"Over the holidays I bought Apple’s newest, shiniest face scanner."
Boasting, confessing or complaining? My usual reaction to "Posted from my iPhone".
16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014
"lack of good tools for GUI development. VI and EMACS are not exactly wonderful tools for that."
That's why they're not used for GUI development - there are much more suitable options for that. For text file wrangling, however, if you really have to use Windows you'd be well advised to install vi.
"Funnily enough, Rudd is one of the Cabinet members rumoured to be safe in her role."
Nothing funny about it in either sense. The HO would fight tooth and nail to keep her. She doesn't understand when she's talking bollocks so she sounds convinced and convincing if you don't know better. Plus she's following the exact line that the main Home Sec in Downing St wants her to follow.
"It's an interesting one, but I don't personally think that Intel should be held liable for this, as it's not an intentional bug."
So if you catch a nasty dose of food poisoning the restaurant with the poor hygiene shouldn't be held responsible because it wasn't an intentional bug?
"I'm not sure why the Intel share price has dropped, at the moment they seem to have a prime opportunity to sell more of their faulty tat and then sell us supposedly fixed tat."
It's because they have competition, AMD, and this is making that competition look good. Why else would the Intel PR response be trying to make it look as if all CPUs are equally affected?
"Switching off speculative execution (if it's possible) will kill CPU performance. Some of the reports say that current CPUs can execute several hundred instructions whilst waiting for a single memory access request to main memory. That's a lot of lost CPU performance if you switch off speculative execution."
That doesn't stop better architectures restricting speculative execution to what they're allowed to see. Nor does it stop software architectures from being designed to better security standards.
"what happens when people realize there's no point in buying anything from any of us anywhere in the near future...?"
That realisation will be followed by another: we have work to do Right Now and everything's running slower; quick, order more kit. There'll be celebrations in the sales depts right now, especially in AMD. Intel? Looking for the leftovers if AMD can't keep up with orders. It's a good time to be selling memory, motherboards and everything else as well.
"Personally, I'm going to stick to my old faithful Z80"
I liked the Z80's trick of having two sets of registers and an instruction to flip between them. Very quick context change, no need to save registers or the like. Combine that with flipping between caches and mix in some notion of security rings and it could stage a come-back.
"don't forget your routers, raspberry's, and all that wonderful IoT stuff many are based on (Broadcom) ARM Architecture"
ARM's site lists the affected processors. AFAICS Pis aren't amongst those affected. As per a previous comment about stuff you control - the embedded processors shouldn't be exposed to random stuff off the net.
"Lots of fundamental development process rethinking required in the semi-conductor world required."
Or go back to some old ideas.
Does anyone remember the Z80? Two sets of registers and an instruction to swap between them. It made for quick context swaps. There were no security advantages, of course, because back then there was no concept of security rings on an 8-bit processor.
The same thing could be adapted to the modern world. Two sets of registers and two sets of cache (OK, for any given number of transistors it would mean reduced cache sizes for each half). That would mean that an independent address space could be kept for the kernel with only a single instruction to swap the context with one set having security privileges. Extra Brownie points if the cache split can be tuned to suit workloads. There might even be scope for adding more sets for quick changes between running processes.
"Never tried Linux Mint but I know I wouldn't like it."
Those of us who use Linux normally also get dragged in to fix friends' and relatives' Windows problems. So, when it comes to Windows we know we don't like it. In my case I even spent the last few years of my working life developing for it. Glad to be shut of it.
"Another change is that the Synaptics touchpad driver has been replaced by libinput. Practically speaking, this should have no effect for most users"
One change: SWMBO's new laptop has the mouse buttons built into the touchpad. That leads to a tendency to leave a finger of one hand resting on a button whilst trying to steer the pointer with the other hand. Chaos. Once I sussed that the distros that didn't have that problem used libinput instead of synaptics I could just install it on the preferred distro.
So, yes, a practical change but a good one.
"Munich, the only place in the world, where you can make charges of taking brown envelopes disappear with brown envelopes."
Doesn't that happen in other places? E.g. although the term "fine" is often used in press releases SEC investigations seem to involve a "settlement" with no wrongdoing acknowledged.
"For example, proprietary formats such as MS Office that you cannot read on other packages."
Where, at least in the past*, that included older versions of the same MS Office application.
*I wouldn't know if that still applies. I haven't needed to use it for years but still find the LibreOffice opens any MS documents I get.
"the rigmarole of a check"
The "rigmarole" could include requiring the crime number as per the OP and making 1 in N checks with the police. It's called "having a process in place".
It raises the question of how DVLA will respond to further requests from this guy's office in future. If they really do make the thorough checks which now seem appropriate it could cost him a packet.
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