What is Thorn? and why you should donate!

Thorn Homepage

Donation Page

What is thorn?

Thorn is an organization which is dedicated to the urgent and noble task of creating tools, software advancements, and collective effort in order to take down illicit child pornography and child sex trafficking rings.

We here at the greatest never wholeheartedly support this cause. We urge anyone with a heart and the money to spare to fund this organization, and likewise to make as much noise as possible about this organization and their heroic efforts!

While we wont be able to put an end to child sex trafficking overnight, even small amounts of progress has the potential to save the lives of children, spare them from a life of abuse and exploitation, and hold the incomprehensibly evil men who undertake such distributions accountable.

Even if you aren’t in a position to donate, we still urge you to check out their website to learn more about the organization and their project, and to share information about their mission in passing and on social media.

Thorn, we love you and we wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!

Advertisements

Poole’s land: The Rain Forest Utopia

 

Not feeling particularly ambitious, inspired or energetic I settled on browsing YouTube videos for inspiration. Coulden’t hurt right? Well this turned out to be a much more fruitful Idea than I was expecting when I stumbled on what might be one of the closest thing to a genuine off the grid Anarchist Utopia that our species has managed to sustain.

I was feeling nothing short of exhilarated when I clicked on this short documentary styled tour of The Anarchist commune by the name of Poole’s land. Initially the word commune was setting off some red flags in my head, but this was heavily counter balanced by the green flags set off by the word Anarchist.

Nested within the rural Rain forests of the Canadian province known as British Columbia Poole’s land was founded by a man named Michael Poole in 1988 and 3 decades later they are still going strong!

On their website they provide this  short description of their itinerary and mission statement:

“At a time when sustainable living, renewable energy, and trying to reduce the harm that we cause to the planet are among the foremost of the international community’s concerns, Poolesland’s continued mission is to help to facilitate these changes, while looking for new and creative solutions in every day living situations in the often challenging surroundings of a beautiful moderate rain forest climate. At the heart of Poole’s mission and vision are the people that inhabit the land and contribute to its continued growth. Over the course of the 3 decades of it’s existence, many have visited and stayed on Poole’s Land to share in the continuing goal of developing sustainable communities that share in the love for mother earth and each other.” (Poole’s Land 2018)

First I want to note that I look toward their disposition toward the environment with a large degree of admiration. As both an environmentalist and an anarchist (Anarchist in a philosophical sense)these guys had really won me over before I even got the chance to visit their website. The more I learned I even began considering moving to join the commune myself!

What I found to be most noteworthy is simply how long they have sustained this An anarchist settlement lasting 30 years is almost unheard of! Certainly doing better off than the folks back in the late 30s of Catalonia. These people are said to be incredibly peaceful despite hardly having any real form of police. The grounds are also not only rent free but open invite. So If you’ve ever wanted to escape the trenches of urban life and retreat to something a little more primal and down to earth, this might be the escape for you!

The video began with one of the interviewers and a few of the native inhabitants busy at work harvesting Psilocybin (magic) mushrooms. These are consumed quite frequently along with other similar natural and semi-natural psychedelic compounds grown and produced on this 17 acre peaceful resistance center. Other substances mentioned to be circulated as payment for labor include cannabis, peyote, Ayahuasca, and LSD, but paper money is rarely ever used, and their are no taxes paid aside from that of the property owner.

It’s like a flashback of the 60s counterculture movement that took place in America. Just to be clear I do not condone the use of illegal drugs. this political experiment is profoundly cool for a lot of reasons. The fact that they’re functioning without any real government or leadership. That not only are they functioning but everyone works cooperatively without very much if any crime or significant conflict at all, and these people don’t even have a police force.

Though I will admit the idea of working for free doobies doesn’t sound like such a bad deal, however my state has yet to legalize so I can only dream of such a paycheck.

As I’ve mentioned in past articles I am in huge support of the legal reconsideration and further medical testing of serotonin agonizing substances, and I feel like the success and relative happiness of the people living in this commune is a standing example for their benignity and potential therapeutic value.

Well that’s all I have to say for now. I may return to this topic in a future article as I learn more, and may even contact the organization in an attempt to learn more about them or possibly attempt to request some sort of an online interview. Visiting seems like it would be an incredible adventure, but my budget and lack of vehicle don’t exactly compliment that idea. On the same note I may also search for more micro-societies following similar ideologies. If this is something that interests you than I’ve included the link to their official website below as well as the video!

As usual thank you all for reading, don’t forget to like, share, subscribe, and share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

-Alexander from TheGreatestNever.Win

Link to the video above:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bs24nK5er8

Official website:

http://www.poolesland.com/

 

AMD Radeon RX 590: Too Little, Too Late?

RX 480 reference card, courtesy AMD.

The rumor mill has yet to cease churning with word of AMD’s upcoming RX 590 graphics card, based on GlobalFoundries’ 12LP process. The RX 590 is said to utilize a respin of the aging Polaris chip, known as Polaris 30, shrunk down to the 12nm node from 14nm. This may give AMD another ~200MHz of headroom to work with, but is it enough to make a dent in NVIDIA’s share of the market?

For background, AMD initially launched the Polaris architecture with the RX 480, using the 14nm Polaris 10 GPU in 2016. An optimization, known as Polaris 20 and released as the RX 580, was released in 2017, providing slightly higher clock speed headroom on the 14nm process at the expense of power consumption. Polaris 30 marks the third refresh of the Polaris architecture for AMD, two years later, while NVIDIA has already moved on from Pascal to Turing. However, Turing is currently limited to the ultra-high end (>$500) market. As a result, the RX 590 will be going up against the same GTX 1060 that the RX 480 battled two years ago, and that the RX 580 is still in a dead heat against. The specifications of these three cards are not substantially different:

Graphics Card Radeon RX 480 Radeon RX 580 Radeon RX 590 (TBC)
GPU 14nm Polaris 10 XT 14nm Polaris 20 XT 12nm Polaris 30 XT
Core Config 2304 SP, 144 TMU, 32 ROP 2304 SP, 144 TMU, 32 ROP 2304 SP, 144 TMU, 32 ROP
Core Clock 1266MHz 1340MHz 1545MHz
Memory 8GB 256-bit GDDR5-8000MHz 8GB 256-bit GDDR5-8000MHz 8GB 256-bit GDDR5-8000MHz
Memory Bandwidth 256GB/s 256GB/s 256GB/s
Thermal Design Power 150W 185W 185W?
Launch Date 06/2016 04/2017 11/2018
Price $239 $229 ???

The rumored 15% clock bump, given linear scaling, would put the RX 590 decidedly ahead of the RX 480/580 and GTX 1060, but still closer to 1060 levels of performance than 1070 (much less 2070). But can we expect linear scaling?

The main issue I see with Polaris 30 is that, according to rumors, it’ll be using the same memory controller and the same 8Gbps GDDR5 as the previous Polaris cards. The problem is that Polaris is moreso limited by memory bandwidth than it is by raw shading, texturing, or rasterization performance. To a certain point, depending on game/workload, overclocking the memory is more beneficial than overclocking the core. AMD’s equally-performing card from the previous generation, the R9 390X (Hawaii), utilized a 512-bit bus with 6Gbps GDDR5, delivering 50% greater bandwidth than Polaris. More efficient compression algorithms (36% more, to be precise, not 50%) and other optimizations led to this bandwidth deficiency being negligible at the original 1266MHz stock clock, but how far can AMD push the envelope before it becomes pointless?

And moreover, it being two and a half years since Polaris launched, how did AMD lack the foresight to anticipate this refresh and the need for faster memory? 8Gbps may be the limit for stock GDDR5, but NVIDIA (or their board partners) utilized factory-overclocked 9Gbps GDDR5 for certain 1060 models. Given that AMD will presumably be launching a cut-down variant of this GPU, it would make sense for them to use binned chips to deliver higher bandwidth on the 590, then use the low bins for the cut-down card. However, according to current rumors, this will not be the case.

Another option AMD could have gone with would be to redesign, if nothing else (they didn’t redesign anything at all apparently), the memory controller. A 384-bit memory controller could provide for 384GB/s of bandwidth at 8Gbps, the same offered by a stock R9 390X. This seems a bit excessive for Polaris, so they could instead use 7Gbps GDDR5 and yield 336GB/s, which is more than enough, and offset the added cost and power consumption of the larger memory controller. Normally, this would also mean having to increase the rasterizer (ROP) count to 48, though if this were cost prohibitive AMD could have stuck with 32 on 384-bit as they did with Tahiti. A 384-bit, 48 ROP Polaris at 1600MHz though? Would that not be a 1070 competitor?

Practically coinciding with the launch of Polaris, NVIDIA launched Pascal with GDDR5X, which provided a bump to a ~10-11Gbps out-of-the-box data rate. Turing, launched this summer, uses GDDR6 running at 14Gbps. Across a 256-bit bus, 10Gbps delivers 320GB/s, and 14Gbps delivers 448GB/s — the same as the GTX 1080 and RTX 2080, respectively. If AMD could have simply redesigned the memory controller with the node shrink, instead of absolutely nothing at all, even 10Gbps GDDR5X would alleviate the bandwidth bottleneck, delivering a 25% increase in bandwidth versus 15% for the core clock. The main problem here is that memory is expensive, and neither of the newer memory technologies are being produced in particularly large quantities.

This is not to say that the RX 590 will be a particularly bad card for the price when it launches. It’s expected to perform perhaps 10% better than the GTX 1060 at approximately the same retail price. But the 1060 is a 2 year old card, consumes far less electricity, is about to be refreshed with GDDR5X memory itself, and is likely to be replaced by a 2060 in a few months. AMD shouldn’t be refreshing Polaris a second time to edge past it, they should have an all-new chip that decidedly beats it after all this time.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is that AMD is designing the RX 590 as cheaply as they possibly can. Their R&D budget is evidently minimal. From what we’ve seen so far, this card will not deliver a single change except moving to the 12nm node and taking the ~10-15% extra frequency that comes along with it. If it’s similar to the 12nm shrink they did for Zen, they won’t even increase the density of the design, they’ll just increase the space between die elements to improve heat dissipation and frequency potential. After two years, this is the best they can do, finally beating the 1060 when NVIDIA is already starting to roll out 2000-series graphics cards. Now that their GPU division has gotten an overhaul with the departure of Raja Koduri, it’s about time their GPU architecture gets one too — they need it, fast.