Skip to main content


Showing posts from December, 2008

Crazy Parallel Madness

This was originally sent to me from a friend who works on massively parallel medical imaging software:

I thought I'd take a little time out of my day to rail, once again, against the incompetency of those [software developers at Microsoft]. Consider the following innocent looking bit of code:

  #include <omp.h>
  #include <vector>

  int main(int argc, char* argv[])
    #pragma omp parallel
      std::vector<int> A(1024 * 1024);

For the OpenMP-uneducated, the inner code block will be executed
in parallel by one thread per CPU on your system. In my case that is 8 threads (dual quad-core). If you run this bit of code in VTune and look at which black hole your clock-cycles disappear down, you'll find an unusually large number of them being gobbled up by "ntoskrnl.exe". And, if you dive down into this file, you'll find that a good portion of those cycles are attributable to a kernel function named ExfAcquirePushLockExclusive().

What happens i…


I bought a BFG Technologies video card (GeForce 9800 GX2) which had an $80 rebate attached to it. So I sent in all of the required items, including the proof of purchase which mutilated my retail box.

Surprisingly, I received the rebate check numbered 16605458 drawn from Stearns Bank of Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, and deposited it. Much to my further surprise, the check was returned to me with a stop payment order! The void date on the check is 01/26/2009, and I deposited the check in November 2008.

Not only did this video card NOT fit properly in my Intel motherboard, but the manufacturer refused to pay on their retail rebate.

My list of acceptable manufacturers is growing shorter by the minute. BFG is yet another casualty in my quest to find a reliable hardware vendor.

Dell : Off the list (blown capacitor)
EVGA : Off the list (blown capacitor TWICE)
BFG Technologies : Off the list (snubbed)

Deadly Information

Remember back to 2006 when a young girl killed herself [1], [4] after being tricked and harassed by a faux boy she found on the Web using MySpace. The trial against the faux boy, an adult woman (Lori Drew), did not result in prosecution for the death of Megan, much to the dismay of many.

Yet, today we read about another trial where someone is being accused of second degree murder because they may have mentioned something slanderous about another person who was later killed by a hit man [2]. In this case, though, the person on trial is a former FBI agent who was working deep cover to infiltrate organized crime.

In both cases, someone released information to third parties that resulted in the death of another person. Neither defendant in either of these cases actually committed the act of murder, though.

In the case of the FBI agent, though, the murder charge is being taken seriously. Yet, in the MySpace slander case, the murder charge was not taken seriously. How are these two cases dis…