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Does A Pentium 4 Need A Weapons License?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the it-can't-even-carry-a-gun dept.

United States 766

WindBourne writes "It appears to be that the U.S. house of Reps. want to classify Pentium 4 and above CPUs as weapons. This would mean that all these will require export licenses. Apparently, they have not heard about that the far east has developed large CPUs as well that are used in beowulf clusters." According to the article, this clause is unlikely to appear in the final version -- but stranger things have happened.

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582163)

fp for the gnaa.

Re:fp (5, Insightful)

CrudPuppy (33870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582210)

I guess what I find amusing about this is that very few of the CPUs nowadays are manufactured in the USA. Taiwan, Germany, etc.

So we bring them here when complete and then decide they can't leave the country?? heh.

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582300)

you find that amusing about my fp? excellent.

I tought... (4, Interesting)

hummassa (157160) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582169)

They were manufactured in Taiwan or someplace... ?! can anyone clarify this to me?

Re:I tought... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582218)

well.. another country to be liberated soon

Re:I tought... (3, Funny)

cynic10508 (785816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582284)

They were manufactured in Taiwan or someplace... ?!

How do you say "Beowulf" in Mandarin?

Re:I tought... (2, Informative)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582324)

Beowulf

(www.linux.org.tw/CLDP/OLD/Beowulf-HOWTO-5.html)

Re:I tought... (4, Informative)

VAXman (96870) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582307)

Most are manufactured in US; the only foreign countries where they are made are Ireland and Israel. They are packaged in various places around the world (Costa Rica, Malaysia, Philipines, etc.).

Whats that?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582171)

Imagine if they had a beowulf clus... oh wait.

nevermind :(

FP (-1, Offtopic)

mt2mb4me (550507) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582174)

i have gotten it, but probably not now

Imagine a beowulf cluster of.. (-1, Redundant)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582175)

oh wait...

Donno about Pentium 4 but Athlon is a weapon (5, Funny)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582177)

Athlon is definitively a dangerous weapon - it can cause 3rd degree skin burns

Re:Donno about Pentium 4 but Athlon is a weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582394)

Judging from the fact that P4 heatsink/fans are about the same size as those for Athlon, I'd guess it runs just about as hot.

Air travel (5, Funny)

eggoeater (704775) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582182)

So can I still fly with my "weapon"?

Re:Air travel (3, Insightful)

Solar Limb (673519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582367)

You joke, but I can see the legislation now. The government idiots are idiot enough to make the classification and then have its agencies live and die by such a decree, now matter how stupid it is in the pragmatic world.

Re:Air travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582398)

Dear idiot, and the other idiot -- this has to do with export restrictions, not with carrying a weapon.

Re:Air travel (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582409)

Anyone have a link to the bill?

I want to know what they're using to qualify the performance of any given CPU...even people in the industry can't agree on that.

Considering the amount of heat created (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582186)

Yes... I'd rather bathe in napalm than be in an unventilated room with of bunch of them

Re:Considering the amount of heat created (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582283)

Yes... I'd rather bathe in napalm than be in an unventilated room with of bunch of them

I'd rather bathe in Mr. Bubble than either one, but that's just me.

I'm sure they have P4's in Iraq (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582192)

..so perhaps we were justified going in there after all.

uh... (0, Troll)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582193)

(Cue Beavis and Butthead Laughter)

Uhh Huhh...I don't know about the Pentium chip but I've got an unlicensed weapon in my pants. Uhh Huhh...

Re:uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582315)

Yeah, that was really fucking stupid.

How would this help? (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582197)

Foreigners could simply obtain SPARC or MIPS specs and fab a multi-GHz version of those. Since these chips are better designed for multi-processing, foreign powers could scale them just as high as a PIV cluster, and run their nuclear simulations. Time to worry more about refined Uranium-235 and Plutonium-239.

Thanks for the info. now go to jail. (5, Funny)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582230)

Now we're going to have to arrest you for disseminating this information.

Sincerely,

The Feds

Re:How would this help? (2, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582336)

Yeah, but since they can't run Windows® it would be not ready for the desktop.

If it sucks, say it sucks

Re:How would this help? (1)

Dooferlad (101535) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582408)

Aren't ARM and Via both based outside the US? You could build a quiet cluster :-)

It's about time they catch up (4, Funny)

jokell82 (536447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582198)

Back when the fastest x86 chip was a Pentium 2, the G3 received this same classification. Apple even ran ads that proclaimed their "weapons grade" status. Looks like Intel is finally catching up with an Apple chip that's two revisions old. :o)

Re:It's about time they catch up (5, Informative)

goMac2500 (741295) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582253)

It was actually the G4 because it was the first processor that could pull a gigaflop.

Re:It's about time they catch up (1)

wulfhound (614369) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582334)

... besides the K6-2, the Alpha, and all manner of vector processing chips.

Typical technical ignorance (4, Insightful)

setzman (541053) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582203)

This ignorance is often displayed by many politicians, regardless of political orientation. Anything we can do to change it? I really don't think so. Politicians just want to do what they can to get (re)elected.

Re:Typical technical ignorance (1)

megarich (773968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582262)

It is sad. The one who really needs a license is the president of the u.s. Charge him $1000 for every troop he wants to send over for his useless wars on poliltcal revenge and erl....

Re:Typical technical ignorance (1)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582385)

Maybe the solution would be to make it so no senator, rep or president can get re-elected. So they can only serve one term. Then they might concentrate a bit more on actual work.

Re:Typical technical ignorance (4, Insightful)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582410)

This ignorance is often displayed by many politicians, regardless of political orientation.

Ignorance is only part of the problem. You're assuming that most of these politicians even care whether the measures they propose are practical, effective, fair, or even needed. They don't. What they do care about is getting some publicity, and being seen as strong and proactive by constituents that are even more ignorant than themselves.

new? (4, Interesting)

hennar (673480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582204)

xboxes are already illegal to export(from the US) to certain countries, and Dell also has an export statement when you order

Re:new? (1)

Alexis de Torquemada (785848) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582397)

That's probably because of encryption software that MS put in there (copy-protection and stuff).

new way of waging wars? (4, Funny)

kalpol (714519) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582206)

So are wars gonna be decided with Unreal Tournament now?

Re:new way of waging wars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582392)


Use video games to wage wars? Criminy! Korea will rule the universe! Zerg!

uh oh (5, Funny)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582207)

being in a large room full of developers sitting unhappily at cubicles is bad enough, but no we are all armed with weapons, ahhhh!!!

SIGH! Here we go again. (1)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582209)

Perhaps there should be a parallel technical/scientific congress to deal with issues like this, but of course, the constitution doesn't allow that. It certainly seems that the current body is incapable of handling them even with the assistance of "technical advisors".

"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain

Re:SIGH! Here we go again. (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582335)

I would hardly call MS lobbiest "technical advisors".

Re:SIGH! Here we go again. (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582403)

Who said anything about MS lobbyists?

Personally, I think (3, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582211)

my keyboard, in it's current condition, should be classified as a WMD.

Re:Personally, I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582302)

Would that keyboard be a biological WMD then?

Playstation 2 anyone? (2, Interesting)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582220)

I remember when the Playstation 2 was qualified as such (or so I remember) and it couldn't be exported to certain countries because it could be used in weapons or some BS like that.

beowulf cluster (5, Funny)

stang7423 (601640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582221)

Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of congressman...

It would be the only cluster in the world to slow down as you add nodes.

Here's the problem, we don't even MAKE these chips (1)

Smeagel (682550) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582222)

Why would they bother to get these chips from us here at the US for expensive US prices when I'm sure they could get them for dirt cheap stolen from the factories in where they're made.

Get it right... (4, Informative)

HardCase (14757) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582225)

It wasn't "the House of Representatives", it was Representative Duncan Hunter, a San Diego Republican who makes Rush Limbaugh look moderate...and that's coming from a registered Republican!

The amendment will never leave the House.

-h-

Re:Get it right... (4, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582306)

The amendment will never leave the House

Famous last words

Re:Get it right... (0, Flamebait)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582349)

Rush agrees with most everything Bush does, that makes Rush a moderate. ;->

Re:Get it right... (1)

CowsAnonymous (697884) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582374)

From the article:

From the article: "A congressional staff member familiar with the House and Senate bills said it's likely Section 1404 will be changed or dropped. "

From HardCase
> The amendment will never leave the House.

Agreed, next article...

Weapons of Mass Destruction (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582228)

So, now we can finally identify the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!

I was beginning to get worried that my beloved president was wrong.

Maybe they are weapons? (1)

Feren (97175) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582229)

With a big enough die size (CPUs don't seem to be getting smaller, do they?) I'm sure they could inflict some serious blunt trauma if you were to hit somebody in the head with one... but then, so can a lamp -- and we haven't banned the export of those just yet.

Is a weapons license necisarry? (4, Funny)

theJerk242 (778433) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582234)

Does A Pentium 4 Need A Weapons License?

Sure, if you throw one hard enough.

Re:Is a weapons license necisarry? (3, Funny)

GoRK (10018) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582359)

I was thinking more along the lines of "Incendeary Device"...

and why not??!!! (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582237)

after all anit-virus applications are consider anti-weapon technology

in the states its illegal to build AVP software with better than 128 bit detection schemes or w/e i can remember the right terminology right now

thats why f-protect and serpinski work so much better

Re:and why not??!!! (1)

adamh (197663) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582402)

You're thinking of encryption programs.

Hence pgp originally being "exported" out of america as a paper code listing - all perfectly legal. Then it was OCR'd and recompiled over here in Europe somewhere. (I think)

Fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582238)

If the US doesn't want to sell me a CPU I'll buy one from elsewhere.

New game consoles (1)

Marshall Banana, Esq (791211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582241)

So if this went through, it would make future game consoles "weapons" as well?

When you sit down and think... (1, Insightful)

arieswind (789699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582244)

Computers are now powerful enough to do stuff that formerly required such computing power that only the government had access to. Never mind the fact that theoretically the chips inside of computers nowadays can be used to guide missiles, and other stuff of the like.

Re:When you sit down and think... (2, Insightful)

nothingtodo (641861) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582318)

well, just remember that the Saturn V rocket had a guidance computer that was even simpler than my Apple ][

Re:When you sit down and think... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582417)

It's worth pointing out that most of the commercial CPUs wouldn't survive most military uses without some serious ruggedization. It's certainly tempting to think that a P-IV has the computing power to guide a cruise missile, but the reality is that it would snap in half or start producing data errors.

The bright side to this is that some of our enemies don't know this. I can see them putting these chips into their missiles, then acting all surprised when they fail to make it to their target. A perfect way for the US to win wars. :-)

Concealed weapon... (4, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582249)

Does this mean I need a CCW permit to stick a P4 in my pocket?

This is normal practice with new technology.. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582251)

This is nothing new, remember when Zimmerman got in trouble for distributing PGP, due to the status of 'hard encryption' as 'munitions'. Or the problems with exporting playstation 2's to Iraq years ago...

Even my old original box of 'windows operating environment' has an export restriction sticker..

Is this sponsored by AMD? (4, Funny)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582252)

AMD would presumably love this - their Opterons are produced in Dresden and I can't see the Germans joining in on this.

Re:Is this sponsored by AMD? (1)

meitsjustme (415702) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582373)

Hmmmmmmmmmm AMD, an Arsenal of WMD?

I guess (0, Redundant)

DarkLox (621089) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582255)

I guess an intel chip can be considered a weapon of some sort....

.. If I chuck it at someones head hard enough.

Already happened to Apple (2, Informative)

jeriqo (530691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582256)

Well, this already happened to the Powermac G4 back in 1999, since it was considered as a "super computer".

More infos here [infoworld.com] .

How? (4, Interesting)

Quixote (154172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582257)

Given the fact that many P4s are made in Malaysia [octools.com] (among other countries), how exactly is the US going to enforce this?

Re:How? (1)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582341)

Was thinking the same thing... That's actually pretty funny. I don't think I have a single item in my computer made in the US.

Next, US will require export license on coco-nuts. Rumors have it that several people die of coco-nut attacks each year.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582377)

Malaysia is obviously producing WMD then, and need to be taken over by force...

moores law and all that (4, Insightful)

machine of god (569301) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582264)

Even if it did make sense, what's the point?

Forget the Pentium 4! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582266)

The Xeon is where it's at!

P4 export license? But why? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582269)

I fail to see how the p4 is the weapon. Guns don't kill people, personal computers do??? WTF?
Of course, you can write software on it that calculates some damned thing that has to do with blowing stuff up, but you can just as easily get a thousand used p3's and do it anyways. I don't think a P4 provides some special abilities... does it?
Maybe if you throw the chip at someone, because it's so big, it might hurt them.

A weapon? Heh! (5, Funny)

Anonym1ty (534715) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582292)

The use of a Pentium 4 or better as a weapon can easily be avoided by running any Windows variant on it.

I doubt this will pass (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582298)

Congress passes a lot of stupid legislation, but rarely any of it is outright harmful to industry, unless it has a lot of popular support. I'm sure someone will have a lobbyist whisper in a few congresspeople's ears that this is a bad idea, bad for industry, not going to work, etc.

Brilliant! (4, Funny)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582301)

Everybody knows that all computers, and parts thereof are made here in the good old US of A, so if we don't export them, the moozlim ayrab terrorists can't get them. Our congressmen and senators are geniuses!
/sarcasm

Clauses (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582305)

Apparently, they have not heard about that the far east...

Let's hope this clause doesn't show up in the final version!

JFC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582308)

At one time 286s were on this list...

This means Intel can be charged for aiding and abetting terrorists! ;)

Resist like Moses!!!! (1)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582312)

I'll give up my Athon 64 bit chip when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers!!!

finally (3, Funny)

scaaven (783465) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582313)

while they're at it, they need to punish the overclockers for making their weapons run faster

Plant location (2, Interesting)

Fruny (194844) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582319)

Obvious question: what fraction of Intel's chip manufactures is actually located in the USA?

Okay dude (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582326)

This is a stick-up. Give me all your money.

No seriously, I'm packing a P4 3,4ghz. You do NOT want to fuck with me.

Pentium 4 and above? (2, Funny)

56ksucks (516942) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582329)

This means every AMD chip on earth after the K6 is a weapon.

Pentium III (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582330)

Acutally anthing above a a Pentium III at 650MHz. Which would make xBoxes illegal to export.

I knew it! (5, Funny)

sirgoran (221190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582342)

Right before the election Dubya will announce that he's found the missing Weapons of Mass Destruction.

They're sitting in boxes at the Bagdad CompUSA store marked "Intel inside"!

Nice work!

-Goran

GNAA Claims Responsibility for Killing 3000 (-1, Flamebait)

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Not Guilty (1)

TaintedPastry (790856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582348)

...does this mean they can prosecute a hacker for assault? Or even armed robbery?

...and if so, would you get 20 to life in California if you were caught three times?

licensing? (1)

L-Wave (515413) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582352)

At what point will they want us to register our CPU ID in a database, and wait 7-10 buisness days before we an actually use it. Oh yea, and you must be of the proper age to purchase a pentium 4 or higher...

Good thing I've got a CCW permit. (2, Funny)

raider_red (156642) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582353)

I'd hate to have to leave my laptop at home when I go to the coffee shop. Of course the part about concealing it could be difficult.

Yet Another Case... (1)

Dozix007 (690662) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582361)

This is yet another case of Political Representatives creating legeslation on topics they know little to nothing about. They figure if they can create one big blanket soloution it will fix the problem, but instead it simply stifles industry.

Stranger Things?! (1)

Zephiris (788562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582364)

What are these stranger things? Are they a threat to national security? *looks all paranoid* Does George W. Bush know about these? ...does he even play with these to piss off Dick Cheney? Did he choke on one of these in early 2002?
Oh my god, why didn't you tell us what these stranger things are? We have a right to know!
Great, now I have to leave a tip to the FBI about you.

Zero chance of this happening (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582372)

Sure, the entire future of the semiconductor industry is going to subject itself to export regulation. I give this bill about ten minutes on the floor.

simple solution (2, Funny)

at_kernel_99 (659988) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582378)

All they have to do is require that the faster chips ship with Longhorn. There won't be enough cycles left for advanced weapons design!

There's only one known OS (4, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582379)

Proven to disable a US Destroyer.

Windows NT.

I suggest that we make it export tariff free and make sure it gets distributed far and wide.

Because that makes about as much logical sense as this legislation.

Great... (0)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582383)

So now we have to add on a 7-day waiting period and a background check. Tie that to the UPS/Fedex delivery schedules of hell and I'll never get my computer.

Oblig. Simpsons Quote:
"Argh.. 7 Days?... But I'm mad now!"

good to see a police state at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582386)


see subject

M$ Terrorist Sim.- min specs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9582393)

This is SOOOOO retarded, I mean the 911 attackers were supposedly using M$ flightsim to train on. This can run on really slow PCs, so why not ban em all.

Surely Osama and chums are more likely to to this than simulate an atomic bomb, ROFL :)

In other news...
Open source is banned when the Linux kernel is converted into a homebrew nuclear test simulator.... It will happen.

Down to a P3 650 (1)

epexegesis (733596) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582418)

Article says it'll actually be for anything above a 650MHz P3. To quote:
The current version of the defense authorization act would lower that limit to systems deemed "militarily critical" by the Department of Defense. That level is currently set to the equivalent of a computer using a Pentium 3 processor running at 650MHz, state of the art in 1999 but considered feeble today.
At least my 500MHz K7 will slip beneath the net, but it does mean I won't be able to run nuke@home.

I'm depressed about that feeble comment though.

Export Licensing is a Joke ! (2, Interesting)

cbelt3 (741637) | more than 10 years ago | (#9582424)

So what ? Export licensing has been, and will always be, a hell of a joke. If other nations want our tech they can either buy it through third parties, steal it outright, or buy it through the very lossy and buggy 'export license' process. When I worked in defense, it was amazing how easily people could get licenses for all kinds of stuff. Example: ICBM development technology to Pakistan and India in the 1980's. (Sure, they bought their main missle tech from China and the USSR, but they bought a lot of tech from the US of A too.) It was licensed for 'civilian space exploration' and 'satellite launch'. Yeah, right. It's just another potential trade barrier to US goods. Your Tax Dollars at Work !
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