interesting. I wasn't aware that they were doing this. It is, of course, a compromise on their principles. They went through a big effort [debian.org] to get firmware out of main and into non-free after years of compromising for the sake of practicality.

It looks like they are trying to rationalize this CD as an "unofficial" net install CD only. It might even be OK. However, if there are GPL bits included in this net install CD, then it's still the same problem.

Re:And still after four years... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 2 years ago | (#37439032)

Depends on if anyone would ever consider changing the firmware. I'd say yes, it's free enough unless there was some good reason to ever change the firmware which there probably isn't.

Firts 4 comments read like trolls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434314)

Guys, it's Sunday. Don't you have something better to do than spread the Hate? Isn't there a pond where you can go fishing? You give no specifics. You give no test criteria. The best I see is an insulting reference to obsolete hardware.

Why not be more constructive? How about create some kind of automated test of driver + hardware to evaluate drivers and hardware? Why not set up a database of known hardware that works/doesn't work? How about contributing code to graphics drivers?

Re:Firts 4 comments read like trolls (0)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434392)

The first few posts might be trollish but look at the original article. It's a puff-piece wrapping AMD in the open source flag as a paragon of virtue when the truth is far less rosy.

  AMD enjoys a (largely unearned) reputation on Slashdot as being the scrappy underdogs who want to save the world for Open Source or something like that. People forget that AMD is (or was) a multi-billion company that has no problems with getting patents, cozying up with Microsoft (see Jerry Sanders testifying in favour of MS at the anti-trust trial... ironic), or locking up its IP in the video card area. Sure they dump partial sets of documentation several months after releasing a new card, but with that level of support I have no reason to upgrade from a 3 year old Nvidia card since the shiny new AMD card won't work any better.

      I *want* AMD to have real open source drivers that give great support for their hardware... basically what Intel already does right now. However, congratulating AMD and holding them up as superior to everyone else when they are not is not the right way to accomplish this goal.

Re:Firts 4 comments read like trolls (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434448)

The difference there is that Intel doesn't have any IP in this area worth protecting.

Also, what you're conveniently ignoring is that most of the source that AMD has came from ATI and was prior to the change in strategy. It's not easy to go back and retroactively open source things for which you may or may not already have the rights. I'm guessing that there's probably a fair amount of other people's IP involved. And even if there isn't, the legal team does still need to go through and make sure that they aren't going to be sued for releaseing something they shouldn't.

two is company, three is "every else" (1, Interesting)

epine (68316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434844)

The "what have you done for me lately" crowd has an interesting way with words that never fails to amuse me.

However, congratulating AMD and holding them up as superior to everyone else when they are not is not the right way to accomplish this goal.

Everyone else? There are three horses in this race, and a few ticks hitched to the feathers surrounding the coffin bone. 90% of the cells in the human body are bacterial. Sometimes you have to integrate over quorum.

Intel isn't especially huffed about offloading high-demand computing to a GPU chip manufactured by somebody else. Without somebody else poised to siphon an artery, Intel would do everything in their power to level the field. We would have one coefficient of Moore's law governing performance, rather than two. Generally when you lash two horses together, the slower horse governs the pace.

Fortunately, the GPU swallowed the blue pill before Intel could do much about it. On the side of the fence with the big Cheshire grin, we have precisely two spectral lines of any significance: red and green. But you have to remember that both of these companies exist in an ecosystem where the bully in the china shop hoovers up the vast majority of the resources like the human race arrived on a shiny new continent.

It ain't easy feeding the sourdough culture known as Fab. It's the pudding mix in Sleeper, the plant in Little Shop of Horrors.

If your Fab blows a bubble, you're in a world of hurt. Around this nightmare, you have to knock off some of the most technically demanding design projects known to man, year in and year out. After you build a Saturn V, everyone wants a Saturn VI. The Saturn VI blows everyone away--for a year or two--then everyone starts to itch and scratch for a Saturn VII.

Back when the original Saturn V was crawling toward heaven [wikipedia.org] at a top speed of 1mph, who exactly was "everyone else"? But let's not give the Americans any credit for trumping anyone else.

The painful truth here is that if you love open source, sometimes you have to settle for second best. AMD is slowly making good on the promise of taking this track, although it's truly frightened to think of how much oxygen has boiled off in their seemingly perpetual state of launch readiness. It ain't called Fusion for nothing.

At the bottom of the process this is an IP issue. Some people seem to think that open source happens in Wikileak time frames. It could work that way, but billion transistor designs would really stress out your onion router, and customs might seize your next mask set.

I played a chess game not long ago where I settled into the Siberian Winter defense. In other words, my opponent was better than me, but he fired his powder a moment too soon.

I was boxed in by the mate threat, and his mate threat was boxed in by my passed wing pawn on the other side of the board. If his quill armada didn't crush me first, my winter pawn would crush him later.

If you're asking "what has AMD's wing pawn done for you lately" I suppose the answer is that it sits there doing not very much.

In my case, not very much won me the game after 10 rounds of desperately accurate counter-parries.

Three cheers for the winter pawn.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434954)

Holy crap! Van Drashek has come to Slashdot! He even has a 5 digit UID! You keep working on whatever quasi-functional AI program that spews out all that crap is! One of these decades you might be able to spew out a halfway coherent troll post.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435056)

>>90% of the cells in the human body are bacterial

Modern urban legend that isn't even vaguely true.

Ask yourself - if you take a powerful wide-spectrum antibiotic, do you suddenly drop from your natural 400 pounds down to 40?

>>The "what have you done for me lately" crowd has an interesting way with words that never fails to amuse me.

Does AMD actually have a decent driver for their family of video cards for Linux?

The irony of TFA is that it's apparently been 4 years since they committed to open source, apparently.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435306)

by count you have more bacteria than cells read this : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080603085914.htm [sciencedaily.com]
please cite your sources....

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#37446790)

>>by count you have more bacteria than cells read this : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080603085914.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Right, I've read that article before. Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true.

It doesn't say where all these bacteria are supposed to be living. You know - the ones that it claims outnumber us 10 to 1? It makes vague references to the gut and the skin, which might very well be true, but it's certainly not true for us, overall.

When we actually have bacteria running around at those levels in our blood, it's called septicemia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepsis), and it kills you.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37449972)

Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true.

It doesn't say where all these bacteria are supposed to be living. You know - the ones that it claims outnumber us 10 to 1? It makes vague references to the gut and the skin, which might very well be true, but it's certainly not true for us, overall.

When we actually have bacteria running around at those levels in our blood, it's called septicemia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepsis), and it kills you.

It seems like you're trying to parse too much into it because you're letting yourself get hung up on an idea which is only in your head. By mass, yes, bacteria aren't dominant. By cell count (which I believe is what they're talking about)? Quite believable that there are more bacteria cells inside the volume of the human body than cells containing the human genome. Bacteria are prokaryotes (cells without nuclei or mitochondria), which sharply limits their size. IIRC, they may be up to three or four orders of magnitude smaller than eukaryotic human cells. And at any given time, there are likely to be an awful lot of them in your gut. A significant percentage of what you crap out is bacteria.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#37450628)

It seems like you're trying to parse too much into it because you're letting yourself get hung up on an idea which is only in your head. By mass, yes, bacteria aren't dominant. By cell count (which I believe is what they're talking about)? Quite believable that there are more bacteria cells inside the volume of the human body than cells containing the human genome. Bacteria are prokaryotes (cells without nuclei or mitochondria), which sharply limits their size. IIRC, they may be up to three or four orders of magnitude smaller than eukaryotic human cells. And at any given time, there are likely to be an awful lot of them in your gut. A significant percentage of what you crap out is bacteria.

Right, as I said, the article only vaguely refers to where all these bacteria are supposed to be, with the skin and gut - which are both outside the body, topologically speaking - being the likely places. We simply don't have that many bacteria running around inside of our muscles or blood. If we did, they'd show up on blood screens or under a microscope. That's what I'm trying to say - "we" are not 90% bacteria.

It's turned into something of a science-based urban legend that we're full of shit. Basically.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | about 2 years ago | (#37450672)

A 10-second Google search [google.com] turns up the following quote at the top of a Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]: Bacterial cells are much smaller than human cells, and there are at least ten times as many bacteria as human cells in the body (approximately 10^14 versus 10^13).[6][7]

Because Wikipedia isn't a primary source, it's necessary to examine the peer-reviewed references to verify this claim:

The adult human organism is said to be composed of approximately 10^13 eukaryotic animal cells (27). That statement is only an expression of a particular point of view. The various body surfaces and the gastrointestinal canals of humans may be colonized by as many as 10^14 indigenous prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbial cells (70). These microbes profoundly influence some of the physiological processes of their animal host (49, 103). From another point of view, therefore, the normal human organism can be said to be composed of over 10^14 cells, of which only about 10% are animal cells. The vast majority of the microbial cells in that mass reside someplace in the gastrointestinal tract (70). ... [Savage, Microbial Ecology of the Gastrointestinal Tract, 1977] [annualreviews.org]

... For every cell in the human body (10^13 cells in total), there are ten viable indigenous bacteria in the GI tract... [Berg, The indigenous gastrointestinal microflora, 1996] [sciencedirect.com]

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37450980)

The GI system is external to the human body, topologically speaking... they are not part of "us".

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37451196)

Yeah, that's why I leave my large intestine at home if I don't plan on using it while I'm out.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37454898)

>>Yeah, that's why I leave my large intestine at home if I don't plan on using it while I'm out.

Have you ever studied biology? Or evolution? The reason the GI tract and similar things are the way they are is because they are external to our bodies. You can, in fact, flush everything out of them without any harm, thus proving they are not part of our bodies.

Or if you prefer math, you can describe this topologically with your mouth open. In computer science terms, you can calculate the connected-spaces graph of every point in your body. It doesn't matter... any way you look at it, "we" are not comprised of bacteria.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457470)

So, once again, you say you've just been making a point about topology this whole time? Let's see if that makes any sense...

90% of the cells in the human body are bacterial

Modern urban legend that isn't even vaguely true. Ask yourself - if you take a powerful wide-spectrum antibiotic, do you suddenly drop from your natural 400 pounds down to 40?

This doesn't seem like a point about topology. It seems like you jumped from "90% of the cells in the human body are bacterial" to "90% of the mass of the human body is bacterial." That's an incorrect assumption because bacterial cells are thousands of times smaller than human cells. For instance, each E. coli masses [wikipedia.org] a femtogram, while each human cell masses a nanogram. Therefore, E. coli cells are ~1000x smaller than human cells, so they can outnumber our cells 10 to 1 while only making up ~1% of our mass.

Also, I can't help but notice that epine didn't say 90% of the cells in our blood or muscle are bacterial. He just said "90% of the cells in the human body are bacterial", which is entirely consistent with statements made in the peer-reviewed literature. You said this was a "modern urban legend that isn't even vaguely true".

Now, there really is a modern urban legend regarding biology involving a 10% statistic that "isn't even vaguely true": the notion that we only use 10% of our brains [wikipedia.org]. That's evolutionarily absurd because the brain consumes a whopping 20% of the body's energy. If humans only used 10% of the brain, it would wither away like the appendix. In fact, we pay an even greater cost: the diameter of the female pelvis limits our skull size at birth, so human infants are helpless for much longer than other primates and mammals.

It's wrong to call both of these ideas "modern urban legends that aren't even vaguely true." There really are 10x as many bacterial cells than human cells in the human body. You just don't consider your large intestine to be part of your body, apparently.

by count you have more bacteria than cells read this [sciencedaily.com].

Right, I've read that article before. Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true. It doesn't say where all these bacteria are supposed to be living. You know - the ones that it claims outnumber us 10 to 1? It makes vague references to the gut and the skin, which might very well be true, but it's certainly not true for us, overall. When we actually have bacteria running around at those levels in our blood, it's called septicemia [wikipedia.org], and it kills you.

Yes, not everything on the internet is true. But that particular article matches statements made in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. So you're wrong to imply that it's just an urban legend.

And it most certainly is true for us "overall", defined as counting the total number of cells in the human body containing the human genome (~10^13) and counting the total number of cells in the human body without the human genome (~10^14). Also, I can't help but notice that the ScienceDaily article didn't say 90% of the cells in our blood or muscle are bacterial. It just said "The number of bacteria living within the body of the average healthy adult human are estimated to outnumber human cells 10 to 1", which is entirely consistent with statements made in the peer-reviewed literature.

It seems like you're trying to parse too much into it because you're letting yourself get hung up on an idea which is only in your head. By mass, yes, bacteria aren't dominant. By cell count (which I believe is what they're talking about)? Quite believable that there are more bacteria cells inside the volume of the human body than cells containing the human genome. Bacteria are prokaryotes (cells without nuclei or mitochondria), which sharply limits their size. IIRC, they may be up to three or four orders of magnitude smaller than eukaryotic human cells. And at any given time, there are likely to be an awful lot of them in your gut. A significant percentage of what you crap out is bacteria.

Right, as I said, the article only vaguely refers to where all these bacteria are supposed to be, with the skin and gut - which are both outside the body, topologically speaking - being the likely places. We simply don't have that many bacteria running around inside of our muscles or blood. If we did, they'd show up on blood screens or under a microscope. That's what I'm trying to say - "we" are not 90% bacteria. It's turned into something of a science-based urban legend that we're full of shit. Basically.

I can't help but notice that someone didn't say 90% of the cells in our blood or muscle are bacterial. He just said "there are more bacteria cells inside the volume of the human body than cells containing the human genome", which is entirely consistent with statements made in the peer-reviewed literature.

Yeah, that's why I leave my large intestine at home if I don't plan on using it while I'm out.

Have you ever studied biology? Or evolution? The reason the GI tract and similar things are the way they are is because they are external to our bodies. You can, in fact, flush everything out of them without any harm, thus proving they are not part of our bodies.

Wow, you really don't consider your large intestine to be a part of your body. I guess that goes for your mouth and various other body orifices too. That's why people are able to quickly and easily shrug off minor inconveniences like rape; nothing actually penetrated their bodies in a topological sense, so no harm, no foul. Or maybe that ridiculous conclusion demonstrates that most people don't use your definition of what is a "part of our bodies".

In fact, it's not just the general public who disagrees with you. Notice that the peer-reviewed literature also treats the large intestine, the mouth and other body orifices as part of the human body. Before you start implying that other people haven't studied biology or evolution, perhaps you should try to get actual biologists to use your definition in their papers.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457636)

>>So, once again, you say you've just been making a point about topology this whole time? Let's see if that makes any sense...

I did. Read my other posts in this thread, you'll see I've been very careful to make this point every time.

>>You said this was a "modern urban legend that isn't even vaguely true".

Which I stand by. "We" are not made of bacteria, which is what the GP stated.

>>You just don't consider your large intestine to be part of your body, apparently.

Again, you have trouble wrapping your mind around a concept it's not very familiar with. But, believe it or not, the large intestine is external to your body. Think of the hole in a donut. If there is bacteria in the donut hole, do you say that donuts are made of 90% bacteria? It's a completely misleading statement, which has led to the scientific urban legend status it has now.

>>In fact, it's not just the general public who disagrees with you. Notice that the peer-reviewed literature also treats the large intestine, the mouth and other body orifices as part of the human body. Before you start implying that other people haven't studied biology or evolution, perhaps you should try to get actual biologists to use your definition in their papers.

Don't revel in your ignorance.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458086)

I did. Read my other posts in this thread, you'll see I've been very careful to make this point every time.

I just quoted all your posts in this thread to show that the people you were lecturing about biology weren't making claims about bacterial cells in blood or muscle, and neither is the scientific literature. That's just something you latched onto once your original point about dropping from "400 pounds down to 40" was shown to be based on an incorrect assumption.

... believe it or not, the large intestine is external to your body. Think of the hole in a donut. If there is bacteria in the donut hole, do you say that donuts are made of 90% bacteria? It's a completely misleading statement, which has led to the scientific urban legend status it has now.

If the donut used its donut hole to digest food, yeah, I'd say donuts are 90% bacteria. But the point is that biologists treat the large intestine and other body orifices as part of the human body when they say that only 10% of the cells in the human body contain the human genome. Again, I'm just a physicist, not a biologist. Your problem is with the biologists who stubbornly refuse to use the ShakaUVM definition of the human body.

Again, you have trouble wrapping your mind around a concept it's not very familiar with. ... Don't revel in your ignorance.

Charming.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37458902)

>>That's just something you latched onto once your original point about dropping from "400 pounds down to 40" was shown to be based on an incorrect assumption.

It's not an incorrect assumption. If our muscle cells were 90% bacteria running around in disguise, then we'd lose a significant portion of our weight when we took antibiotics.

The way the urban legend has mutated, though, to now say "We are 90% bacteria" which, again, isn't even remotely true. Search for that phrase to find the meme floating around wild on the internet.

>>But the point is that biologists treat the large intestine and other body orifices as part of the human body

Funny, it was my college biology professor that made the point that - in a number of significant ways of looking at it - our GI tract and other things are treated by our bodies as being exterior to our body.

Your problem is that while you love to call me a dogmatist, the simple truth of the matter is you can't bend your mind around different ways of looking at things, even if they are true.

Think about why semen is salty some time. I'll let you get back to me on that one.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37459544)

If our muscle cells were 90% bacteria running around in disguise, then we'd lose a significant portion of our weight when we took antibiotics.

Sadly, I need to repeat that this would only be true if bacteria weren't thousands of times less massive than human cells. And that nobody you're talking to is talking about muscle cells.

Funny, it was my college biology professor that made the point that - in a number of significant ways of looking at it - our GI tract and other things are treated by our bodies as being exterior to our body.

This is depressingly typical. I quoted and linked peer-reviewed articles showing that only 10% of the cells in the human body contain the human genome. Those articles are very clearly using the definition that the GI tract is part of the human body. Then you make a vague reference to a professor saying something contrary, without naming the professor or referencing his peer-reviewed paper or showing why it's relevant to the articles that I linked.

Your problem is that while you love to call me a dogmatist, the simple truth of the matter is you can't bend your mind around different ways of looking at things, even if they are true.

Wow! If I love to call you a dogmatist, then surely you can find at least one quote from me supporting that accusation?

I just explained [dumbscientist.com] that you were wrong to call me and my colleagues dishonest idiot dogmatists [dumbscientist.com] (not to mention all the other libelous smears [dumbscientist.com] you've thrown at us). Bizarrely, you then claimed [slashdot.org] that I was calling you an idiot dogmatist, when I'd just explained [dumbscientist.com] to you and to Jane Q. Public that obtaining a graduate-level understanding of the physics of the climate requires... well... taking actual graduate level courses in physics related to the climate. A non-physicist who doesn't understand graduate-level physics isn't an idiot, as I carefully explained to Jane Q. Public. However, a professional physicist has no such excuse, which is why Jane's accusations (and your incessant accusations) that the overwhelming majority of the scientific community are lying and/or making ridiculously incompetent mistakes really are accusations that we're dishonest idiots.

If history is any guide, this is the point where you claim that you've never made any of these accusations, and that I'm making up strawman arguments. Please do that. I plan to eventually collect all your accusations of dishonesty, and then display them next to all your statements that you're not accusing scientists of dishonesty. Adding more examples will make the cognitive dissonance more amusing.

Think about why semen is salty some time. I'll let you get back to me on that one.

I'll pass, thanks. Is this really the legacy you want to leave behind?

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462020)

>>showing that only 10% of the cells in the human body

Flush your GI tract with some Fleet's and a antibiotic chaser. Are you still 90% bacteria? No.

So obviously "we" are not made of bacteria.

>>If I love to call you a dogmatist, then surely you can find at least one quote from me supporting that accusation?

"I try very hard not to be a dogmatist." -ShakaUVM
"I think you need to keep trying." -Khayman80

Care to print a retraction?

No?

Of course not.

>>libelous smears you've thrown at us

It's only libelous if they're untrue, not because you get offended by them. It would be more accurate of you to call them insult, which is what they were.

>>Please do that. I plan to eventually collect all your accusations of dishonesty, and then display them next to all your statements that you're not accusing scientists of dishonesty.

Oh, please do. You getting your panties in a bunch by me calling the RC.org people politically biased does not make said statement dishonest, libelous, or untrue. It simply means you got your panties in a bunch.

In case you haven't figured it out, biased doesn't necessarily mean they're lying. This is a fine philosophical point which, as usual, flies right over your head. Although it can incorporate outright lying, in the case of RC.org, their biased means they shade things on "their side" favorably (An Inconvenient Truth is handled with kid gloves, and its numerous errors hand-waved away as not being serious), but statements on "the other side" (say, that recent Spencer paper in Remote Sensing that caused all the hoopla) are raked over with a fine-toothed comb for errors. In addition to the real criticisms, they point out he didn't label one of his axes.

The point *that you will miss* if i don't say this is that I'm not saying the Spencer paper was any good. To the contrary. I've read it, and I don't think it really proves anything at all, and certainly isn't the Tea Party Great White Hope that it was supposed to be. If you've read my posts on such web sites, you'll see me flaming a number of people for their misapprehensions about the Spencer paper, and the web sites themselves for not pointing out that Pielke is not the most unbiased of sources. Here on Slashdot, I pointed out that Spencer at least had real academic credentials in the field.

>>Is this really the legacy you want to leave behind?

It's a serious question.

Hint: It involves evolution.
Hint 2: It involves primordial oceans.

I realize that biology is not really your forte, but if you want to argue that stuff living in our GI tract is part of "us" you have to explain this as well.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462132)

>>However, a professional physicist has no such excuse, which is why Jane's accusations (and your incessant accusations) that the overwhelming majority of the scientific community are lying and/or making ridiculously incompetent mistakes really are accusations that we're dishonest idiots.

Making mistakes is not the same as being a dishonest idiot.
Being biased is not the same as being a dishonest idiot.
Being a dogmatist is not the same as being a dishonest idiot.

>>If history is any guide, this is the point where you claim that you've never made any of these accusations, and that I'm making up strawman arguments.

How could I accuse you of making strawman arguments, when you're obviously conflating my arguments with that of a person (Jane Q Public) that I've never even heard of?

That would be outrageous.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37462730)

Flush your GI tract with some Fleet's and a antibiotic chaser. Are you still 90% bacteria? No. So obviously "we" are not made of bacteria.

You're also not going to be able to properly digest food, and the population will recover within a few days. The fact that you can temporarily reduce the population of microflora in your large intestine doesn't mean that normal, healthy humans don't require the presence of these symbiotes to extract energy from food efficiently. That's why the ScienceDaily article says "healthy adult human" and the Savage article said "normal human organism". If you actually managed to completely eliminate intestinal microflora permanently, I suspect that would result in serious health consequences.

If I love to call you a dogmatist, then surely you can find at least one quote from me supporting that accusation?

"I try very hard not to be a dogmatist." -ShakaUVM

"I think you need to keep trying." -Khayman80

Care to print a retraction? No? Of course not.

How depressingly repetitive all these conversations are. Remember that Jane Q. Public threw around accusations of fraud like it was going out of style. Then she misinterpreted [slashdot.org] my description of her accusations of fraud as though I was accusing her of fraud, and threatened to sue me. When I mentioned [dumbscientist.com] this incident to you, you had some choice words [dumbscientist.com] to say about her behavior.

So let's look at the exchange you actually quoted, the way I actually wrote [slashdot.org] it:

I think I finally understand your confusion with me. I try very hard not to be a dogmatist. ...

I think you need to keep trying. In the meantime, I'll start to address all the weird assumptions you wrote right after that statement, but I'll have to group them with all the other similar statements you've made that I haven't addressed. So this might take a while.

Notice that I was saying "I think you need to keep trying to understand my 'confusion' with you," not "I think you need to keep trying to not be a dogmatist."

In fact, if you read your original comment [slashdot.org], you'll notice that after you finished musing about Galileo and praising yourself for not being a dogmatist, you continued: Your mind is overly reductive, though. You equate someone looking at an issue from an oblique angle, and reduce that to one side or another. If I come up with a way to test ID as a scientific theory, you reduce that to mean that I'm an IDer (I'm not, I simply think it'd be fun to test). You see me say that Watts contributed something with his surface station survey? You reduce that to mean that I agree with Watts on every issue. You see me take issue with predictions of the Greenland ice melt, you reduce that to me thinking all predictions are nonsense.

In other words, you were accusing me of being "overly reductive", contrasting that with your noble non-dogmatic approach, and saying that you finally understood me. So I pointed out that your understanding was wrong; you need to keep trying to understand why I don't like being called a dishonest idiot dogmatist by every programmer with an axe to grind. Hint: it isn't that I'm not trying as hard as you to not be a dogmatist.

How could I accuse you of making strawman arguments, when you're obviously conflating my arguments with that of a person (Jane Q Public) that I've never even heard of?

As I just said, you definitely have heard of her, because I mentioned her and you called her a nutcase. I'm not conflating your comments with hers, just pointing out the fact that you're following the same sad pattern that Jane Q. Public did. She threw around accusations of fraud, and got so confused that she thought I was accusing her of fraud when I was actually just rebutting her latest accusation of fraud. You tried to explain that you understood "my confusion" with you, which apparently has to do with my not trying as hard as you to not be a dogmatist. I then pointed out that you needed to keep trying to understand why I'm objecting to this endless stream of insults. The fact that you twisted this exchange around as me accusing you of being a dogmatist gives me serious deja vu regarding Jane's mistake.

It's only libelous if they're untrue, not because you get offended by them. It would be more accurate of you to call them insult, which is what they were.

I just spent over 60 pages explaining that your libelous insults aren't true. Of course you're libelling scientists.

Making mistakes is not the same as being a dishonest idiot. Being biased is not the same as being a dishonest idiot. Being a dogmatist is not the same as being a dishonest idiot.

As I've repeatedly explained to you and to Jane Q. Public, when the two of you make a fundamental mistake about graduate-level physics, that isn't evidence that you're dishonest idiots because you shouldn't be expected to understand physics that's taught in classes that you haven't even taken. However, when you accuse a professional physicist of making a ridiculously incompetent mistake, that certainly is an accusation of being an idiot.

You getting your panties in a bunch by me calling the RC.org people politically biased does not make said statement dishonest, libelous, or untrue. ...

I'm curious. Do you really think you haven't accused scientists of lying?

... if you want to argue that stuff living in our GI tract is part of "us" you have to explain this as well.

Again, you should be having this argument with the biologists who wrote those peer-reviewed papers saying that only 10% of the cells in the normal human body contain the human genome.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37470380)

>>As I just said, you definitely have heard of her, because I mentioned her and you called her a nutcase.

Fair enough.

There's enough nuts on Slashdot that second-hand accounts of nutcasery don't stick in my memory. But there's really no reason to equate the two of us, as I rather think it silly to want to sue someone on Slashdot for something they said. It's about as silly as accusing them incorrectly of committing libel.

>>Notice that I was saying "I think you need to keep trying to understand my 'confusion' with you," not "I think you need to keep trying to not be a dogmatist."

It doesn't scan that way, but ok, great.

>>I just spent over 60 pages explaining that your libelous insults aren't true. Of course you're libelling scientists.

You're not a lawyer, but that's still no excuse for using using terms inaccurately.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation#How_to_prove_libel [wikipedia.org]

>>Hint: it isn't that I'm not trying as hard as you to not be a dogmatist.

Well, you do show a certain rigidity of thought, as this whole GI tract business has shown. It takes a certain freedom of thinking to be able to realize that your GI tract, both historically/evolutionarily speaking, physiologically speaking, and mathematically speaking are not part of "us".

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37471416)

I rather think it silly to want to sue someone on Slashdot for something they said. It's about as silly as accusing them incorrectly of committing libel. ... You're not a lawyer, but that's still no excuse for using using terms inaccurately [wikipedia.org].

Your statements are false, and the baseless arguments you're repeating have done harm to the scientific community. I've documented these facts extensively. The third criterion seems redundant; making false statements means that by definition you made them without adequate research into the truthfulness of your statements. I don't think that scientists count as celebrities, but even if they do, 'intent to do harm' seems to be supported by the hyperbolic insults and malicious language you've used to baselessly accuse scientists of outright lying and making ridiculously incompetent mistakes.

But you're right, I'm not a lawyer. Maybe you would be able to successfully defend yourself in a libel trial by arguing that you were simply one member of a legion who were all repeating these libelous accusations, so it's difficult to prove that your particular repetitions caused any damage on their own. But why take that chance? If you don't want to be accused of libelling scientists, you might consider finding a hobby that doesn't involve libelling scientists. Would that really be so difficult?

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37471610)

>>Your statements are false, and the baseless arguments you're repeating have done harm to the scientific community. I've documented these facts extensively. The third criterion seems redundant; making false statements means that by definition you made them without adequate research into the truthfulness of your statements. I don't think that scientists count as celebrities, but even if they do, 'intent to do harm' seems to be supported by the hyperbolic insults and malicious language you've used to baselessly accuse scientists of outright lying and making ridiculously incompetent mistakes.

All of your statements above are false.

>>Maybe you would be able to successfully defend yourself in a libel trial

Weren't you the person who got upset when someone threatened you with a lawsuit? I know you're not, but glass houses and all.

Re:two is company, three is "every else" (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37457728)

Correction: each E. coli masses [wikipedia.org] a picogram, while each human cell masses a nanogram. Therefore, E. coli cells are ~1000x less massive than human cells

Where's the letter? (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434362)

All I see is an article talking about the letter, where's the actual letter?

Re:Where's the letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434384)

page 2,3 etc
link to page 2
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_radeonhd_four&num=2

Re:Where's the letter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434386)

All I see is an article talking about the letter, where's the actual letter?

Seems to be from page 2 of the article onwards.

Behind enemy lines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434440)

I believe there was also support for opening the then acquired ATI wares from inside AMD. A former KGI/GGI Project developer (along with fellow AMD employees) were pushing for AMD to open the specifications to ATI's hardware.

Novell, commited to open source (2)

Tynin (634655) | more than 2 years ago | (#37434468)

At least from this bit, right at the end of the letter. Novell truly understands the nature of open source and seems very commited to the effort:

To ensure an open development process NOVELL would require that it will not make use of any specifications or programming documentation that can not be made available to other developers from the open source community also under a suitable documentation publication program which will permit the release of source code under an open source license.

This step will help to ensure continued maintenance for hardware components beyond the maintenance cycle of the manufacturer and will help customer to secure their investment. Furthermore it will demonstrate and underline AMD's full commitment to the open source development model and send a positive signal to the open source community which this has been waiting for for a long time.

NOVELL will ensure that a driver with at least base functionalities is available for earlier releases of the X Window System at least back to X11 R6.9 to be integrated in existing enterprise products by their respective vendors.

Re:Novell, commited to open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37434636)

Except that the project isn't around anymore, the people involved have left Novell, and Novell have new bosses since. Not sure if one can say that they were committed in this particular case.

Re:Novell, commited to open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37453816)

Every organization has many people, and they won't be all the same. And almost everywhere, some people are good, and some not.

Re:Novell, commited to open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37469794)

At least from this bit, right at the end of the letter. Novell truly understands the nature of open source and seems very commited to the effort:

To ensure an open development process NOVELL would require that it will not make use of any specifications or programming documentation that can not be made available to other developers from the open source community also under a suitable documentation publication program which will permit the release of source code under an open source license.

This step will help to ensure continued maintenance for hardware components beyond the maintenance cycle of the manufacturer and will help customer to secure their investment. Furthermore it will demonstrate and underline AMD's full commitment to the open source development model and send a positive signal to the open source community which this has been waiting for for a long time.

NOVELL will ensure that a driver with at least base functionalities is available for earlier releases of the X Window System at least back to X11 R6.9 to be integrated in existing enterprise products by their respective vendors.

Based on this comment, I agree. At least a certain group within NOVELL, especially if they represented the company stance, really understood the nature, not only of the Open Source licensing model, but the benefit of free software and how to provide extended support and maintenance for it, just as they indicate in the quoted paragraphs.

Hopefully that wasn't just the view of a few, and based on where openSUSE is now heading under its current management, there is every reason to believe that there are still those who are actively promoting software freedom, and they have successfully introduced that kind of thinking to AMD, and it's still improving.

I see indications that Intel has made some good steps as well, so we now have multiple alternatives when we're looking at free software. When the video hardware industry gets consistently to the point where they are not afraid to make freely available source code available, and they figure out other ways to effectively differentiate themselves, then I'd truly say we have arrived at an open solution that benefits both the hardware manufacturers, system vendors, and consumers. We've made a lot of progress in twenty years, but it still seems to be a tough sell. I am grateful that we at least have some choices, and I applaud both AMD and NOVELL for their roles in these historical changes, and to the others that forged the way before them.

Binder clips rock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37435010)

http://lifehacker.com/assets/resources/2007/05/binder-clip-cablecatcher.jpg

Binder clips are absolutely awesome for the workspace. Get big enough ones to clip onto the desk, route the cable through the uppermost lever. No losing female cable ends again.

I thought the letter said this (2)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435034)

DON'T BUY FROM ATI enemy of your freedom [fsf.org]


That picture is looking sillier and sillier as time goes on.

Re:I thought the letter said this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37435476)

Yeah, I know! It's like how I saw this old newspaper a while back that called the Italians "fascists". What's up with that? It's like people and groups can change over time or something. Weird, you know?

Re:I thought the letter said this (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435768)

Yeah, I know! It's like how I saw this old newspaper a while back that called the Italians "fascists". What's up with that? It's like people and groups can change over time or something. Weird, you know?

And Italians still exist. ATI disappeared five years ago.

Re:I thought the letter said this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37439106)

I'll grant SuSE and their relatively new parent company Novell, some credit. But Richard M. Stallman's protests were well-founded at the time: ATI has gotten better about it, especially for Linux support, and Richard and the free software and open source community's social and technical lobbying were important factors as well. With Linux growing in the market place, especially with Red Hat and Ubuntu growing as much as they have, the pressure was growing to open up the specifications.

I'll remain very curious to see what's inside, not the drivers, but the proprietary _graphics drivers_ of other video manufacturs such as NVidia. As much as the open source drivers have improved in the Linux world, they lack the features of the closed source and badly installation managed drivers of NVidia. For stability in the Linux world, I remain an ATI proponent, even if the resulting Linux graphics are not as sophisitated.

Open their specs (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37435842)

ATI has great quality hardware, but lower quality drivers/software. Nvidia it is the opposite.

I switched from Nvidia to ATI for this reason. My ATI 5750 does run Beryl suprising well. I game only on Windows 7 and I doubt performance would be good in Linux, but that can change. If ATI could get good quality drivers for Linux we would be happy to support them. The specs and code open are cryptic and only cover what appears to be a dispatcher which then transmit the code to the different parts of the GPU according to other posters here.

It is not like we are going to compete agaisnt ATI with trade secrets unless one of us has a 1 billion dollar chip fab plant.

Intel opened their speced and it helped them tremendously. Now since ATI has great integration with their bulldozer and Llamo chips new innovations would help sales. We could even improve the drivers to the point where some of the code can be contributed back to their team who develops drivers for Windows.

I have noticed that World of Warcraft runs slower in DirectX 11 vs DirectX 9 which is odd and points to the drivers needing work as Nvidia users get a 20% performance increase. Opening will help.

Re:Open their specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37440014)

ATI has great quality hardware, but lower quality drivers/software. Nvidia it is the opposite.

That's what I recommend and is well supported by the facts, contrary to the fan boys. If you do much with 3d on Linux, NVIDIA is, by far, your primary option. Otherwise, ATI is likely what you want.

Re:Open their specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37441072)

"It is not like we are going to compete agaisnt ATI with trade secrets unless one of us has a 1 billion dollar chip fab plant."

No, but all it takes is ONE competitor who does have that fab to make use of the open description. There's no way to make it open for "good guys who aren't going to compete" and closed against "guys who want to drive us into the ground".

Anyone who has done low level driver development knows that just exposing the registers without also explaining the theory of operation and the underlying design doesn't get you very far.

Re:Open their specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37443534)

You still run Beryl? Wikipedia tells me Beryl merged back with Compiz in 2007, so are you using a 4 year old window manager?

IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37445018)

They're not trying to keep average Joe out of the GPU manuf. industry, they're trying to keep Chinese companies who already manuf. chips at TSMC from having the code to the drivers. The chinese already have the complete hardware design of the chip, but its worthless without the huge investment in driver design because the two go together like peas and carrots. Good closed source drivers may be one of the few things that prevents rich chinese companies from entirely taking over the GPU market.

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