* Posts by aki009

90 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Jun 2020


Side channel attacks take bite out of Apple silicon with iLeakage exploit


Want real security? Use a typewriter.

When a three letter agency figured out it didn't know squat about how to keep its computers secure, it went to typewriters.

Not a bad idea if lives are on the line.

We all scream for ice cream – so why are McDonald's machines always broken?


Do it for the children!

Legalize self repair.

If you won't do it for the ice cream, then do it for the children! (Who go without ice cream.)

That usually gets things done in DC.

Nearly 300 MSI motherboards will run any old code in Secure Boot, no questions asked


I wonder where it originated...

I find this a strange issue as I believe the related code is part of the default UEFI package.

Someone would have to go out of one's way to change the default behavior.

I wonder what is really behind this.

Or perhaps it's just another good example of mixing firmware development in developing countries with QA that stop as soon as Windows boots.

Salesforce: There's no more Slack left to cut


Re: "I take responsibility for that"

When I hear a public company executive "take responsibility", I take it to mean the same level of responsibility that a teen takes when loudly emitting a cloud of methane at the dinner table and smirkly stating "Excuse me".

A refined Apple desktop debuts ahead of Wednesday’s big iThing launch


Re: Memories

I don't believe that GUIs back then were for people too stupid to learn commands.

It's obvious -- given the state of the icons -- that folks using those things were simply engaged in a never-ending game of trying to guess what a particular shape was supposed to mean.

Every click was an adventure.

That means that all of those users were courageous explorers, following in the spirit of Dr. Livingstone into the unknown.

One man's battle to get patent rights for AI inventors in America may be over


Re: I like his chances

It seems he doesn't get the fact that the law is exceedinly clear in requiring natural persons to do the inventing. If he wants a change in that, he needs to lobby Congress to change the law. Getting a court to decide that an AI is a natural person is just not going to happen for quite some time.

AI detects 20,000 hidden taxable swimming pools in France, netting €10m


Re: If it steers boots on the ground to double check

Ah. So that's why there's a market for paints that look rustic right out of the can.

Googler says she was forced out after opposing $1.2bn cloud contract with Israel


Re: Don't be Evil

It's newspeak for "Be Evil with Plausible Deniability".

The company is well overdue for getting dissected like Ma Bell back in the day.

California to phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2035


Re: Popular saying?

You've got some nice rose colored glasses there pardner.

Emission standards compliance wasn't about "California leading the way", but simple finances. Once the technology became mature enough that the cost of compliance dropped below the cost of providing two different versions of a vehicle, car manufacturers started putting them in all vehicles across the board.

But the financial metrics that applied to emissions won't apply to batteries. Emission compliance costs went from multi-thousand dollar levels to a few hundred dollars before adoption became universal. A similar price trajectory won't happen to batteries anytime soon, and the starting point today is in the tens of thousands for the batteries.

So in a few years California will have to sweat in its rolling blackouts in the middle of the summer all on its own.


Re: Not going to happen

Yes. Assuming the neighboring states will have enough spare capacity to send over, and that the transmission lines can handle it...

If Nevada were smart, it'd build a line of nuclear reactors along the Nevada-California border.


Re: Not going to happen

That night time charging thing is touted about plenty. As are new battery technologies, local production, and the fact that it'll take time to displace most of the cars in use.

But with a calculator anyone can figure out that these won't account for the needed generation capacity. It's not even close, even if the state were to not try to run down traditional power sources, following in the footsteps of Germany into brownouts and rolling blackouts.

Nor is anything being done to get things in place now, even though it's already at least 5 years too late to make a 2035 goal. If the state continues to push for this, in a few years -- well before 2035 -- California will have to choose between driving cars and running air conditioning. And on a windless cloudy day, both might not be options.

Unless of course a renewed love for nuclear power swoops in to save the day, but those projects should've been started a decade ago in order to be available in a relevant timeframe.

And you didn't mention the other elephant in the room: minerals. There isn't enough mining capacity for critical minerals, unless one chooses to like every African dictator using child and prison labor in death camps to produce them while contaminating swaths of the continent in the process (or pretend to look away when the Chinese deal with them for you). Without those key minerals it'll either be impossible to manufacture the batteries, or the minerals become so expensive to make the transition impossible, or both.

Yes, there are promising lab batteries out there that use fewer critical minerals, but after one of them becomes usable in the real world it'll still take the better part of a decade to bring it to the mass market. And none of those "promising" technologies seems to be anywhere near emerging from labs. (And I'm not discounting the advances that have been made, but they *always* seem to come with at least one gotcha that prevents their real world use.)

So in the end this is about selling pipe dreams to gullible individuals.


Not going to happen

I see the point with electric cars, and I have one myself (though not as my only car). But that said, this is another politically motivated pipe dream. It's not even borderline realistic.

Just from the perspective of minerals for manufacturing electric car batteries, there simply isn't sufficient capacity for this ambitious goal, assuming others also pursuing some less ambitious electric car plans.

And on top of that, California is lacking not only in electric production capacity, but transmission as well. Already the state is on the verge of brown-outs and rolling black-outs if anything doesn't go to plan on a hot summer day.

How is that system supposed to support a massive new power sink? Not going to happen, as the investments for that kind of expansion would have had to be started 5 years ago, not even accounting for the predictable NIMBYist delays that'll slow down any attempts at building more power plants and stringing up power transmission cables all over the state.

They might as well legislate that we will all have flying cars by 2035.

NASA selects 'full force' for probe into UFOs


Re: 100k a year?

Yawn. You must think that every number that makes the democrats look bad is from some right wing nutwork?

This is just basic math.

The IRA bill includes $80 billion or so of new additional funding to the IRS over 10 years. They are supposed to hire 80k+ new employees, but about 50k of them will be back fills for retirements in that same period. Net 30k new employees. So the IRS is getting more than $2M per new employee.

I have no idea how the IRS can be that inefficient, but just looking at the numbers, they are.

And the whole point here is that we are spending $2M per new putative IRS employee, and just $100k on this UFO thing. While I don't think it'll turn anything up, the fact that it's $100k makes it the pinnacle of absurdity in this government.


Re: 100k a year?

The IRS was just handed $2,000,000 per new employee, for over 30,000 new employees in the next 10 years. So $100,000 is not just laughable, it's effectively a big F-U.

Intel finally takes the hint on software optimization


Lack of vision since 1999

I'm not sure when Intel lost its vision, but it was sometime around when Itanium flopped. The last vestiges of techs at the VP level were replaced by marketing and bean counter types.

Just like Boeing, it takes decades for the rot to set in, but it's here now, and the top has no clue as to what business they are in. Boy oh boy, will it be difficult (and expensive) to fix the damage they've caused to what's supposed to be a tech company.

I'm giving them 50-50 odds of still being a market leader in the CPU business in 10 years. (And maybe I'm being too generous and should adjust that to 5.)

FCC decides against giving Starlink $1b in rural broadband subsidies


If you are going to call Pai corrupt, I fail to get why you wouldn't extend the same to Rosenworcel. She's been in the game long enough to not be able to play the dummy card.

Why the end of Optane is bad news for all IT


I noticed a bunch of people thumbed you down. Must be some sort of reflex not liking to hear what's really going on.

To add to to your post, I believe you left out one more reason for Optane always being destined to go the way of the Dodo bird: OS support.

In order for Optane to make a splash, it'd have to neatly fit into something that takes advantage of it. When it comes to providing support for truly new hardware capabilities, Microsoft moves slower than molasses in January. Or if it tries to move faster, say at a snail's pace, it'll introduce such low quality code that monkeys hitting keys randomly could do better.

Yes, other OS's are out there, but it seems those did not present a big enough business case to justify the continuing investment in Optane.

Intel tried selling software before. Will it succeed this time?


The year the Intel died

It's been more than 2 decades, but back in the 90's I liked going to Intel conferences.

They were all about tech, details, more tech, cool stuff, and so on. And then something changed. From one year to next tech became a side show and it was all about marketing.

I don't remember much about the keynote that year, but out of a gadzillion slides it seemed only 2 or 3 were about tech. The rest was fluff.

That's when Intel died. The carcass just doesn't know it's dead yet, kind of like Nokia took years to figure out it was done in the phone business, or Russia in the superpower one.

SpaceX Starship booster in flames after unexpected ignition



The Soviet N1 rocket had a massive bundle of motors also. That didn't work out too well for the Soviet moon program.

I hope SpaceX will figure out what went wrong.

These centrifugal moon towers could be key to life off-planet


Re: And the first meteor strike

... Then we hope that there's a camera to catch the fireworks. It'll be top of the news for at least a few days.

On a more serious note, this idea might have legs on Mars because the thin atmosphere provides some protection against meteors, but then again that also means there'll be storms. I personally think that there'll be plenty of things to kill everyone off earth, even without adding to them with something like this.

EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices


Re: Optional Chargers

This regulation makes little sense, at least based on the arguments put forth by the strong fan club it has here.

I'm left scratching my head as to why these regulation happy bureaucrats and their fan boyz couldn't have just specified that the charger and cable must be sold separately from the device. This would have directly addressed the intended outcome.

This process of specifying a single port on the device might have the same effect, but it'll be indirect, and given the plethora of charging requirements driving USB-C cables, far from guaranteed to really impact the amount of extra cables sold on the side.

The worst part about this "standard" is that it freezes innovation at the USB-C level. The connector might seem really great today, but it has warts. Not as many as its predecessors for sure, but they are there. It's susceptible to foreign object damage, it's difficult to make water proof, and it's large compared to the concept connectors that will now never see the light of day in real products.

This USB-C requirement will now stop all innovation in user friendly power connectors. There used to be a time when multiple phone vendors had magnetic phone charger pads. Those seem to be gone now, with wireless charging supposedly doing the same thing. Certainly wireless charging can manage the situation, but it's also somewhat inefficient which undermines the supposed goal of environmental protection.

As to those who think this is about forcing Apple to ship a different connector, they seem to have been designing their phones with a modular connector on the inside. I don't think it'll be much more than a SKU change for the company. But it will force millions of Apple Lightning device owners to chuck those cables when they upgrade their devices. Not exactly an environmentally friendly impact.

Anyway, we'll see in 10 years what the outcome of this rule was.


Re: Micro USB

Typical specs are 1.5k-3k cycles for USB-A, same for MicroUSB, 5k-10k for USB-C.

We sat through Apple's product launch disguised as a dev event so you don't have to


Re: We're long past peak tech

I can definitely relate.

The most efficient writing experience I had was in the 1980's and early 90's with XYWrite. The thing was blazingly fast (written entirely in assembly language). Cold booting the luggage sized "portable" into the program was just as fast as bringing back a modern computer from hibernate, and opening writing software (These days I use Byword and Hemingway).

I had macros set up for all usual tasks (like publishing, printing, etc.) and none of them took more than a few seconds. Trying to do those things on a modern computer is rarely at a similar speed, and usually slower.

So in effect there has been no practical efficiency improvement in the core work task, and in some ways a slow down, compared to what I was working with 30+ years ago.

Now *obviously* there's a lot more capabilities in modern computers, and they are small, and the battery lasts all day, instead of 0.5 seconds for the capacitors to drain. But the fluff is making many types of work more difficult.

That said, I wouldn't go back in time for anything, except perhaps to snatch up more Apple and Microsnoft stock.

The next time your program is 'not responding,' (do not) try these steps


How about not using Windows?

Did you ever consider not using Windows? There are two very good alternatives that can do (almost) everything Windows can, and in some ways a lot more. And both can crash, but

And if you have a Windows app that you absolutely have to have, how about setting that up in a virtual machine? Better yet, if the app likes to crash in the manner described in the article, why not freeze a "good" app startup in a VM, and start copies of that and never see the problem again.

Algorithm spots 104 asteroids in huge piles of data


Privately Funded Effort

This is all thanks to the B612 Foundation. B612 is a privately funded effort to find earth killer asteroids before they find us. Please chip in.


Another AI supercomputer from HPE: Champollion lands in France



Of course it can run Doom. But it being French it'll only do so for 32 hours per week, and it'll be shut down for the month of August.

Google Cloud hopes to woo factories with its usual fare: Analytics and AI


All your eggs, meet a single basket

I'm sure this cloud based automation is an awesome thing until it isn't.

This is just about as smart as putting all your production eggs in a single Chinese basket.

After historic win, Amazon workers at another NYC warehouse reject unionization


Re: Madness

Probably more along the lines of: "we can set up warehouses in a lot of places. If this place gets too expensive because of unionization, it'll go somewhere else."

That's also consistent with basic economics.


Oh the humanity...

Oh the horrors of mandatory anti-union meetings.

But why should the company not get to say what it thinks of unions?? And they are paying for the employees time, aren't they?

Atlassian comes clean on what data-deleting script behind outage actually did


Cut cut cut, and maybe measure

Why measure when one can just cut cut cut cut and throw it in a shredder?

Henceforth shredders in our office will be known as Atlassian Clouds.


Re: Oof

Assuming that this story is what really happened.

Given the time to come clean on this, it seems to me that this is more likely to be a fairy tale put together to make something far worse look acceptable. Why else would they not have told the world about it within hours or days of the incident.

There wasn't a whole lot of trust to begin with, and now at least our company will move to the Atlassian cloud over my dead body.

Meta strikes blow against 30% 'App Store tax' by charging 47.5% Metaverse toll


Re: Terrific!

There is only one answer: Yes.

Newly released Space Force data could save life on Earth


Nonprofit does a lot more to find killers...

These guys are providing excellent bang for the buck:


Atlassian Jira, Confluence outage persists two days on


We ain't going to the cloud...

For us there's no possibility of us moving to the Atlassian cloud. We'll rather spend the effort going to another solution than be entirely dependent on Atlassian's infrastructure working right. Especially in light of their "maintenance scripts".


Re: Gets Expensive

I'm sure there is more than one company looking for a replacement that's not cloud based.


RIP Jira/Confluence

When Atlassian started forcing customers to go to their Cloud, these formerly independent customers became vulnerable to this sort of thing. Less stuff for more bucks. It's the Oracle model or something.

Nvidia outlines subscription-fueled journey to $1tr revenue


Stock market bait...

This pipe dream will only be true when that $1T is worth $100B in 2022 bucks, thanks to inflation. In the meantime it's only intended for blue eyed analysts and investors.

A moment of tension as the James Webb Space Telescope stretches sunshield on way to L2 destination


Re: How are they gonna do the passive cooling?

The idea is to keep the cold side shielded and sufficiently isolated so the radiative heat loss is all it takes to drop the temperature to where it's desired. Relying on just radiation to drop to the target temp takes time, but it'll get there eventually if the sun shield and isolation works as planned.

Wackypedia link on topic, which explains the mechanism pretty well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_transfer#Radiation

Europe completes first phase of silicon independence project


Re: "efforts to create made-in-Europe chips"

This is a government project with all the economic vitality of one. As long as the government support euros keep flowing, it'll be a thing.

Docker’s cash conundrum is becoming a bet on a very different future


Missing the point...

The issue here is not just that Docker is looking for how to pay for its existence. It's also about how reliable of a supplier it is to companies that rely on it. While having tiered pricing is great for a company going in, being faced with changing rules as time goes on can be highly destructive to trust. Just ask anyone who has done business with Oracle or Microsoft.

So while creating new paid tier requirements may be the only way forward for Docker, and while the initial requirements are quite reasonable, the concern for businesses is what future changes might happen. It's sort of like the income tax that was introduced just a bit over 100 years ago at 1% (going to 7% for those who made more than 13 million in inflation adjusted dollars). But those numbers hit 23% and 94% just a few decades later.

So what's Docker's next move? Tighten the screws some more? How?

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations


I think you are pronouncing consulting fees incorrectly. Here, let me correct it for you: "Real consulting fees were reaped on MCP, VMS, RTMOS, ..."


Re: Responsibility

I sense another wave of government-driven outsourcing happening here.

When various government regulations made manufacturing in the USA too expensive, China became the obvious candidate, polluting on behalf of everyone else. That suits China just fine, as captive countries are good.

Now that government regulations are reducing the performance of private computing devices (because that's what these caps ultimately will achieve), that processing will merely shift to data centers where no caps exist. This suits the owners of such data centers just fine, as captive consumers are good.

Spyware, trade-secret theft, and $30m in damages: How two online support partners spectacularly fell out


Re: 7 years

It's probably easier to ask what is left after the lawyers get their 7 years worth of beef... Probably not much.

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing


Agreements are only as good as the people you make them with

Let's see here.

China signs deal with the UK for Hong Kong independence and takes it over pretty much the way Germany annexed Austria in 1938.

China is on the UN human rights council and massacres Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs.

China agrees to withdraw from the South China Sea (with the US and Philippines), and then doesn't.

China claims that it wouldn't weaponize its illegally built up artificial islands in the South China Sea, and then proceeds to do just that.

And the list goes on.

Yeah, we can really trust the Chinese to abide by an agreement on space.

As Uncle Sam continues to clamp down on Big Tech, Apple pelted with more and more complaints from third-party App Store devs


Re: Apple - "incredibly collaborative company"

Collaboration is team work. You do the work. Apple collects the revenue.

Apple's definition and treatment of "partners" is worse than Microsoft's. That's surprising, because back when MS was running strong I thought there is no way anyone could outdo them in that department.


Re: Another reason why

It's a question of lesser of two evils. Do I want to give my personal data to a massive data hog that knows no bounds, or do I want to give it to a secretive paranoid company operating out of a UFO? Both are similar *ssholes, but the latter at least seems to value my money slightly more instead of viewing and treating me and my personal data as a piece of merchandise. So while I don't like it, I'll go with the latter (for now).

Yep, the usual suspects are sitting down to feast: Dominant vendors get a fat slice of CIA cloud pie and so do IBM and Oracle


Re: Government links

Government intelligence. That's an oxymoron right there.

Adiós Arecibo Observatory: America's largest radio telescope faces explosive end after over 50 years of service


60 years old? -- Time to build a new one

I'm all for fixing it, but at 60 years and the obvious signs of severe deterioration, I think the best course is to tear it down and rebuild. I'm sure the necessary funds can be located somewhere. It's not like the thing is being built in outer space or something.

Mark Zuckerberg, 36, decides that having people on his website deny the deaths of six million Jews is a bad thing


Good thing or slippery slope??

I'm wondering why does Z choose to ban certain rightfully objectionable speech instead of just creating an opt-in process for them? Banning it will be a slippery slope, and it'd be far better to use an opt-in option for people who really want to talk about their sick sh*t that's otherwise legal.

Singapore to treat infosec as equivalent public good to fresh running water


Re: Singapore InterNet - Hardly Unfettered and Definitely Not 'Free'

Singapore is the i-device of nations. If you like the way it works, and how it does things, and you like working with it, it's really insanely cool (the way Jobs himself would said it).

If you don't, the clash will be frustrating and futile; you have to adapt to it, or go somewhere else.