Re: A better question...
"A better question to ask is what other flaws has Intel been hiding from us? They apparently knew about this for awhile. Evidence from Linux sources show as much since July or so when the developers started working on the fix."
You, uh, realize this is how security *works*, right?
When responsible researchers discover an issue they don't just immediately go and plaster it all over the press. They disclose it to other relevant parties, behind what's called an embargo, which basically means everyone agrees not to go and tell the press about it.
Then all the relevant parties work together to come up with a comprehensive fix. *Then* they ship the fix and declare the vulnerability once everything is nicely lined up.
If they *don't* do this you have a zero-day vuln - where the vuln is publicly disclosed, but no *fix* is yet available - which is a very bad thing. Embargoes and delayed disclosure exist precisely to prevent this happening.
The reason this issue was still embargoed is that fixing/mitigating it is complex and requires co-ordination among many parties, because it can't just be conveniently fixed in one place. People were busy lining up comprehensive fixes to various OS kernels and to things like web browsers to try and prevent exploitation via malicious scripts.
Whichever numpty went and prematurely blew the gaff to the press has caused a whole ugly mess, particularly since they didn't really do a very good job of explaining it, leading to lots of coverage which is confusing one specific exploit variant (that is Intel-only) with the entire class of potential exploits (which is certainly *not* Intel-only; weaponizable exploits are already known to exist for Intel, ARM, s390 and PPC CPUs, and for AMD CPUs with a non-default Linux kernel configuration, and it seems extremely naive to believe there won't be *more* along very soon).