Sadly, if there really were some kind of AMD and Satoshi conspiracy (as BkkCoins suggests), it was poorly planned. AMD's evil plan to sell more GPUs has done nothing to help their stock price! Lackluster performance since the start of the year, and just plain awful in June.
Not just poorly planned, completely unlikely. There were two years of GPU-unassisted mining. The newest version ATI cards are actually slower at mining. There's been talk on here of getting hashing ASICs made. If AMD came out with a 10000 core hashing-optimized GPU for high performance computing, then they would have a real game-changer. There's no need to do that now, miners are not buying nVidia (name anybody on this forum who's main gaming rig is running nVidia now), but AMD should have a strategy when nVidia leaps ahead. A 5x jump in performance and a 5x power reduction would make every video card you own obsolete.
Duh, I made a joke with my OP, but you see how long it takes you to try to find documentation of exactly how and where the 'difficult problem' hash is generated, and verify that it works that way in the code.
It's amazing how much electricity and processing time is being used for nothing at all, when it could actually be a distributed computing project (as long as the difficult computing part was impossible to bypass with hacked software and would never end, it would still stand the test). With the bitcoin network at 9,876 gigahashes/second currently, and the cheapest gpu hashing coming in at about 500 watts per gigahash/s, that is about 5 Megawatts
of electricity being generated and used for computing nothing. Add to that the nasty chemical pollution from third-world chip fabs, and Bitcoin is the most earth-unfriendly project ever created (well, maybe second to General Motors).