olafurp ,

I thought we already had a way to deal with bit flips. CPU bit flips should be common by now because of the size of processors these days.

Thoth19 ,

Yup. There is technology to deal with this. But does every piece of hw have that tech? No. Does every piece of sw run eccs for this purpose? No.

flathead ,

Imagine this happening today...


Artemis_Mystique OP ,

The real Y2K

DarkGamer ,
@DarkGamer@kbin.social avatar
GrammatonCleric ,
@GrammatonCleric@lemmy.world avatar

Ok, I'll bite: what's a "cosmic ray bit-flip"?

ozymandias117 ,

Nearly every computer you use, including the ones people are starting to use for self-driving, can have their memory accidentally modified from cosmic rays

We try really hard to protect spaceships from them, since they’re subject to more

However, due to the law of large numbers, sometimes your computer will get random bit flips - where it should be a 0, but it’s instead a 1, or vice versa

TomFrost ,

So basically, we have low level neutron radiation coming at us at all times from space. Mostly from our own sun, some other external sources too. It takes a whole lot of concrete or lead or water to stop that completely, so anything that makes it through our atmosphere is harmlessly passing through all of us.

But since things like computer RAM and other electronic storage have gotten so much smaller, this radiation is now capable of energizing or discharging individual bits — 1s or 0s — in that storage. Imagine you’re in the hospital for a back operation and the robot arm is approaching a 1 bit that tells it to stop… but that 1 flips to a 0 because the sun sneezed and now your spine is in two fun-sized pieces.

This is all mostly moot today, though. ECC-enabled RAM (memory with protections against bit flips) is the norm and this is a pretty well-understood problem.

GrammatonCleric ,
@GrammatonCleric@lemmy.world avatar

Ok, there just has to be a movie that capitalizes on this idea.

gsfraley ,

In case you're missing it, this is what the Stephen King book and movie "Maximum Overdrive" is about, but technologically behind by 50 years. Radio signals and power surges just happen to influence machines all over the world into vengefully killing people.

GrammatonCleric ,
@GrammatonCleric@lemmy.world avatar

Please explain the soda machine gag to me, I just can't wrap my head around it 😂

tkk13909 ,
@tkk13909@sopuli.xyz avatar

One definitely could be made. That physics caused a miscount in a local election iirc. That's probably a good movie premise.

Gigan ,
@Gigan@lemmy.world avatar

It wasn't from a bit-flip, but they did kind of make that movie already.

Kolanaki ,
@Kolanaki@yiffit.net avatar

Maximum Overdrive?

Carighan ,
@Carighan@lemmy.world avatar

Should mention that the robot does not depend on a 1 to stop, more on like 600 in any "modern" programming language. 😅

harmsy ,

Cosmic ray zaps your silicon just right to flip a bit. If you've heard of the Tick Tock Clock upwarp in Mario 64, most people suspect that's what happened.

favrion ,
@favrion@lemmy.world avatar


towerful ,

More computers dealing with more parts of your life increases the chance that a bit flip has a negative effect

favrion ,
@favrion@lemmy.world avatar

What is a bit flip?

Forester ,

Computers store everything as electric current. If the current is on it's a one. If the current is off it's a zero. High energy particles from outer space regularly blast through our upper atmosphere into the Earth passing through most solid matter. These high energy particles can induce the electric currents when they impact computer components. These erant current can cause a one to become a zero or a zero to become a one. This can have all kinds of interesting effects depending on which zero and one got changed when and where. Normally this causes a crash of the program or operating system.

Telodzrum ,

Everything important is using ECC and low-level parity bit protection.

ares35 ,
@ares35@kbin.social avatar

in a perfect world, perhaps. but we don't live in one.

db2 ,

Are PDP-11 computers still in use?

The PDP-11 is definitely still in use today, thanks to its unique and strong build. It is still used to power a GE nuclear power-plant robotic application — and will do so until 2050.

Technically, due to its potency, it is still used by the US Navy in its ship radar systems and by Airbus SAS. There are also rumors that it is part of the set up in the British Atomic Weapons Establishment.


cooopsspace ,

Thanks Intel for making this statement false

Thoth19 ,

These have a high probability of working but it isn't perfect. And not all of them tell you which way the bit was flipped.

AndOfTheSevenSeas ,
@AndOfTheSevenSeas@lemmy.world avatar

The probability of [a thing happening] increasing daily if it hasn’t happened yet.

How profound.

Artemis_Mystique OP ,

statistics are statistics
I should have clarified this in the post; i had electric cars and scooters(record breaking sales where i live) in mind when i originally had the thought

bamboo ,

Regarding electric scooters, I'm not really sure what bits there are to be flipped, which could cause issues. My understanding is that when you hit the brakes for example, that electrical signal is sent directly to the brakes, and there's not a digital buffer of inputs which are stored to memory to be read, which is where a bit flip could happen. I assume braking and acceleration are analog voltages on the wire, so a brief cosmic ray would be miniscule and probably not noticeable.

towerful ,

Perhaps there is regenerative braking. Harder braking requires activation of disc brakes. If the battery is too full to safely dump energy into, disk brakes would be needed. All of which requires some amount of sensors and logic procrssing.

But, all that is moot. Bit flips are known about, any decent system with life critical aspects will be designed with this in mind.
Its the cheap shit ya gotta worry about

Aatube ,
@Aatube@kbin.social avatar

Like bamboo said; electric scooters aren't digital

Vladkar ,

If you're a fallacious gambler, maybe.

Amir ,
@Amir@lemmy.ml avatar

Since the set of all remaining time only shrinks, the possibility of anything ever happening at least once in all time should also shrink unless it already happened.

And things happening at a rate per second doesn't mean it increases either if it hasn't happened yet. The probability of me being eaten by a dinosaur today is definitely not higher compared to being eaten by a dinosaur yesterday.

AndOfTheSevenSeas ,
@AndOfTheSevenSeas@lemmy.world avatar

Its truly inspiring how you wrote a paragraph to encompass a single sentence. I can’t thank you enough you enough for your useless drivel.

Aurenkin ,

The probability of rolling a six is 1/6 no matter what numbers were rolled previously. Unless I'm misunderstanding your point

AndOfTheSevenSeas ,
@AndOfTheSevenSeas@lemmy.world avatar

If we were discussing dice, yes.

Aurenkin ,

We are discussing independent probabilistic events, at least that was my understanding. Dice are just a nice intuitive example.

AndOfTheSevenSeas ,
@AndOfTheSevenSeas@lemmy.world avatar

There is timer on this probability and as one approaches zero time remaining the greater the probability of the event.

Aurenkin ,

I'm not understanding something. Why is there a timer on the event and why does a timer increase the probability as time runs out? Wouldn't it be the opposite because there are less chances for it to happen as time runs out?

Kbobabob ,

Unless you start adding extra mass to one side, ie adding more things to your life that this could happen to.

A_A ,
@A_A@lemmy.world avatar

On first thought : yes.
But on second thought : no (i.e. : not really, because of system's redundancies)

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