* Posts by DCFusor

407 posts • joined 12 Oct 2013

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Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

DCFusor
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Coat

The original open source?

At the time of these events, I owned a Xerox 820 (a Z-80 based machine) and soon thereafter a Kaypro (pretty much the same thing in a nice box - the 820's we got as bare boards, surplus). At my job for a "beltway bandit" we'd been doing embedded work for various parts of the US government, and were embedding Z-80 and other similar things, and had an Intel Dev system (insanely overpriced but it was gov money).

I had the source code for CP/M (a friend in the government...) and basically used that as documentation for the Intel DOS system. We had phone support on that Intel system and even spoke with Gary Kildall a few times - nudging him (without success) to look into our interrupt driven and in most cases re-entrant system hardware drivers, developed for our customers, as they would have made the Intel system a lot better. He didn't go there - Gary was Gary and it seemed, working well below what should have been his pay grade, soon to leave Intel. He didn't think it worth the effort and frankly, that class of ideas was pretty blue-sky given the capabilities of the existing hardware.

At the time we didn't think much about how similar the opsys were - and it wasn't just the int 21 calls that were identical - int 10h also - the bios...that entire concept. We were super enthused about having actual disk drives (FAT 12!) - remember that back then people were fiddling with dodgy cassette things, or were old school users of restored/surplus PDP-8's and teletypes/paper tape. BYTE magazine hadn't started up yet, quite. Everything we saw, or nearly, was following the obvious trend of filling some utterly obvious need - adding storage - there's never enough memory - adding I/O and so on, and any framework that helped make that happen was welcome. Whatever-you-call that opsys (CP/M, DOS) didn't matter, and it didn't seem weird that they were really all the same thing inside - not just the api (glad Oracle wasn't around!) but the bits, the source, same stuff. There were only so many ways to skin a cat when every byte (all semiconductor ram was static then, as god intended) and clock tick seriously mattered.

MS claim to fame then - and make no mistake, they weren't bad guys then - was the very best tools to program the little 8 bit guys - M80 and L80. Nothing else out there "just worked".

There plain wasn't enough of this stuff around, or adoption of what there was for other than hobby use (and some avionics and other things my outfit built) for us to even think of IP issues (which weren't named at all then) or the fact that this would snowball into a huge effect on the world with attendant redistribution of $$$. That was the thing Gates got right....not necessarily in a pleasing way.

Similar to Jobs real main contribution was getting the **AA's to partly remove their crania from their anus and make digital sales of some content legal. In both cases the rest simply followed.

Over the years I pointed out the similarity or near identical nature of MS-DOS to CPM and Kildall's dev system only to receive scorn and "no way, it couldn't have been " and even saw wikipedia articles explaining parallel development and that this wasn't just copied from Kildall's work.

All I wish is that A: he'd listened to us and created the basis for real multitasking as a result, and B: Microsoft's blatant copying would have resulted in a lot better initial windows instead of how things did go. But Gary was Gary - from a little bit of contact as a customer, I tend to believe the tales of his "loose cannon" exploits. He was a real character.

Pretty sure no one really wants to hear possibly misremembered history from one who was THERE, so I'll just get that coat now. We'll all miss the guys who made this all go, and in my case created the chance at a really good and long career in the biz.

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Sorry, Mr Zuckerberg isn't in London that day. Or that one. Nope. I'd give up if I were you

DCFusor
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Joke

Re: Glad I'm not him

I see from the voting we have many members of the press who don't like being called out.

See how easy it is to provoke irrationality? Joke icon because...

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DCFusor
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Re: Glad I'm not him

Very much agreed!

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DCFusor
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Glad I'm not him

On a lot of levels. Think of it this way - when the press is on a witch hunt, and especially if you're partway guilty of what they want to hang on you - there is NOTHING you can say or do that will make it better, only worse, and your best option is just to shut up.

We have a rather well known politician on this side of the pond who hasn't yet figured this out....On the other hand, he has a lot less actual influence on most matters than MarkZ, other than captivating the press utterly, even or especially those who hate him most...I guess it's a trick to keep them out of other trouble.

And being the press they've either not figured this out yet, being even dumber - or they are using it to distract attention from something else they'd rather not have in the spotlight.

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Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

DCFusor
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Re: It'll still be a damm sight cheaper than the UK launching it's own Nav Sat constellation.

No it won't. One set of birds will serve however many users. This needs one per user.

There is a big number of users....times the cost per each of these.

The rest, well...I agree with the willy waving part.

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DCFusor
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Re: Isn't this inertial guidance?

Half right Charles.

Integration itself is error prone, we don't have infinite precision in math processing itself - we have floats, doubles...and on up to a point, but it's not enough as errors accumulate - it's integration. Done over small enough sample intervals to whatever precision the buildup of error will kill you with any known processing power that is or likely will become available in the next few hundred years. See N body gravitational problem which has to be solved by perturbation (there is no closed form feedforward solution) and the inability to predict where, say, Jupiter will be in a hundred years to better than a bunch of miles accuracy. And that's with known inputs to any precision you'd like and things that take years to move around in a well known elipse - or close, as they pull on things that move and pull back and so on.

Same class of problem here.

In this case, the initial measurement by accelerometers, even if utterly exact (infinite bits/sample!), will still give errors due to gravitational anomalies making a thing that measures acceleration think its drifting up or down depending on what the gravity is where it happens to be, versus where it was calibrated. For example only - the field can be skewed in other directions as well. Looking at that is is one way to find things underground as a fairly well developed technology all its own.

Slight changes in gravity even affect clocks at this precision level: https://physicsworld.com/a/a-brief-history-of-timekeeping/

Yeah, for that, with a 100% accurate gravitational map (NASA is making them) you could correct. Thing is, at this level of accuracy, the tides and so on become significat sources of error. This is just more press-release "gimme another grant" technology with a hint of some science attached.

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Diss drive: Seagate and IBM bring blockchain sledgehammer to compliance nuts

DCFusor
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Re: Hard drives vs SD cards

I used to own the proper tools to dump and program the uP in many hard drives, and as an excercise, my outfit looked into what was in a few of them software wise. It's like the saying about sausage. It in no way takes "a state level actor" to do that - any reasonably competent embedded engineer with the normal tools can do it in a day or few and make it "whatever you want". Not a lot of point in that as you say, though.

FWIW, some of that data is stored on normally inaccessible *to you* parts of the regular drive. Keyword "normally" as there are tools in open source that let you get to it as well.

As you say, there's not much point in doing that for a normal thief, it's NSA kind of thing, or someone who really thinks planting an unwipeable persistent virus is worth the hassle. No need, since most people who willingly give up all their data to various slurping entities in social media, who then sell that info on cheaper than it'd be to collect it oneself.

The issue I heard of was selling repackaged drives - they had the stated capacity, the issue was that in effect, what were sold as consumer drives with a factory warranty - and at the consumer prices - we actually drives originally bought in bulk by OEMs much cheaper that had no factory warranty associated with their serial numbers (the maker does keep track). Since basically no one checks, people only found out when they had an issue and were denied warranty service - which they'd effectively paid for from some vendor hidden opaquely behind Amazon (in this case) - so no recourse.

So to me, adding another thing no one checks isn't going to be any sort of real answer to the problems that do exist. Denying the problem is a mistake, and claiming this is the answer, another.

Rule one in security is that if the adversary has physical access, it's game over. Any scheme that depends on something the adversary has had access to reporting something is utterly flawed. It can always tell you it's all good. We've seen plenty of examples of stolen keys and certs, it's not the algo that's the issue as much as it is human malfeasance. Yes, you could have a whole batch of drives all claiming they were the same legit drive, for one example (that's easy to protect against if known, but there are so many possibilities, I'll believe it when I see it).

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DCFusor
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Not that blockchain is the answer

But yes, pullouts are commonly sold - there is a long comment thread right now on Amazon about people getting warranty-free drives originally sold to OEMs. I just happened to notice as this is a drive I have a few of, have had good luck with, and was considering getting more of. Not now, after that thread. Seems a lot of people have gotten drives that are not even re labeled as retail.

Counterfeits are also common for SD cards, as you know if you've bought many for raspberry pies and then measured their speed and capacity before putting them in use. Easy to find two that look identical, in identical packaging, that have a 3x speed difference and 5% capacity difference (or half or less).

And these are brands like Sandisk and Samsung....at least someone put that on the package. See this article on how commonplace that is in that world:

https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=3554

There's an entertaining video at that link as well. But the counterfeit issue is why Bunnie and Xobs got into hacking the internals of SD cards in the first place.

Blockchain is still dumb, though. Humans are going to cheat - they'll just move to another part of the transaction chain if you make it hard in one place - they'll just pop up somewhere else.

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Mything the point: The AI renaissance is simply expensive hardware and PR thrown at an old idea

DCFusor
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Holmes

Studied this back in the day

And I find it interesting what the current day workers are reporting as problems, because these same problems (well, most of 'em) were identified with measures to avoid them "back in the day", IIRC, the '90s.

We used sigmoid type activation functions. There's a good reason they're better than relu. The squashing of the range prevents one neuron from locking up a network by being insanely "sure of itself". Yes, this also means you need more and better training data, and it takes more time to train. Being smart is hard, get over it. There's more computer power now, but not that much more (the hardness blows up faster than improvements in hardware has).

Since we were able to prove that no function required more then two hidden layers to map, we never used more than two hidden layers. Again, this means that it took more twiddling on the numbers of neurons in each layer, and again - more and better training data - and time.

There are other mistakes one should avoid, like trying to get a network to predict over more than one time period, or simply trying to do too much in a single network, as this makes it possible for the network to minimize its cost function by being dead wrong on some outputs if some of the others are right...there are a lot of things like this - you can't just blow a lot of data and cycles at something and "test in" whether it worked - there's no foolproof automated test for unexpected data. And lots of other mistakes you can make, but this is a reg comment. Suffice it to say, when you think you've reduced a problem to the point monkeys can do it...you get monkey solutions.

Now someone found that if you use a far easier to train (on your tiny already known univers) model is to use a stupid activation function and too many layers, you can train horribly oversized networks and sometimes get a fairly amazing result - but the truth is, and any real statistician knows this - you have ENORMOUSLY OVERFIT your tiny known universe.

Which is why you can easily fool the result into thinking a gun is a turtle, a stopsign is a hippo, whatever.

Bad networks are why GAN's are so easy. They'd be possible either way, but....

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Now Europe wants a four-million-quid AI-powered lie detector at border checkpoints

DCFusor
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Two weeks!

Am I the only one here to recognize that picture of Arnold S in disguise at the Mars entry point in Total Recall?

for those who didn't see it, the head blows up after a glitch in its own AI gets stuck saying "two weeks" in response to the question of how long a stay is expected.

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Sensor failure led to Soyuz launch failure, says Roscosmos

DCFusor
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Thumb Up

Re: spacecraft design

@Lee -+1 informative, thanks!

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DCFusor
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Re: "can the fault detection system work fast enough. "

@Peter - clearly most HAVE forgotten...

It's nice to have the new fast stuff as you can save programmer time and basically use dumber developers since the tools that come with those abstractions are much more helpful and require a lot less ingenuity to get an issue debugged. But not only is all that unnecessary, it's bad.

You'd much rather have a more experienced and competent developer who can do without all that, and who has the ingenuity to not only track down issues - building their own tools for those cases as required (down to toggle this wire if I got here with x data), and who can anticipate a bunch of corner cases the less advanced guy didn't think of up front when they are best handled.

You can't really test those 9's in past the first 2 or so. They have to be there by design. Once there is a solid design, coding is the simple part, even in the more difficult to use languages and simpler homebrew opsys' on minimal hardware.

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Goodnight Kepler! NASA scientists lay the exoplanet expert to rest as it runs out of fuel

DCFusor
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A song

About just how much Kepler changed our world...and the search for planets in general.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gai8dMA19Sw

Though based on a disney tune, I thought it pretty good.

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Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

DCFusor
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Re: I swear to Cthulhu, Michael O'Rielly is fekkin' insane.

I regret I only have one upvote to give. This partisanship is utterly nuts - all the parties involved have been "in power" time and time again, the situation just gets monotonically worse, and whoever is out of power spends all their time, with all too much success, convincing people that it's they guys currently driving who are lost. As if the other guys weren't lost themselves when they drove the bus.

Nope...they think the only obstacles are each other and we're just cattle for them to farm. And they wonder why nut jobs get voted for - people are desperate for something better - not just change, but positive change, and failing that - burn it down so we can start clean again.

The current situation reminds me of the awe some held over the US civil war, amazed that brother would be against brother. But it's what I see now on the media, and less so (thank $diety), in real life.

We can be civil if we decide to be - it's happened in the past in my own lifetime. Let's encourage it to re-appear.

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Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

DCFusor
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@Doctor

Maybe we get really lucky and they RIF Lennart Poettering or he quits? I hear IBM doesn't tolerate prima donnas and cults of personality quite as much as RH?

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Americans' broadband access is so screwed up that the answer may lie in tiny space satellites

DCFusor
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Re: I can't believe it

What makes you think that? However many satellites you could put up will simply continue the creation of deliberate scarcity, with only those willing to pay high rates getting more. Sure, people who live in "nowhere" will perhaps be able to buy faster internet (but with nasty latency) where now, there's no other option at all (where I live that's the case - yes the latency of low orbit birds will be less than GEO now, but still nasty - and all the money you can spend here won't get you past a 6 megabit down/one up DSL).

But you can always put down more fiber...not so with satellites and radio bandwidth. Both run out of room pretty quickly - they just don't scale.

Just because the cable companies don't own an artificial scarcity resource today...what makes you think they won't buy it up as soon as it makes sense to them to do so (like they have with content providers)?

Our FCC has become as dysfunctional as some big parts of the EU and needs to be rethought. Kinda reminds me of issues with too much power in a bureaucracy, like the patent office (both sides of the pond, somewhat different issues but...).

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Our brave El Reg vulture sat through four days of Oracle OpenWorld to write this cracking summary just for you

DCFusor
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Re: Just wondering

Seems to me that if the control plane has any connection at all to the customer stuff - as it must to be of any use at all....

It's gonna be "challenge accepted" by hackers, and they're gonna win. In any asymmetric warfare situation the defender is at a huge disadvantage. They have to sit there and defend...they have to have a fairly uniform interface for their customers...they can't just change up overnight (or over-nanosecond). Attackers have all the time in the world, can come from any direction (or IP range used by customers)..and so far, nothing has been immune to that - zero.

All it's going to take is for an attacker to find a way to poison the data the control plane requires from the stuff it's controlling, and bingo, there will be a hole somewhere - there haven't exactly been a lot of exceptions to that even if you leave Adobe out of it.

And yeah, I know a few people who work with Oracle stuff - zero of them like it, their licensing, or their support, along with their practice of forcing them to buy cloud licenses under threat of an audit of their on-prem stuff. The ones who can are porting to, well, anything else. The ones stuck supporting some government shop are stuck, so far.

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Flash price-drop pops Western Digital's wallet: Surprise revenue fall with worse to come

DCFusor
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Someone downvoting all the HD lovers? I'll take a hit for the team myself. They have their place here, among, yes, lots of SSDs too.

Huge capacity per penny, the ability of just one very cheap NAS type (slow spin) drive to pretty much saturate GB ethernet (I use odroid HC2's as a very full featured NAS with linux, one with only Open Media Vault) and the ability to power down almost totally - I note all my SSD's stay quite warm no matter what - make them a good deal for the slowest layer of the storage hierarchy here.

I can (and do) have 4, tb drive/cpu setups, not all in the same building, each specialized to serve whatever I need (LAN of things, internal bulletin board, web servers with CGIs that control stuff in the lab and do data acq), that also do cron driven rolling backups - at any one time I have physically and temporally dispersed backups of code and data that has taken years to build up, and I'd hate to lose it.

I got the drives and the computers for less than the cost of SSD alone that size would be.

Hate to quote that guy, but quantity DOES have a quality all it's own. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE SSD drives, this laptop has 2 of them, and it's not my main machine at all. But....that size per buck and per joule - the mostly spun down HDDs do have a valid place in the scheme of things.

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Intel: You'll get 10nm next year – now witness the firepower of this fully armed cash machine

DCFusor
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Re: LMGTFY

Haven't traded myself for a few years now, but aftermarket trading was a sort of wild-west thing - not many players, low liquidity, which can lead to "interesting" price moves that aren't later confirmed in the normal markets. That can work for you or against you as a trader if you know that and get kind of a feel for it.

Or used to.

For example, sometimes there are no buyers for something - and a dumb seller puts out a "sell at market" order. If you had a "buy at 1/2 the normal price or below" order in - you'd get a steal, one you could probably sell at something like the normal price the next day...and other variations of that kind of thing on either side of a trade.

Nowadays, the HFTs (who never sleep) and a few savvy humans (who never seem to need sleep)...kinda wrapped that one up, leaving little for the average person to play with there.

Price moves after hours are generally not as meaningful as those that occur with real volume behind them - they can be a complete illusion that will lead one astray if one things the moves are going to hold or continue the next day. It's kind of a "selected from random data" thing - prices are mostly set by uninitiated out-of-the-know small traders - it can go either way as to what's going to happen next in the "real" markets.

So, it's a possible indicator but that's all - the wind may change direction at any time...

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This two-year-old X.org give-me-root hole is so trivial to exploit, you can fit it in a single tweet

DCFusor
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Re: FWIW

@bob

Yep -- off topic or not, I've seen that "you have to be at the machine - right there" to do rooty stuff statement here too many times, and even if the post I replied to was incorrect about needing sudo vs ability to mess with suid - it's true despite the downvotes I collected for saying it.

It's tiresome and probably gives noobs the idea that if they have physical security they are safe.

We all know that if you don't, you're done, but the opposite isn't true.

I have plenty of single-user systems headed and headless and of course you need root privileges to do the required customization during setup. Many have never had a keyboard or terminal of any sort physically attached, yet you see this "you have to be at the machine" stuff all the time here.

And if you've got root, fooling with permissions is not exactly a problem either.

There are around 20 machines here that give the lie to that statement.

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DCFusor
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Facepalm

FWIW

Not one linux machine here - spanning x86. amd64 and arms (more than one flavor of each) - and several distros, requires you to be "sat at the machine" to get sudo or root - If you can get it at the machine, you can get it remotely (there may be a way to turn that off, but I've not seen it). VNC or SSH make it easy from any remote machine if you log in as a user that is an sudoer. That "have to be there" is an utter myth. On the not-raspberry pi distros you do have to know that user's password, but you'd have to know that either way.

Back when the Norse attack map was up and going, you'd see plenty of attacks to just those ports -"for some reason". Also RDP, of course.

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Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

DCFusor
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Re: Who's gonna buy it?

@DougS

Can't believe saying something one owns will ever be unhackable got upvotes here, where most of us know that physical access == game over.

Do you work for the Oz (or US) government wanting LEO-only backdoors?

How many DVDs or games have had their DRM unhacked?

"Should be" is not a viable strategy...in either computers or stock market trading.

Think how much money such a hack would be worth (and of course, it would pre-exist for people the government thinks are "worth it") - and who'd benefit from selling it....it'd last as long as the DHS luggage master keys at most.

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Forgotten that Chinese spy chip story? We haven't – it's still wrong, Super Micro tells SEC

DCFusor
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Re: Conspiracy theory? @ AC

Yeah, having been a market player myself, I note Bloomberg does NOT in any way represent any sort of "gold" standard to anyone who pays attention to what they do. They of course please the seriously left-leaning non-financially in-the-know people like um...some here who don't know about the financial facts but love the hard-left opinions constantly expressed on Bloomberg. Many consider their reporting quite slanted - you can not tell lies but still fail to tell enough truth .... telling only one side of a multifaceted story is not telling the whole truth. In fact, it's propaganda and deception 101.

They're in the same business as the other sharks and snakes, people, and play it the same as any of the other not-too-honest market participants. They make money from turmoil, even if they didn't short this stock first themselves directly (oh, there are so many ways...that don't leave much of a trail). They sell data, and the crazier things get, the more money they make. EG, simplest theory follows from Cui Bono.

A well setup outfit could indeed do such a plant on a board, there's no technical or financial reason not to, and there are such things as "silent assets" for "last resorts" in the military and spy communities, but lacking even one proven sample...the fact that it's possible is only one leg of the stool.

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Need a modest Arm Cortex-A CPU in your custom chip? Just apply online. Plus $125,000

DCFusor
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Re: Age

It's why serious embedded devs are paid very well. If they're going to make a zillion of something, being able to use a few pennies cheaper cpu * millions, or even hundreds thousands, will amortize a heck of a lot of NRE - your pay and bennies. Hard job to get - there aren't that many around working for the big boys, but it's a real good place to be...I liked it when I was there.

The mantra is creating the response "I didn't know such a cheap thing could even DO that".

Get there and it's winning.

When everyone started putting windows CE or linux onto everything, it all got really sloppy and bloated. Sigh. Now you see these killer chips (compared to the 6502/8051/PIC "you name it") used for stuff you could almost do in a 555.

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Stealthy UK startup drops veil on next frontier of speech wizardry

DCFusor
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Re: The Cloud?

I wrote an MFC wrapper for IBMs via voice for a startup back in the day, and if it was at all trained on a particular speaker (it could handle many but it wanted to be told who was talking) - it was super good. In many opinions better than the Dragon stuff, particularly in the case of custom vocabularies - this was used to transcribe doctor's patient notes, so it needed to know medical jargon and a multitude of ways to say any number (one hundred, a hundred, one zero zero, and on and on for more complex ones). It got so if a doctor often coughed in the middle of saying some weird drug name, it'd sill get it right - due to regular human transcriptionists error-checking and telling the speech engine what was really said.

Adapting how a thing written for unix then to windows then rose some serious eyebrows and won the odd award. It was definitely a complex thunk operation. I've thought about resurecting the codebase, this time just using in linux as I abandoned windows around .net and the VB'ing of visual studio time, as no one was paying me to fix windows anymore - linux ever since.

It's long been known in the speech recog biz that working for one person (or a few known ones) is a metric ton easier than "all ya'll out there". It is in fact easier to tell who is speaking (biometric fashion) than what they are saying for a limited population.

This is one reason the big boys use the cloud. The other is of course, the obvious snooping and slurping.

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Anonymous Amazonian demands withdrawal of face-recog kit from sale

DCFusor
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Re: Wrong target

Ken: This ^^^^

You can't keep science/tech a secret for very long, or especially just one part - it all hangs together, which is one reason we like the scientific method.

The whole fooforah around crypto - same issues. They'd have to make good crypto illegal to have their way at all. but then it'd be all too obvious about that police state thing.

As you said, wrong target.

Of course, human nature, which governments express often the worst parts of - doesn't change much either...even in revolts as in that old UK band the Who mentioned.

"Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss". If your're lucky and don't get the French Revolution iterations instead.

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DCFusor
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Re: If you don't like it then resign

If you're a whiny loser, you should instead stay and gum up the works...there was also a bit of that in WWII IIRC...

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Yale Security Fail: 'Unexpected load' caused systems to crash, whacked our Smart Living Home app

DCFusor
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Re: Let this be a lesson

Yeah, gerdesj - see my post above. Roll your own and it might be fine...otherwise you're the product; that's getting tired, but what else to call this crap?

The question of who should be liable for software failures occasionally comes up on Bruce Schneieir's security blog...

MS would have gone bankrupt long since even if it was a nickle per incident. Systems failure - the big things like airplanes have laws in place...Self driving cars are going to get interesting. IoT is yet another place the question is too open.

Seems like consumers should demand something other than a handwaving warranty that doesn't cover anything. I resist saying there should be a law, as that hardly ever ends well.

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DCFusor
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Re: The "Smart Home" crashed?

Been saying - and doing - this for years, Dan. I've built a "LAN of things" for my off-grid homestead to automate what I can here - and it's never been on the internet at all. It controls things like the solar power system, the backup generators, heaters (plumbing/freezing), water collection and purification, general status reporting to database and CGIs for realtime status display and control, video cameras (nice game shots here in the wild) and whatever else I can do with some pi's, odroids, and ESPs.

(detailed on my sci/tech forums which I won't pimp here)

It's great and pretty reliable, but nothing is perfect, so of course, having watched the aliens on Star Trek take over the computers - only a plot device for them...there are manual backups. But saving having to go turn valves and unbolt access panels in nasty weather most of the time is valuable.

As far as I can see the only reason to put ANY of this on the internet is to slurp data in an even more blatant (but probably less effective?) way than the big outfits known for this. It can be pretty intimate - my barometers all show every time a door is opened or shut, water flow shows a flush...and so on.

So it's all for profit - and not yours. How many people really NEED to do anything with their home from away? How did they manage without it only a few years ago? People need to be asking themselves....

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Crucial P1 minicard flash drive? Not if you grabbed Intel's 660p

DCFusor
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I guess it must be quality control or "luck of the draw".

FWIW, a little reading comprehension here - I was using m.2 sata drives, not something you could even put in an old machine. Assuming the guts are identical is well, an assumption, Lee, and I've noticed you're usually a lot smarter than that.

I've had great luck with seagate drives - and GM cars, but seem to have avoided the models everyone knows (now) were utter crap. I have some pretty old stuff that's taken quite the beating and still works fine - I only took the 2 gb seagates offline because, why would you keep something that obsolete...

I've had IBM deathstars go bad, but our software dev outfit was cross backing them up on each other's machines. So no loss, other than $$ and time.

Hint -you can't raid in a single slot NUC. You can back up, of course, and I did - but not every minute.

And FWIW, neither is proof against a fat finger delete - even a backup if you don't notice in time and avoid backing up the mistake.

Lucky it wasn't real important data I lost to Crucial..else I'd have used better stuff (not some rebranded OCZ)..else I'd have been more careful.

And you know, there's a limit - hindsight by a third party always says you should have spent more than you made protecting what you made???? Things like raid and backups cost time and money too, and sometimes aren't worth it. It's almost always better to avoid the problem in the first place as a one time cost. A rate of expense - well, a drip can empty the ocean.

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DCFusor
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I'll never buy another

Out of, dunno - maybe 20+ SSDs that have been here so far, exactly two have failed. And in all time (let's just say decades going back to mfm) - are the only times data has actually been truly and instantly lost.

Both were Crucial M.2 sata, and they seemed to have failed due to parasitic body scr latchup. Got very hot, drug the power supply down to zip (intel NUCs in both cases) and were not recoverable even from an external adapter card - even in the one time in ten they didn't latch up again on power up.

Every other SSD I've bought - Samsung, Sandisk, Intel - quite a number of them, most in much more demanding applications - is still working fine, with many times the power cycles and runtime hours.

!00% failure rate of one brand says it all for me. FWIW, the same machines that had those drives fail in them had Crucial brand LPDDR3 too - and it's fine.

Just one, well, two, data points. Enough for me, though.

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Love Microsoft Teams? Love Linux? Then you won't love this

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Re: "Vanishingly Small"

Nate, you might be in a silo. For around 10 years, nearly all the devs I've worked with use linux - even if it's a VM on a Mac or Windows, but mostly native with perhaps windows in a VM to test some things.

Windows has a huge legacy for untrained office workers, sure, and unlike linux pays a ton of astroturfers, and pundits - to tell everyone it's the only thing out there...

It ain't necessarily so. Now that a lot of the world does things in browsers, and most servers run linux - by a huge margin - the devs who write that server side stuff use...isn't it obvious?

Even Azure is largely linux. AWS? See any list of facts for a citation.

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Hunt for Red Bugtober: US military's weapon systems riddled with security holes – auditors

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Joke

I think I heard their excuse went something like "none of these are yet in service, and given our recent fortunes, none will work anyway when we put them in service, so a bad guy hacking them will have no effect and is the least of our worries."

Like the logistics system for the most expensive fighter ever - itself over budget and late - that doesn't work, which doesn't matter as the fighter itself is grounded anyway.

Luckily, it's all just a jobs program anyway, feeding votes for pols by being made in little bits all over in their various districts.

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Those Stanford whiz kids have done it again. Now a chatty AI bot to negotiate sales for you with Craigslist riffraff

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Re: Maybe it does make sense

Scary indeed. As in, roughly the first thing that burning bush told Moses. Reportedly,

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Facebook's new always-listening home appliance kit Portal doesn't do Facebook

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Re: Don't forget the duct tape!

So, should I use my .38 for the double tap, or my .45 ACP? What kind of backstop is good for this?

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Microsoft's elderly .NET Framework shakes stick at whippersnapper Core while Visual Studio drops another preview

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Bob, that was a big reason that we jumped off the MS ship and onto linux as a shop here right then.

We love the old devstudio before they VB'd it up - we even used it for multiplatform projects; windows code that drove a DSP somewhere, with all the code files in the same project and built with f5 with only a little scripting and of course, the other required compilers It made doing hardware/software product design for a big customer a breeze...then ...

We switched to linux, and after training some interns at our customer on windows internals (so they could support our customer's customers), helped the customer switch their own internal systems to linux - way back then. They still thank us now and then.

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Whose line of attack is it anyway? Cyber-assault whodunnits harder than ever to solve

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Heh

This commentard has been taking UMBRAGE at many of these "our enemy for the current agenda did this" attributions for quite some time. Nice to hear some of the "pros" are catching up with the obvious. Having spend some time doing tech in government (sorry, I did quit as soon as I figured things out) - believe me the idea that something clever could only be done by a state sponsored actor is ludicrous.

Funny, they didn't bother to deny the UMBRAGE program - or any of the other leaked ones...

Or Snowden's leaks, or Assange's, or those nasty emails...as if who hacked who was more important than the content that all agree was factual...wow. They are selling the idea that it's the fault of the messenger and people buy that?

Or that agencies that lie for a living are telling the truth just this once; laughable.

There are no such things as false flags...oh wait a minute...

They're probably not telling a lie when they say they're protecting the government..parsed carefully, what does that mean about protecting you?

Luckily, like the cops and robbers where I live - both are low IQ range and mostly bother one another and leave we alright people alone.

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Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

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With police and other agencies now flying their own drones, it's going to be interesting when they shoot each other's down, no? After all, their record (for most values of them) at connecting the dots is what it is.

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AI trained to sniff out fake news online may itself be fake news: Bot has mixed results in classifying legit titles

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Ah, yes, the self-referential eternal golden braid. As another old coot who has happened to be at quite a number of events later reported on (or hidden on a back page) by media....it's all pretty much fake, if it bleeds it leads, if if doesn't bleed enough, make something up.

I've seen photogs take pix of a "rescue worker hero" giving CPR to a woman dead for 45 minutes in an auto crash I witnessed...and published on the front page. Partisan events...don't even go there. Plenty of outright lies to sell ads, not even getting into the partisan "make up your own reality" baloney where the biggest lie is that if the other side is wrong, yours is right - what a load of dingo's kidneys (to quote the other Doug). Since you have no meaningful input to who is chosen to represent a "side" or indeed what "sides" there are...It's been a long time since I've run into anyone who thinks any of the sides represent them whatever. Only oligarchs/$BIGCORP are represented anymore.

How about all the partisans who say they want to pick "those other guy's pockets" to give you what you want - till you figure out there ARE NO OTHER GUYS - it'll all connected and as Akbar said "it's a trap".

If you've seen the wheel turn a few times, it's obvious. Sad to watch so many newcomers get fooled and ripped off...

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The fur is not gonna fly: Uncle Sam charges seven Russians with Fancy Bear hack sprees

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Re: Same guys?

Sounds like the West is telling their bosses to give them achievement awards. Or simply telling them to find other work and let the new guys have a chance...

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AI engines, Arm brains, DSP brawn... Versal is Xilinx's Kitchen Sink Edition FPGA

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Re: FPGAs have been around for a very long time

Sounds like you've been there and done that, martin. Yup....same here. A long while back.

But it was a rare (military or intel) customer that wanted this kind of performance and could stomach the price as you mention, back in the day.

I think what's going on now (or trying to) is bringing the price point of the part and tools down to the point of getting wider adoption - you see the odd fpga project even on hackaday.

I remember a time when I was priced out of the FPGA world as a consultant - greater than $10k just for the privilege of using the tools to design one into something - but if I got the customer to ask - free. Some MBA somewhere needed a new life if they thought locking out people or making their toolset a profit center was wise.

That's what is changing now...the NRE can still be fierce if you need to get up to speed from zero on the tools, but free versions are out there (clunky but I've seen them work) and the parts are lower than "holy crap, $tupid" now.

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Microsoft: OK, we have no phones, but look how much we love Android

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Re: Microsoft Android ®

Are they still refusing to tell the public *what* patents? IIRC from Groklaw, they weren't saying and part of the settlement with the manufs was some kind of NDA about that.

Being good spirited and all, so everyone is saved the effort of working around such patents.

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You dirty DRAC: IT bods uncover Dell server firmware security slip

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I don't understand

If this "root of trust" thingie is something they add as an upgrade...how do they make it forever not-rewriteable so that the same hacker can't just change the key to make the malware check out, or simply remove the checking altogether, since as described, this "root of trust" seems to be firmware/key in writeable - and updateable - memory.

If you're root, there's not much that's impossible if the storage can be written...maybe their fix only broke one existing vector, seems more likely to me.

Security is HARD.

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Facebook gives third-party apps the all-clear

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So

The reported darknet offers of logins from this breach for $3/identity/account don't work and no customer has had the wit to use one? You know, the ones facebook probably can't even tell aren't legit because the user hasn't changed password (yet)?

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What do Zuck, Sergey, @Jack and Bezos have in common? They don't want encryption broken

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Re: The Don't Want Encryption Broken

I didn't see any opportunity for anyone but government to slurp more data...the big corps weren't getting any new slurp rights at all. But the government wants them (and indirectly us) to pay for the cost of compliance with this, and create yet another place for the slurped data go to without our permission, increase the attack surface by also holding it in a government IT system or few...and of course give government access to whatever they want almost surely without due process, because they'll want so much there aren't enough judges to sign all the warrants...

Just one more sign of governments afraid of their people, not because they fear not getting re-elected, but perhaps other reasons more related to actual anger in the populace. Nip any real resistance in the bud, a stitch in time and all that.

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Groupon to pay IBM $57m after getting money off e-commerce patent settlement

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Re: IBM has patented things like breathing and movement, etc.

Many of the things you mention IBM earning...well, they did do the work, mostly with zero risk, as ARPA (now DARPA), NSA, and others paid them to look into this and that and paid them rather well to do so...

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Send up a satellite to zap space junk if you want Earth's orbit to be clean, say boffins

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Factor of two

Maybe not what you'd think from my title. I don't see a need to have the other (maybe unwanted by whatever else it might strike) beam here. Or in fact the need to apply enough energy in one go to de-orbit your target. So what if action-reaction pushes your garbage deorbiter away? Use that to move it to another orbit (it will anyway) to put a little of the right action on some other target (no shortage of those), repeat as necessary. Eventually you get them all...or your buddy sats do, obviously you'd use more than one. Last I checked we have computers and stuff to handle ballistic calculations, and predict what might be the best path through a complex set of maneuvers. And even humans on the ground to check their work, and in fact also run computers on the ground so as to save the money required in launching them. No need for those to be in space themselves. Just sensors and some kind of beam - laser ablation of plasma. Given a choice, this old engineer would have both.

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Hacky hack on whack 'Hacky Hack Hack' Mac chaps hack attack rap cut some slack

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Black Helicopters

Re: Jeesus

I'm sure the Russians would take UMBRAGE at that remark,

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Linux kernel 'give me root, now' security hole sighted, dubbed 'Mutagen Astronomy'

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Yeah, I haven't noticed anything I can do from a physical console I can't do via SSH or even VNC - same permissions all around once logged in either way as far as I can tell.

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Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far

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Tiled tabs are useful here

Vivaldi isn't my default browser for just fooling around, but when I'm running an experiment in my lab, I monitor things via some cameras (raspberry pies) and some data acquisition and display software I wrote. With some radiation and very high voltages floating around, it's nice to run some things remotely.

This stuff can use up screen space really quickly, even if you have 4 on a machine as I do (an oddball Nvidia card made for stock traders works well - but it's only 4).

Since most of the time I'm just looking for something smoking, falling over, arcing - something dramatically bad happening so I know to hit that kill switch right away - I use Vivaldi to tile 4 realtime camera streams on one of the monitors, which saves the other three for other things, rather than needing all 4 to see the video streams or having to build some other custom solution.

That way I can see my realtime gnuplots and use the remote control GUIs while still keeping an eye out for things that would otherwise be hard to instrument.

This is a good thing...

With sync, if it's good - it could become my daily driver as well.

I know it's a niche use-case, but here I am in that niche.

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