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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Power

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

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The really weird part is how much the watermelon likes it.

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Geeks of Houston! Seize the opportunity to demonstrate your prowess publicly for BAHFest Houston!

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Lythimus
7 hours ago
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And so, a new breed of melonballing fetishist was created.
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Once Per Day

4 Comments and 13 Shares
I'm not totally locked into my routine—twice a year, I take a break to change the batteries in my smoke detectors.
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Lythimus
6 days ago
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The only way to be sure you'll live a statistically long life.
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3 public comments
Covarr
5 days ago
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Notably absent: hygiene.
Moses Lake, WA
alt_text_bot
6 days ago
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I'm not totally locked into my routine—twice a year, I take a break to change the batteries in my smoke detectors.
jasonh09
6 days ago
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Living the life!

Want to get your game on Steam? $100 is all you need

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Enlarge (credit: Valve Software)

Valve announced today that anyone will be able to publish games on Steam through its previously announced Steam Direct program for "a $100 recoupable publishing fee per game."

In announcing the direct publishing fee, Valve says it "wanted it to be as small as possible to ensure it wasn't a barrier to beginning game developers, while also not being so small as to invite easy abuse by people looking to exploit our systems." The company's "initial thinking" hovered around a $500 fee, the post notes, but eventually that number came down as "the community conversation really challenged us to justify why the fee wasn't as low as possible, and to think about what we could do to make a low fee work."

Valve's announcement doesn't go into details on how exactly developers will "recoup" the $100 fee Valve is asking for, outside of the usual 70 percent cut of Steam sales they already receive. The fee may end up being used as a sort of advance payment on Valve's usual 30 percent cut of revenues, but it's unclear how that would work for completely free titles listed on Steam.

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Lythimus
25 days ago
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This is perfect for my game: "Publishing Through Steam Simulator "
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Stanley FatMax 33-725 25' Tape Measure Buy One, Get One FREE - $19.97

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Stanley FatMax 33-725  25' Tape Measure Buy One, Get One FREE - $19.97

Thumb Score: +21
Amazon.com has 2-Ct Stanley 25' FatMax Tape Measure on sale for $19.97. Add 2 to cart to receive Buy One Get One Free Discount (shown during checkout). Shipping is free with Prime or on orders $25+. Thanks sauceman2534

Deal Editor's Notes & Price Research: [LIST][*]Don't have Amazon Prime? Students can get a free 6-Month Amazon Prime trial with free 2-day shipping, unlimited music, unlimited video streaming & more.
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Lythimus
39 days ago
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how else would I be able to measure my measuring tape?
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VME Broken on AMD Ryzen

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That’s VME as in Virtual-8086 Mode Enhancements, introduced in the Intel Pentium Processor, and initially documented in the infamous NDA-only Appendix H.

Almost immediately since the Ryzen CPUs became available in March 2017, there have been variouscomplaints about problems with Windows XP in a VM and with running 16-bit applications in DOS boxes in Windows VMs.

After analyzing the problem, it’s now clear what’s happening. As incredible as it is, Ryzen has buggy VME implementation; specifically, the INT instruction is known to misbehave in V86 mode with VME enabled when the given vector is redirected (i.e. it should use standard real-mode IVT and execute in V86 mode without faulting). The INT instruction simply doesn’t go where it’s supposed to go which leads to more or less immediate crashes or hangs.

How did AMD miss it? Because only 32-bit OSes are affected, and only when running 16-bit real-mode code. Except with Windows XP and Server 2003 it’s much worse and they may not even boot.

To be clear, the problem is not at all specific to virtualization. It has been confirmed on a Ryzen 5 1500X running FreeDOS—which comes with the JemmEx memory manager, which enables VME by default. Until VME was disabled, any attempt to boot with JemmEx failed with invalid opcode exceptions. After disabling VME, FreeDOS worked normally.

That is not surprising because when the problematic INT instruction is executed inside a VM using AMD-V, it is almost always executed without any intervention from the hypervisor, which means the hypervisor has no opportunity to mess anything up.

Now, back to the XP trouble. Windows NT supports VME at least since NT 4.0 and enables it automatically. That is the case for NT 4.0, XP, Windows 7, etc. For the most part, it would only matter when running a 16-bit DOS or Windows application (such as EDIT.COM which comes with Windows).

Windows XP and Server 2003 (that is NT 5.1 and 5.2) is significantly more affected because it was the first Windows OS that shipped with a generic display driver using VBE (VESA BIOS Extensions), and the only Windows family which executed the BIOS code inside NTVDM (with VME on, if available). Starting with Vista, presumably due to increased focus on 64-bit OSes where V86 mode is entirely unavailable, the video BIOS is executed indirectly, likely using pure software emulation.

The upshot is that the problem is visible in Windows versions at least from NT 4.0 and up, but XP and Server 2003 may entirely fail to boot, either hanging or crashing just before bringing up the desktop.

The workaround is simple—if possible, mask out the VME CPUID bit (bit 1 in register EDX of leaf 1), which is something hypervisors typically allow. Windows does not require VME and without VME, XP can be booted normally on Ryzen CPUs, at least in a VM.

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Lythimus
45 days ago
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I just built a Ryzen machine. The first thing I was going to do was boot FreeDOS and run memtest86+ on it, ha.
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Vector barrels ahead with its small-satellite launcher

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Vector Space Systems

Vector Space Systems successfully launched a full-scale model of its Vector-R rocket on Wednesday in Mojave, California. The test flight, which remained under 50,000 feet for regulatory purposes, allows the company to remain on track to begin providing launch services for small satellites in 2018, said Jim Cantrell, the company’s chief executive and cofounder.

The Arizona-based rocket company is one of a handful of competitors racing to the launch pad to provide lower-cost access to space for small satellites. These satellites are generally under 500kg in mass and often much smaller (the industry trend is toward smaller, lighter, more capable satellites). The Vector-R rocket will eventually be capable of launching a payload of up to 45kg to an orbit of 800km above the Earth. Other companies trying to reach this market include US-based Virgin Orbit and New Zealand-based Rocket Lab. Neither company has begun commercial launches.

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Lythimus
55 days ago
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Is the rocket or the truck the small-satellite launcher?
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