Do yo know that he has the right skill set or the time to maintain the code for years to come? Do you know that the effort would be economically viable for him like it could be for AMD or perhaps Google?
If not then I would prefer if he didn't submit a patch, because he would be wasting everyone's time.
Sometimes the best contribution you can make to an open source project is to express your interest in particular features so that those who really can submit a patch know that there is demand for it.
This besides the fact that Bitcoin on GPUs is fairly dead, it's almost entirely done on ASICs now.
If you read the license agreement it states that the term applies to 'blockchain processing', not to bitcoin specifically.
There are a number of "alt-coins" (blockchain-based cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin) designed to be "ASIC-resistant" e.g. by using the Lyra2REv2 algorithm.*
This is notably the case of Monero and Monacoin, two popular cryptos in Japan. Generally, the Japanese and Koreans are very enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies in general.
Cryptocurrency GPU-mining on Tesla cards would be outright unprofitable.
These facts may contribute to Nvidia's decision not to displease Japanese GPU miners specifically.
* This is to avoid big ASIC farms as is the case of bitcoin (apparently, more than 70% of bitcoin's hash rate comes from China, most notably from a specific valley where electricity is dirt cheap). One purpose of ASIC-resistance is to maintain a high-enough degree of decentralization in mining, which increases security for the network/blockchain.
Having to agree to draconian terms to use something you own is ridiculous. If EULA's become enforceable there's nothing preventing a toaster maker from banning you from toasting bagels in your machine and countless other absurd usurious machinations. EULA 'shrinkwrap' license agreements are a scourge on the free market and should be banned unilaterally
A contract used in the old times 1800s to be one to two pages of simple English that both parties negotiated the agreed terms on. Now EULas almost requires a degree in law to understand yet you abide to the terms under civil liability. Further more Eula’s are so long most people blind sign without reading and understanding the terms.
There is also questions whether terms in Eula’s are legal such as limiting free speech about the product. In many countries free speech is a right regulated as basic first amendment laws.
Can you limit free speech?
That's definitely not true, please realise the whole free speech argument is useless outside the US. Anyway, I think you'll find it hard to get people interested with such an argument, even if it is an interesting way to put it.
But your first point - the argument about owning a product - is easy to understand and much more persuasive. That's why the John Deere DMCA thing got so much press, and also why I'm convinced that the downfall of the EULA will be because somebody tried to limit ownership of a physical product (and not software, which may or may not reap the benefits, but won't be the catalyst).
God, this is getting out of hand...
Yes, of course you can. Confidentiality agreements, kn-disparagement clauses in settlement... it happens all the time.
Not to mention that the first amendment limits government censorship. Private parties are, as a first approximation, free to agree to whatever terms they like.
There’s also fraud, obscenity, and defamation laws. All limiting free speech. And, of course, using graphic cards has nothing to do with free speech.
If not, where do we draw the line? Luckily, it seems that people hate this kind of thing.
Yes, in every country on Earth, for very obvious reasons
Ever signed a non-disclosure agreement?
> No Datacenter Deployment. The SOFTWARE is not licensed for datacenter deployment, except that blockchain processing in a datacenter is permitted.
Edit: http://www.nvidia.com/content/DriverDownload-March2009/licen... and https://www.geforce.com/drivers/license/geforce
How should one interpret this? Is a research cluster a datacenter? How about a rack of a few dozen machines I built by hand? I've been in university research groups that had both options.
Somewhat maddening to have a single line in the EULA that's so open to interpretation.
Of course, a counterclaim for existing owners would be that the product they purchased was licensed for DC usage at time the contract was entered into, and so the original rights cannot be unilaterally revoked without consent.
I would not stress about this on my own hardware for my personal or company internal use, even if it is a full rack or more in a Datacenter. Nvidia is not going to be able to tell the difference to a rack in my basement.
Utterly ridiculous. For a company that has seen my solid support so far I'm extremely disappointed.
Could someone fluent in Japanese please confirm the claim in the title?
No Datacenter Deployment. The SOFTWARE is not licensed for datacenter deployment,
except that blockchain processing in a datacenter is permitted.
EDIT: just tried to download a driver, and this is the page that gets displayed.
It was quickly removed, given the backslash.
Safety critical systems integrators only buy computing equipment explicitly designed to be safety critical. That's a requirement from the system designer (or possibly the law), not the other way around.
If a nuclear plant designer go npm install random package that doesn't explicitly say it's not designed for nuclear plants no amount of lawyers will be able to sue the package maintainer if it fails.
You could have just googled "nuclear power EULA" to see how common this is, instead of throwing around accusations.
To underscore this, go look at the Java license agreement, which forbids its use in any life critical environment
You can't even use Java to raise and lower the wooden arm in front of a toll bridge
Actually it's worse. It's an attempt to cripple a perfectly functioning cheap product aimed at a different audience (gamers) for another audience (machine learning folks) in order to drive them to more expensive products that do the same thing.
Price semgnentation isn’t necessarily bad; you want to segment your product in order to maximize revenue across all possible customers; this is just a more egregious/bold attempt at doing so (and is hopefully prevented by a court).
Intel disable a lot of features on low-end chips, which has nothing to do with yield management. There's no technical reason to disable vPro and Turbo Boost on Core i3 chips.
Whether the GeForce cards are less reliable in that environment or not, that is not why the EULA was changed in this way.
I said that they're likely motivated by greed but there _exists_ a legitimate reason too. I didn't say that _is_ their reason, just that it exists.
But that's not the case. Many people are finding they can use GeForce cards in a datacenter just fine, and it's cheaper than buying the DC-oriented cards. This is a money grab, pure and simple.
Not to mention that the EULA has a carve-out that says blockchain processing is permitted. So nvidia is even acknowledging that there's no hardware reliability issue.
Basically if I buy a GPU, discover a bug in the product, can nvidia hold that bug fix hostage and refuse to fix the product I bought under 1 set of terms until I agree to a new set of terms
At a minimum I believe the manufacturer should be required to refund, full original purchase price, of any product which they change the terms to anyone that objects to the new terms even if the new terms come out YEARS after the product was sold and well outside any warranty period
Apparently it's just that GeForce cards have(/had?) no warranty for use in "data centers" --but academic use is not precluded in of itself:
Still, the line is somewhat unclear, I wonder how many university/academic cluster admins are aware of the fact..
Edit: Ha, ridiculously unjustified if bitcoin mining is still covered.
That seems a bit insane to have used a product that then ammends its own EULA to prevent you from using it entirely...
Think Amazon, Large Supercomputers, etc. They probably won't care or chase the smaller folks (be careful if you get too big though :-)
I wonder if these terms are also on the Linux downloads?
This kind of behavior works best for smaller players, who are the ones they don't really care about either.
How will nvidia know how its users are using the GPUs? How will they know if a GPU sits in a datacenter, or in a desktop with xeon CPUs?
What is physical object had EULA licenses like, software ?
Something more-or-less serious, like "you are not allowed to use this knife to eat meat", or "you are not allowed to use this spoon to eat jelly" or even "it is forbidden to publish a benchmark of this car" (related to an article that passed here on hn like a week ago).
Would such EULA licenses be enforceable ? And so, assuming companies would be allowed to enforce clearly ridiculous terms, what does this tell us about software licenses ?
"It's the world's tiniest open-source violin."
As much as I disagree with most of RMS's politics, the man has been proved right time and time again with respect to the dangers of building on proprietary software.
This is just the latest in a long, long line of outrages.
When will we as a development community quit this weird Stockholm-syndrome-like relationship with proprietary systems vendors?
Build on NVidia, build on iOS, build on OSX, build on Windows, that's fine. It's your call. But don't act surprised when you discover the real nature of the extant power relationship.
When most companies stop treating open source as a way to decrease their development costs, or as a legal way of doing piracy.
I was big into open source for a decade, but it hardly payed most bills.
Only software that requires consulting, training, or can be hidden behind a server wall is profitable as open source.
And since the supermarket lady and my landlord don't take pull requests, I build for systems vendors.
What I meant was: if you're building a system for your own use (including things like ML platforms and SaaS sites) why pick a target platform that is known hostile?
I suspect that from Nvidia's viewpoint, cloud providers are a middleman and make GPU usage more efficient, which threatens sales. Why should I, ask a cryptocurrency miner, buy 4 new video cards when I can rent unused time that has already been paid for by someone else at the data center? (if the cost is cheaper, which sometimes it is)
Though I question how they intend to enforce this new provision of theirs given that GPU cloud usage is already widespread.
That said, I use GeForce GPUs in production datacenters and this wouldn't stop me. I put a dummy load on the display output and use them to take screenshots of web sites with WebGL for Neocities. It's the only way to really do it. The Tesla blowtorches are just for ML crunching, I don't think they work for what I use datacenter GPUs for.
Also my datacenter power connection I get would trip under the Tesla's power requirements, to say nothing of the costs. Might as well plug a Tesla car in while I'm at it.
Did they not think that through and have an 'oh shit' moment when they saw all the news articles or something? Or is this a 'the first hit is free' sort of deal where they want people to learn about using the product on a startup budget, without giving up the ability to squeeze if someone has a good idea and wants to scale?
AFAIU, tensor cores are just super efficient matrix operations, and they might super useful in gaming applications, for example, physics engines.
They want to sell two fungible products while enforcing a pricing hurdle so that certain types of customers have to pay much more for the same performance.
“Join us now and share the software!”
In all seriousness anybody using CUDA should immediately start checking out and contributing to ROCm, AMD’s Open Source Compute Platform:
On the positive side, hopefully this will mean a consumer GeForce Tesla soon, now that they think it won't cannibalise their datacentre GPU sales.
I really wish ROCm worked seamlessly and they had some competition.
This issue has been widely known because a famous Japanese entrepreneur accuse NVIDIA for the recent silent license change.
This seems consumer-hostile because the entire thing is consumer-hostile - they want ML researchers to pay more for graphics cards because they have more money to spend, not because they can offer superior performance. (They can offer superior performance to GeForce, just not superior performance/$ or performance/W.)
For a very large number of problems that are smaller than both or bigger than both, that extra memory bandwidth is a lot smaller than the price difference.
Just ignore the wordbarfs as the UPPER CASE INCOHERENT SHOUTING THEY ARE. Everybody knows that nobody reads "EULA"s, and a meeting of minds is a necessary requirement for there to even be a contract. These fantasy "terms" literally only exist to the extent we acknowledge and dwell on them!
And how does it affect Linux kernel drivers?
Well, it probably currently doesn't guess the server location, but it doesn't seem impossible or even hard if they think it's useful to them.
The GeForce series cards are designed, spec'd, priced for consumer usage. Nvidia has to warranty and guarantee what they sell, consumer confidence is important.
When you're doing ML or blockchain Proof-of-Work the card becomes a consumable. Is it fair for manufacturers to guarantee them like they would a consumer desktop or gaming GPU? You expect people who play with ML in their free time to subsidize your GPU cluster?
That said, hope this gets people angry enough to make TF support OpenCL. CUDA is too pervasive.
So decide, overbuilt GPUs (more expensive), firmware gimped GPUs (less performant), or non warrantied( risky ).