* Posts by Dadz

33 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Sep 2009

Intel challenges AMD's Epycs with a 144 e-core Xeon


Xeon Phi

This reminds me of the Xeon Phi (2010-2020) which had up to 72 Silvermont cores on a Xeon.

The Knight's Landing version was heavily optimized for HPC with out-of-order vector processing, but the rest of the core was similar to an Atom.



The Gracemont core is similar to an original Intel Core processor.

Note that Knight's Landing version had AVX-512 tacked on, which is not found in this new Sierra Forest chip.

But Knight's Landing is for HPC, whereas Sierra Forest is for cloud workloads.

Bing Chat so hungry for GPUs, Microsoft will rent them from Oracle


simulated intelligence

I asked Bing AI to tell me "does any kindle support a bluetooth page turning device."

It told me that certain models of kindle did support this and others did not.

Its references were a reddit post about using the kindle app, and an ifixit article about hacking in a cable to allow for page turning.

It also suggested I could pair a compatible remote with my Kindle (none of which exist) or I could use the FireTV app on my cell phone as a remote.

However further research using I rather than AI showed that Kindles unlike other e-readers do not support bluetooth page turning buttons.

The only option is a radio-controlled clip which triggers the touchscreen to advance the page.

All of these chat models are designed to provide answers based on what word is statistically most likely to come next, and are not grounded in reality.

So you can't rely on them for factual information yet, even if you give them internet access.

We need cognitive intelligence, not statistically simulated intelligence. This AI gold rush is destined to flop.

Thief milks CREAM Finance for $18m+ in cryptocurrency after spotting security bug


bug bounty

It was obviously a bug bounty auto-pay smart contract. Find the bug in the code, be paid $18 million per the code. Fair's fair

Apple's iPhone computer vision has the potential to preserve privacy but also break it completely


Re: It's simpler than that

Indeed, MS reports software used for piracy back to MS.

Windows Defender even automatically uploads suspicious files to Microsoft.

Often, AV software uses heuristics to detect suspicious software and helpfully uploads it directly to your AV provider for analysis. If you scan all files, sometimes heuristic strings are found inside non-executables; some virus droppers hide a virus in an attached image using stenography.

So Windows 10 systems already have all the code in place needed to scan for any kind of content on your PC and upload it automatically, and they already do.

However, you can permanently disable this feature in Windows by setting a policy. (Otherwise it may turn back on automatically). See


You can access the services list on Windows, MacOS and (rooted) Android and stop nearly any service. After working with MacOS and manually installing drivers for network cards through the console, I was surprised to learn that iOS is as locked down as a children's educational tablet. So the real reason that people are angry about this iOS new "feature" is that they know they won't be able to turn it off or control it.

See what's on the slab: Apple reportedly mulls stretching the iPad Pro to 14 and 16 inches



I see you shiver, with antici..


Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan



Vonage locked its Linksys PAP2 VOIP boxes; back in ~2006 I was able to unlock one by using online instructions (DNS, TFTP server) to use a PC to simulate the Vonage provisioning server. Once unlocked, you would have saved ~$50 over an unlocked device.

Perhaps there is a similar way to unlock a bricked Sonos device, unless they have used an Apple-style lock with proper private key infrastructure (PKI)

If so, maybe someone at Sonos will leak the keys.

Apple's hardware encryption keys were posted last month to Reddit and Twitter - and then taken down with DMCA/legal threats.

Tonight on Tales from the Crypto: It lives! GPU flinger Nvidia bouncing back after miner affair


design wins

nVidia has two design wins so far with automotive - Volvo is the big name so far - and Daimler/Bosch (Mercedes-Benz) will see implementation in 2020 - we should see some increased revenues after that. nVidia makes most of its money from mid-range - Bosch needs to make an affordable self-driving controller that can be shoehorned into any modern car, just like they do now with adaptive cruise control. These revenues won't take off until LIDAR prices come down.

Boffins harnessed the brain power of mice to build AI models that can't be fooled


Unscientific, immoral and macabre

Convolutional neural networks are primitive statistical models - the neural network of the mouse is a few orders of magnitude of greater complexity and there is no serious attempt to duplicate it or model it, only to use it as an input. Using the notorious ImageNet database of 5100 stolen images, they downsampled them to 64x36 pixel grayscale - then through a ~200 um window into the head, they used a TPSLM to observe the neuronal activity (light flashes) in GFP-M genetically modified neurons in the visual cortex - but they have no way to measure or model the connectivity of the neurons, each of which connects to thousands of other neurons. This is like attempting to determine which TV shows are popular based on the output of a webcam pointed at a block of apartment buildings, observing the timing of light switches in each apartment. The equipment they are using have been previously used to determine the structure of the mouse visual cortex, but they are not trying to replicate the structure of the mouse brain here, they are just doing black box engineering.

It is immoral to use animal brains for engineering purposes (I felt severe distaste with the K9000 cyberdog gun in the Fallout: New Vegas game - which has a dog brain to select targets) This study is completely depraved, careless, contemptuous of the value of life. These sadists propose to further expand their operation.

Apparently the animal ethics committee of Baylor has not the least regard for life and will rubber-stamp any animal study. Animal ethics committees are supposed to weigh each case and determine if the death (to whom?) of animals has a significant positive benefit to humanity - the vast majority of animal experiments at universities are unscientific as they do not make an attempt to ensure that the mechanisms studied are the same in people as in animals - extensive genetic testing and careful simulation is needed, and that is infeasible; when you have thousands of grad students all required to produce paperwork to earn grant money, you can't do things at a high standard. There are 100,000 cages containing 300,000 animals at Baylor.

EU boffins in plan for 'more nutritious' horsemeat ice cream


Baby cow flavoured ice cream

To make ice cream you need to impregnate cows, and the male babies are kept in plastic igloos (isolated from their mothers and each other) until a year of age to be sold as veal; the meat and milk industries are economically and hence ethically linked. So, I see no real ethical problem with adding meat to ice cream, other than forced pregnancy, imprisonment of babies, and eventual killing of said mothers and babies.

Steve Jobs to supervise iPhone 6 FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE


stolen phones

There's a great way for Apple to monetize stolen phones; license the OS per user, not per device. When you buy the phone you have to "activate" it; you get one free license. If you wipe, upgrade or jailbreak the phone you lose the license. The iPhone's carrier lock is already crytographically protected by Apple-controlled servers; you can't permanently unlock a phone without your carrier accessing Apple's servers; as soon as you upgrade the OS on the phone, the carrier lock is defeated. It's only a small extension of the carrier lock to a whole-phone lock.

It's already done with used computer games. You have to pay $10 to "activate" certain used games for online play.

eBay: Our paid Google advertising was a total waste of money


not competitive

When buying more expensive kit such as camera lenses, often Google Shopping search results for eBay show me used or refurbished equipment which I do not want. New kit is simply not sold on eBay because eBay charges such high fees to third-party sellers that new products are not competitively priced. The exception is one-off liquidations of end-of-life new-old-stock kit, or the occasional front-page loss-leader promotion.

Buying cheap kit such as an RF camera trigger, an eSATA multiplexer, or a camera bag, is often cheaper to buy directly from similar websites in Hong Kong or China such as AliExpress.

Londoners can bonk their way to work without Oyster cards TODAY


Mobile Paypass tags

In Canada we have this new thing called a Mobile PayPass Tag by Bank of Montreal - it's a sticker with a

paypass chip in it. You're expected to slap it on your mobile phone. The ads tout the ability to "pay with your mobile phone"

It's embarassing.

Paying with a mobile phone is done by

1) nfc (on or off sim)

2) on screen barcodes

3) modulated encrypted hypersonic sound exchange

4) wifi/bluetooth

5) exchanging stolen phones for drug money

It's not done with a sticker!

Australian Prime Minister: Mayan calendar 'true'


Girls Generation

If you don't understand how K-Pop could be a sign of the apocalypse, just watch some Girls Generation music videos on YouTube. You'll be glad you did, but you won't be able to get the lyrics out of your head, because the Korean language sounds like you should be able to understand it, but you can't, unless you do. It's more mind-blowing than Beyoncé's "Put a ring on it" video. Aliens, because I think GG are aliens.

BOFH: The Great Patch Mismatch



Our halon discharge happened when a student stepped on a heat detector while running wires in the under-flooring. Heat detectors trigger when they notice an open circuit.

We didn't obtain new halon afterwards. Although, the heat detector was originally a good idea, given the 50 cm thick layer of ~1600 mainframe cables under the three dozen port concentrators.

Judge GIVES APPLE THE FINGER in multitouch iDevice patent case



Two fingers?

That's a shocker

Tim Cook rejects Apple's old business model of suing everyone


toasted waffle vending machine

I'd buy a toasted waffle vending machine! You'd think with the surname "Cook" he would have the business sense to come up with it! It has a freezer and a toaster, and I can choose whether I want waffles or french toast. Frozen waffles are stored in a magazine; each compartment has a silicone lid to prevent freezer burn; a tape robot retrieves food and loads it into the tape drive, I mean toaster conveyor, dumps the waffle onto a paper tray, pours some HFCS on top, and emits a loud "bing!" noise to wake up the fatty who has dozed off during the 90 seconds it took to cook it.

SPRAY-ON antennas waved about at Google's techfest


Spray-on cameras

Reminds me of the spray-on cameras (with fractal antennas) used by the Pierson's Puppeteer in the Ringworld novels by Larry Niven.

Experts: We're stuck with passwords – and maybe they're best

Paris Hilton

"even your DNA"???

New DNA-based system: There is a pinkie finger-sized hole. It says "insert finger here."

When I insert a finger, a clamp locks the finger in place, then a solenoid pricks the finger - drains out some blood for a DNA test - then the clamp unlocks. Five minutes later, the DNA test is complete and I have access. (The system would also check for a pulse and oxygen in the blood to ensure I'm not putting someone else's finger in; it could also scan the fingerprint).

Apple patent stashes passwords in chargers


another evil accessory

We can install malicous code in Apple keyboards that can't be removed. (2009)

We can install updated potentially malicious firmware in Apple batteries (July 2011).

Now we have a new power supply with built-in firmware and processor....

Perhaps we can coordinate the firmware in the battery and power supply to blow up the battery, perhaps through charging it too quickly.

Skyrim update makes dragons FLY BACKWARDS


dragon physics

One dragon near the hot springs refused to come down and fight - even after I hit it with a fireball scroll. So, I looted the treasure chest it was supposed to protect, and carried on. It insisted on hovering, which is unrealistic; the energy required to maintain a hover is too great. According to this Dragon Physics article dragons attack villages mostly to eat their wooden buildings.


The dragons in Skyrim are a bit bigger than the estimate provided; additionally, the calculations should be done by an expert in ornithopter physics.

Biden: The internet ain't broke, let's not fix it



Promise not to hack your internetz if you censorz them for us plz.

Crazy square barcodes can point your phone to MALWARE


In the wild already

Found two in the wild already. In Vancouver, one stuck to the wall of the City Centre subway station, "Win a fantastic iPad 2" with a QR code - that points to an unrecognizable URL. Another one under a wiper, "Pizza Hut - Win your Pizza" asking me to download a getmobio app then scan the QR code to order the pizza - but the URL is also unrecognizable. The first one is a scam, the second one may be legitimate, but I don't trust either.

Quantum unleashes more robots on tape libraries


robot wars

Quantum should take the Nokia approach: Several competing teams design robots. Quantum puts all of them into production simultaneously. If the robot designs are completely different then the chance of a bizarre firmware bug or bearing failure would be unlikely to take out both robots at once. (but if the competition was too intense, perhaps the teams would design the robots to destroy each other, like Robot Wars) If one design fails, all the failing design's team members will be...

...made redundant!

iTunes gifting scam plunges Reg reader into the red



You can sign up for an anonymous itunes account using a free music download card, commonly available at Starbucks (in Canada & USA)

Rogue engineer supplied dodgy power to 1,500 homes


Smart grid

Here in British Columbia Canada the main reason we are moving to a smart grid system is that an average of 57 megawatts are stolen by marijuana growers. That's about 1% of all electricity sold in-province by BC Hydro. It will cost $930 million to install the system but it will pay for itself in eight years as we will be able to detect power diversion.

Intel trials downloadable CPU upgrades


Profit & environment

1) When process yields are low, nobody minds that chips with defective cores or cache are sold as lower end models. A Phenom X4 sells for 100% over cost, and Athlon X2 might only sell for 15% over cost.

2) When process yields are high, every chip could be made into a Phenom X4 but there is still demand for Athlon X2 for use in low-end systems. System builders won't pay and don't need so much power, so some chips are made into Athlon X2s, so that AMD can sell more chips and make more overall profit.

3) To prevent remarking and other arbitrage, the disabling mechanism is a combination of shorting some fuses (permanent damage.) In addition, a code on the CPU instructs the BIOS which cores on the CPU are usable.

4) Intel has developed a software-based system that can make a static change to the CPU's configuration. "The upgrade enables changes to the firmware (driven by the Intel® Active Management Technology Management Engine in the chipset) that in turn modify the hardware."

The actual mechanism is not described but I would guess that the chipset is shorting some fuses on the CPU to *enable* the cache and hyperthreading.

This means that it is no longer necessary for the CPU manufacturers to permanently limit a CPU for marketing reasons. It's the same business model, just with more flexibility.

5) This is a positive change. It's better for the environment. If we can upgrade our CPUs there will be fewer CPUs created. If a consumer doesn't want to give Intel the full profit margin upfront, the consumer can pay later for it.

6) If people hate the idea of buying CPUs with locked features, they are not obligated to do so. I recently even paid about $10 extra to buy a Phenom X2 965 with no multiplier locks. But I do have an i7 920 with a locked multiplier, and a Pentium D 905 with locked hyperthreading, and a Celeron D with a locked cache. I got what I paid for. However, I wish this tweak of the business model had arrived earlier so I could unlock my other CPUs.

DfT 'unwittingly' bigged-up speed camera benefits



You have unwittingly used the phrase "bigged-up." This is not the Queen's English. Perhaps it is Caribbean slang.

More iPhone 4 angst: fanbois howl over head sensor

Jobs Halo


It's an Apple marketing feature. By breaking the proximity sensor feature, this will discourage you from holding it to your head. You will find that the best way to use it is with a BT headset. You will find that you necessarily must hold it in your hand and constantly admire it. After all, If you can't admire it and wave it around and show it off, what's the point of having an Apple device? In case you need to use both hands at once, you can fasten it around your neck as a medallion. Have more faith, fanboys! It works the way it was designed for your benefit, in the same way that its lack of Flash support, file management, and multitasking are for your benefit.

US wireless not competitive enough - FCC


wireless auctions

Bandwidth was auctioned off for extremely high prices. Only huge carriers could afford to trategically reserve bandwidth to shut out smaller competitors. They then charge very high prices to recover the cost of bandwidth. The wireless market is anti-competitive by design. It's time for a spectrum breakup. Any wireless company not currently using blocks of spectrum they are not using should be refunded what they paid for it and the spectrum assigned to competition. The FCC/FTC should be able to use anti-competitive legislation to accomplish this. It's a shame that there is not such legislation in Canada.

Coraid jumps on ZFS bandwagon

Thumb Up

That's fantastic

For several years Coraid has posted a note at http://support.coraid.com/support/solaris/

" Users of ZFS should be aware that a bug exists in ZFS causing system crashes when a ZFS disk encounters persistent I/O errors. This bug has been verified using AoE targets as ZFS disks. Sun is aware of the problem and is said to be working on a solution."

I have wanted to use ZFS over AoE for a while now; perhaps the bugs have been fixed and we can now use it.

Apple sues over knock-off power bricks

Black Helicopters

Uh oh

How long until Apple implements a system to lock out unauthorized power supplies? Dell's Latitude D series of laptops talk to the AC adapter and report on bootup if they are using an incorrect power supply. The laptop draws power from the incorrect adapter (such as an HP nc8430 adapter) but runs in battery mode (dim screen, etc). All it would take is a firmware update to lock out the adapter - just like how Apple's iPhone OS 3.0 locked out third-party video cables recently.

Burger King cooks up Windows 7 Whopper


Arm and a leg

I knew that Windows 7 would cost an arm and a leg. It appears to be costing some cows their arms and legs.

Microsoft harries XP-loving biz customers on to Windows 7

Jobs Horns

We don't own it

We don't own Windows 7. We own Vista. Most of our 35,000 desktops/laptops, recently replaced, have Vista stickers. Why would we pay to upgrade to Windows 7 when it is just a prettier version of Vista?? We will move to Vista from XP.. next year maybe. If Microsoft gives us Windows 7 for free.. we might consider that.