* Posts by gnasher729

1109 posts • joined 13 Oct 2014

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Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

gnasher729 Silver badge

“ Apple's use of icons, menus and overlapping windows hadn't been seen before Apple came up with them”.

The overlapping windows story is funny. When Bill Atkinson returned to Xerox for a second visit, he remarked how difficult overlapping windows had been to implement. “What overlapping windows?” “The overlapping windows on your desktop”. “We don’t have overlapping windows”. “I’m sure I saw overlapping windows when I was here the last time”. “We’re sure you didn’t”..

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Why?

I expect Apple to have a laptop/desktop chip with 6 or 8 fast cores at 3 GHz or higher very soon. With that you get a significant speed gain for every Mac up to 8 cores. At a lower cost.

gnasher729 Silver badge

That’s ok. AMD can’t make AMD chips either then.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Really?

Look at the 3 fast cores in Apples A12: 128kb L1 cache for data and code each. 8MB L2 Cache, 16 MB Unified Memory cache. 30 integer registers, 32 vector registers. 7 instruction decode per cycle. 9 execution units. 2.5 GHz. Encryption operations, FMA.

It’s not a toy. It’s very tough competition for any Intel processor. Actually, beats all the laptop chips core for core.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Really?

If you compare with the 1990s: Dongarra himself checked that an iPad 2 would have made it into the 1984 top 500 supercomputer list.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: not sure which is worse

If you ran the unmodified Intel Safari Browser on Arm, it would indeed translate JavaScript to intel code which would automatically be translated to ARM. It would be a small change in the source code to make it compile to arm instead of Intel code (assuming it uses llvm for compilation).

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Rosetta

Latest MacOS only runs 64Bit Code, and so does ARM. So that simplified things a lot. Memory alignment rules are the same, so no problems there.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Cock of the walk one week, feather duster the next

I think if your boss was clever enough to make enough money to buy a £30k Mac, then he will have the mental capacity to realise that this Mac will continue running just fine for many years to come. ARM processors that can replace a 28 core Intel processor will be the last ones to arrive anyway.

gnasher729 Silver badge

"So this means that Macs will be pretty much useless for running Windows via Bootcamp, one presumes?"

It was shown to run Intel apps in a Linux VM. No technical reason not to run Windows in a VM. Bootcamp will likely be gone, but then a VM allows you to run MacOS and Windows at the same time. The only ones with a problem are people buying a Mac exclusively to run Windows.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Probably not a big deal, if you already have reasonably solid code.

"you'll have to use XCode to compile for them, and only the latest XCode, and that will only be updated on the top generation of Macs, and no cross-platform compiler will produce working code"

The latest Xcode runs on my 2015 MacBook Pro. If you are afraid to pay for the hardware or $99 a year to be able to put apps on the AppStore, then you are frankly an amateur.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Probably not a big deal, if you already have reasonably solid code.

"Of course previously I had already ported the code from x86-64 to 32 bit"

The current MacOS doesn't support 32 bit code. Newer iPhone ARM processors don't even have the capability of running 32 bit code. So everything is 64 bits, no problems.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Rosetta

"Surely a low power MacBook would be the best choice given the need to Rosetta most apps to start with?"

On a new Mac, all your apps will be downloaded. And they get translated to ARM during download. If you copy an app in another way, it can be translated to ARM on the first launch. Rosetta is something that the user will not even notice.

I would think the first released Macs would be something that leaves the 6 and 8 core MacBooks behind.

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

gnasher729 Silver badge

Technical solution

I suggest a very simple technical solution: Apple, Samsung etc each create a website where each owner of a phone, tablet etc. can register the serial number of their device and the passcode. Then all the FBI has to do is give Apple or Samsung the serial number, and they’ll get the passcode.

If there is a typo in my passcode or two or ten, that’s obviously not the manufacturer’s fault.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Ask the NSA first

FBI wants to solve crimes. NSA is responsibile for national security. In that role, the NSA doesn't give a hoot about your privacy, but they are very, very interested in keeping the data of politicians, military, police, industry etc. safe, everything that would be in the interest of national security.

The NSA has repeatedly said that giving the police such access will be damaging to national security.

Detroit cops cuffed, threw a dad misidentified by facial recognition in jail. Now the ACLU's demanding action

gnasher729 Silver badge

Don’t know if it’s true, but at the time Apples FaceID was released I read a claim “about one in a million people look so similar to you that your friends can’t tell who is who if they put you side by side”. In the USA that would mean for every crime, there are about 300 people in the USA that look exactly like the perpetrator.

The article also showed pictures of two young women: One who was identified as a robber by two security guards and convicted, and one who confessed when she saw a picture of an innocent woman going to jail in the newspaper. The pictures were identical.

Former UK Labour deputy leader wants to know how the NHS's contact-tracing app will ensure user privacy

gnasher729 Silver badge

The Apple / Google API has exactly two inputs: Whether there is another phone near to yours for some length of time, and whether the user of a phone has entered that they had a positive test. It has exactly one output: it will inform you if your phone was near another phone for some length of time, whose owner entered that they had a positive test.

The identity of the phones involved is cryptographically hidden. No data is shared, except data that allows a phone to detect that it was close to an “infected” phone which cannot be used by anyone to identify the phone, except the phone itself.

No data that could be exploited in any way is Ever collected or stored, therefore it cannot be abused. No data that could be used To identify a person or anything about them is ever known to the app, so no such information can be used for any discrimination.

Once again, racial biases show up in AI image databases, this time turning Barack Obama white

gnasher729 Silver badge

AS - Artificial Stupidity

What we have right now is not Artificial Intelligence, it is Artificial Stupidity.

When you see on a computer science site kids asking if some neural network can solve NP-complete problems, then you realise that the problem is magnified by NS (Natural Stupidity).

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: The conference was interesting

The problem with Hancock's statement is that he doesn't have the slightest clue how Apple and Google measure distance and calculate exposure risk, so he is talking out of his arse. Bluetooth works quite well, and iPhones and lots of Android phones have these massive AI chips which surely can get some good data out of any Bluetooth chip.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Build and Deploy. Simples

The API is already installed on people's iPhones since May 15th, and on Android phones via an update directly from Google, bypassing all phone vendor distros. It works on all iPhones less than 5 years old, and I believe on Android phones of similar age.

gnasher729 Silver badge

"BT is inherently unpredictable in real life. Any distance calculation little more than a bad guess. No amount of political wish making beats physics."

You see unsurmountable problems. If it was my job, I'd see an interesting challenge, and I'd get it working.

gnasher729 Silver badge

And you think Apple's and Google's engineers are total numpties who never thought of these things. Leaving your phone on your desk is something you should _never_ do, and especially with Covid you'd have to be stupid to do so. I assume a minimum of intelligence in people I share this planet with. Drive past a cyclist? Contact for 0.5 seconds, not linked. Stand on opposite sides of the wall? Tell me who does that. BT not turned on? Guess what, if Covid tracking is turned on then they assume you want Covid tracking to work, and it does, no matter what your Bluetooth settings.

gnasher729 Silver badge

"Except that the Google/Apple "solution", a), isn't a solution as such, just an API, and b) didn't exist until a month later."

It's an API that works, that was available early May in a beta version, released and installed on phones on May 15th, and Latvia, the leader in mobile phone technology, released an app May 29th.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: with respect to the UK app

They should have given the contract to Jennifer Arcuri. She would have failed as well, but she only charges £100,000.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: NHSX devs apparently superior to Google devs

What you are referring to has to do with IP addresses. The police can lookup a location for your IP address. If a US location isn't known, the API responsible will return "Location is exactly in the centre of the USA, with an error of 3,000 miles". That's the case for about 10% of all the IP addresses. And there is a farm about 200 metres away, and police usually doesn't notice the "3000 miles error".

Find My Phone is hundred percent official. So if the thief knows to turn the iPhone off, if one of their mates has an iPhone themselves, that is enough. Location is reported using the GPS of the bystander's phone. And low power bluetooth works for a long time.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: There Really Is No Point

A user of the Swiss app reported 5% battery usage over 24 hours. We can live with that.

gnasher729 Silver badge

"I don't have Bluetooth on unless I'm using it, so it won't detect me at all."

You don't need to turn Bluetooth on in your phone's settings. You need to install and run the app, and it will tell you that you need to turn on the API as well. And since Apple / Google control your phone, they will reasonably assume that if you are running the app, and have the API enabled, then you actually want it to work. And Bluetooth will work for this API and for nothing else.

If the guy with the virus was close to 100 people (aka a "super super spreader"), yes, then hundreds of people would be informed indeed. But you have to be close over a length of time to trigger this.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Can they still nab the data?

I don't know about Google, but for iOS apps you need "Entitlements" to do things, and without these "Entitlements" you can't do them. For example, you need an Entitlement to take photos. Without this entitlement you can't. And if you can't give Apple a good reason why you need to take photos, you don't get that entitlement.

You need an entitlement to use the tracking API (and Apple says they will give this entitlement to one state health organisation per country, plus one per US state apparently). But if you have that entitlement, you can't have entitlements like location data and some other entitlements, so you can't spy on users. And I think you don't get any actual data from the API other than the information that you were close to an infected device. The app developer cannot access the codes of nearby phones.

gnasher729 Silver badge

What Apple and Google developed is an API that can track which phones were close to yours, and if asked to, tell all these phones they were close to yours. Has nothing to do with health whatsoever. So they don't have to follow any legislation connected to health, and there is a lot of that.

An app would be a _health_ app. And then regulations come in, and you have to follow the laws of each country, and that's an absolute pain. Better leave it to the UK NHS, for example, they ought to know about UK regulations, and if the UK really wants the app, they could even bend some rules, which Apple and Google can't.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: NHSX devs apparently superior to Google devs

Yes, indeed. If your iPhone comes close to a lost and turned off iPhone, it will send an anonymous message to Apple with the location and a code identifying the iPhone, so Apple can report to the user where the phone is.

How does your phone know it is lost? You go on Apple's website, log in with your AppleID, get a list of your devices and tell them which one is lost.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: NHSX devs apparently superior to Google devs

Obstacles don't just influence the distance measurements, they also influence how infectious the virus is. Remember we don't _really_ care about the distance, but about the chances of infection. So we are lucky, inaccuracies in the distance measurement actually make the measurement of the chance of infection more precise.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: distance and signal strength

For distance estimate by timing signals you'd need to be able to measure the time with 10 nanoseconds precision. And you'd need a direct signal that isn't reflecting anywhere. Very difficult.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Privacy?

"Application being deleted when the pandemic's over" - it is never over. Like the new infections in New Zealand. It's just that this app allows us to lead normal lives while stomping out even the smallest new outbreak.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Privacy?

If she changes from "it may be possible" to "this is how one could do it", then we'll look at it. Right now the information stored is a random 16 byte number that is changed every 15 minutes. Only the phone creating the number knows it. Of course if you hire a secret agent who follows me everywhere from 2m distance, that secret agent could find the identities of all my contacts. But that secret agent could do it if I don't use the contact tracking app at all; just take photos of everyone close to me.

gnasher729 Silver badge

There is zero income stream from this for Apple and Google.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Agile

"I think this is more likely to be a failure of an arrogant Designer..."

No, its the fact that 250 million pound had to be moved from the tax payers' pockets to Cummings' mates brother. I can see what would happen if my company would have got the deal: Boss says "They want us to build a contact tracking app doing X, Y and Z. Can you do this? " My answer: "No way, but how much are they paying? £250,000,000? For that money we can have a good go, my manager will write some lovely status reports every week, and six months later we concede total failure and keep £100,000,000. We all get rich, let's do it".

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: NHSX devs apparently superior to Google devs

"You forget to mention Apple. Whether you like them or not, they are a trillion dollar company and can afford a *lot* of very good developers, so no doubt have a lot."

I'm told the lead developer was the guy who is responsible for "Find my phone" - the app that tells you where your lost or stolen phone is. Even if it's turned off. Even turned off, it uses low power bluetooth to tell other iPhones "help, I'm lost, please tell Apple where I am".

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Me too

Mpg has the psychological advantage that more is better. l/km isn’t used because the numbers are too small, so we use l/100km. Still much smaller numbers, and bigger is worse.

gnasher729 Silver badge

I still have fond memories of a carpet shop, where I had measured my room as 13 foot 11 inch, and their PFY entered 13.11 x 0.3048 into their calculator to find out how long it was...

NY Attorney General warns Apple, Google to police COVID-19 tracing apps in their souks – or she will herself

gnasher729 Silver badge

If you were in contact with an infected person, you can stay at home for two weeks. Immediately when you are informed. Instead of infecting others while you wait for symptoms to appear. Or instead of infecting others when you never get symptoms, but can still pass the virus on.

Perfect solution when the infection rate is low enough that this is significant better than a lockdown.

Not so nice, we investigated them twice: EU opens double whammy of inquiries into Apple's biz practices

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: I don’t quite understand this

They are absolutely _not_ forced to sell through Apple. Netflix doesn't pay Apple a penny, for example. So this is like music companies having a choice to sell CDs through Ford dealers, or through their music stores, and Ford charges for CDs sold through Ford dealers, and not for CDs bought anywhere else.

gnasher729 Silver badge

I don’t quite understand this

This is like an independent car dealer complaining that Ford dealers can sell Ford cars cheaper because they don’t have to pay the manufacturers profit.

Germany prepares to launch COVID-19 contact-tracing app 'this week' while UK version stuck in development hell

gnasher729 Silver badge

"With the rate the infection rates are dropping, the chances of encountering someone who has both the virus and the contact tracing app are minimal."

You should use the app, no matter how low the infection rate is. If you are unlucky enough to get close to the last person in Britain that gets infected, then using the app can protect you from starting another outbreak.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Visibility over Bluetooth

You enable the tracking manually. On iOS from the same "Settings" screen that controls Bluetooth. So if you enable tracking, it will override your Bluetooth settings for this single purpose. If you don't enable tracking, it doesn't do anything.

Most important, you are not identifiable.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Taiwaz, as I said, go to a remote island.

gnasher729 Silver badge

The number "60%" has been spread around like a virus, but it's not true. _Any_ amount of uptake will help. The more the better obviously, but any uptake helps.

Now there are two problems: In UK, people who rightfully are wondering why their government has to record everything and store it for twenty years, protected by the most unprotective woman who the could possible find for the job. And everywhere, the paranoid who don't trust an Apple with an API produced by Apple and Google (when it is common sense that if these two companies wanted any information about you, they would have it. If you don't trust your phone maker then you might as well move to some remote island).

GitHub to replace master with main across its services

gnasher729 Silver badge

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

What about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their master Splinter? Do we need to change this?

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

gnasher729 Silver badge

DavCrav, This has been tested by Apple and Google. Give QA a dozen different iPhones and two dozen different Android phones and they can test this easily.

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: "......worst death toll in Europe"

""We should have locked down earlier" is the attack on the Government, who were being advised by SAGE not to lockdown the same week that they finally did."

Here's the problem: SAGE was and is controlled by Dominic Cummings. Contradict him, and you get removed (as we just found out again). So the government wasn't advised by SAGE, they were advised by Dominic Cummings.

gnasher729 Silver badge

In one week? Highly unlikely. I’d estimate 2 weeks iOS, 2 weeks android, two weeks server software to make sure any idiot can’t enter themselves as “infected”, two weeks QA. So 4 weeks total.

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher

gnasher729 Silver badge

Re: Planned or accident

I think manufacturers may be in for a surprise. It’s one thing if a device breaks, it’s another thing if the manufacturer breaks it.

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