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Nate Cull @natecull

2017 me, emerging from DeLorean, to 1995 me:

So, this new 'Pentium' chip, turns out the whole 'speculative execution' road is a bit of a mistake. Yes it makes Doom faster but 22 years later all our computer systems are hacked each week by gangs of roaming cyber-criminals wearing vintage 80s micros as cosmetic jewellery on their leather jackets

1995 me (stuck in E1M2): Got it, Doom will get faster

2017 me: Did you even hear a word I said? I said the 80s are going to be fashionable again.

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@natecull 1995 jon: So you're telling me there's going to be *another* DOOM?

@natecull The intel bug is in the speculative evaluation pass? That fits.

All software tends to have bugs, speculative evaluation is a source of CPU complexity, and it fits the characteristic that the fix requires a major slowdown on Intel.

@alcinnz @natecull I read somewhere that the fix "only" slows down system calls. Kernel memory is mapped into app memory in order to speed up system calls on x86 OSes. Unfortunately, hidden bits of that memory, containing sensitive data, are accessible thorough an exploit involving speculative execution. Most system calls are for I/O, so that's where you're going to see the performance hit.

@thor @natecull Well, that would explain why Linux is able to patch it in software.

@natecull "let me put it this way. in 20 years every computer will be connected to the internet 24/7 and someone on the far side of the planet will own your puter and delete all your custom WADs."