109 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013
I am surprised Intel have even bothered with this
If this is the best that Intel can currently do on the new process then I really don't see the point of it, unless of course this is a shareholder appeasement move or PR strategy. This chip is never going to impress anyone and is far from the usual high-end showcase a new chip or process traditionally receive, it just serves to highlight the big problems that they are having.
It is definitely very revealing as to what a dire state Intel's 10nm process must be in right now. I'm sure I read somewhere that Intel won't be skipping 10nm because of all the money they have invested in it so far and they want a return on their investment. If that is true then this could be a huge mistake as it could leave them at a real disadvantage. They simply have to make 10nm work and fast, meanwhile their rivals move onto 7nm and beyond leaving them far behind.
When you also take into account the up to 30% slowdown from the Meltdown patches, it's no wonder that they hired Jim Keller! For the first time in a long time, maybe even since the Athlon days, Intel look decidedly second best and they're vulnerable, not only from AMD but also they have the ARM crowd to contend with.
Re: This is a trivial design...
The other problem with the Spectrum Next is the price. I'd have probably got one for under £100.
Even if such a magic machine were possible, can you imagine the size of the thing? It'd never be finished being built!
According to a quick bit of Google-Fu, Facebook alone has 300 petabytes of data and adds another 4 petabytes per day, contains 250 billion photographs which grows at a rate of 350 million per day, has nearly 1.5 billion daily active users/2 billion monthly users and growing fast, etc. - which apparently all need scanning and judging automagically to somehow always agree with the government?
Oh look, a flying pig... Haha.
Intel out, AMD in?
Intel may well be on the way out, but could that be because AMD is on their way in as they can offer more bang for Apple's bucks?
While Apple's ARM chips may be more than good enough for the iStuff and their mid-range desktops and laptops, for the time being I can still imagine Apple wanting to supplement them with something a little beefier for their high performance models. It could make some sense for them to employ a big.little type configuration with their custom ARM CPU for less intensive tasks, but having a Ryzen/Epic (and Vega graphics) kicking in when higher performance is required. Also by not abandoning x86 straight away, this could also help give them time to further boost their ARM performance and allow the Mac developers to port their applications to the new architecture.
Re: Do you even know what what government is FOR, let alone how it actually works?
@ GIRZiM - It sounds like you assume ARM earns more than they actually do. ARM profits aren't big enough to really worry about who owns it, we're 'only' talking a few hundred million a year not billions.
Foot meet hand grenades
It seems Microsoft aren't satisfied merely shooting at their own feet so they decided to take it to the next level.
Of course, MS being a joke is nothing new but this is one enormous screw up, even by their super low standards.
It is also not unheard of for Microsoft to deliberately introduce new show-stopping bugs into operating systems they'd rather people upgraded from. It was the exact same tactic they used when Vista was replacing XP e.g. SP3 broke popular on-board networking and sound on a lot of motherboards unless the drivers were installed prior to the service pack, otherwise the PC fell silent and had no networking no doubt convincing the technically illiterate that the actual hardware was broken and it was time for a new PC (and the latest version of Windows).
What are the odds that the official fix advice will be "upgrade to Windows 10"?
Re: wonder which of the promoted companies
If you meant the start-up accelerator that GCHQ is pumping money and expertise into, then these are some of them:
- - - -
Seven startups were whittled down from 50 entries in total, and these were CounterCraft, Cyberowl, Cybersmart, Elemendar, Spherical Defence, StatusToday and Verimuchme.
Verimuchme is a digital wallet for personal identification, while Cyberowl is an early-warning system for cyber attacks. Cybersmart automates implementation, certification and compliance across security standards. Elemendar is described by Wayra as a "collective intelligence platform that provides data visualisations to make sense of complex, uncertain, or volatile issues". Spherical Defence a "banking API intrusion detection system that uses deep learning to detect hacking attempts by establishing a baseline of normal communication".
StatusToday is a platform that uses machine learning to try to make sense of human behaviour in the workplace, including insider attacks but also defending against plain human error. Speaking with Techworld, StatusToday's cofounder Ankur Modi said that the incubator had been essential in advancing his business.
"The incubator was an interesting experiment for us," Modi said. "As a very young startup in the UK, we have been very keen to engage with GCHQ to understand how to mature the technology and the business.
"One of the things it's helped us with is we got access to very senior experts within GCHQ, both technical and commercial, who helped us refine the technologies. Our machine learning capabilities, I would say, certainly have improved as a result of the conversations and discussions we've had with them – around what are the things that really matter when it comes to threat and risk, and what are the things that don't have that big a damage impact."
- - - - - -
The second tranche of GCHQ-selected infosec startups has told the government that Britain should emulate the model it applied to encouraging the growth of homegrown fintech startups to cyber security.
Meet the startups
This is the second round of the joint GCHQ and Wayra accelerator programme, and the first time some of the startups will be hosted at the NCSC's location in Victoria, rather than behind the wire at GCHQ's headquarters in Cheltenham. The first cohorts raised £3 million in funding in total following the launch of the scheme in April this year.
The nine startups include a business that tracks the illicit trading of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin called Elliptic, a software-as-a-service learning platform designed to help developers write secure code called Secure Code Warrior, and ExactTrak, that provides tracking technology integrated at the chip level and counts AMD as a customer.
The other startups are Cybershield, Intruder, Ioetec, RazorSecure, Trust Elevate, and Warden, spanning spearphishing prevention, through to age verification for young adults and children online.
Wayra director Gary Stewart said that although the UK ranks an admirable third in worldwide cybersecurity investment, the NCSC and Wayra believe "we can do even better". The project is unique in that it is an open partnership with the secret services.
That is not true. Blizzard never had an official problem with using WINE, any bans because of WINE use were actually unintentional and the few bans that did happen were reversed by Blizzard who updated their software/policy so that it didn't happen again in the future. IIRC WINE was mistaken for some soft of unauthorised cheat software, which is what Blizzard do have a problem with.
No official support doesn't mean a game won't run on other platforms. Personally I have enjoyed playing many unsupported 'windows only' games on Linux without any problems. As far as I know (I don't play either game you mention), it is possible to run both of those games on Linux according to various web sources.
Besides which, even if any particular game didn't work, it isn't essential to own or play every single title. Every platform probably has their own exclusive titles, and maybe this matters to 15 year old kids or your beloved pro-gamers if they happen to play one particular title that has problems on other systems, but for the rest of us gamers there's still plenty of choice.
I don't know why you keep banging on about "professional gamers", but I do think that you're overstating the importance and influence that is associated with it. Professional gaming is a drop in the ocean compared to the non-pro living room amateur gamers who spend considerably more money on a lot more games. I don't think it matters which system pro games use, the pro gaming scene is still a minority thing that has less people with a lot less money spent on it than ordinary arm chair gamers, and the numbers involved in it are tiny. Nor do the masses necessarily follow what the pro gamers use. From what I've read there's barely 150m people who regularly view these events, and a similar number who only occasionally view the tournaments (2017 figures).
I'd say professional gaming is totally irrelevant with regards to showing "you're something", showing you're something is more about either enjoying/doing well at the game (for gamers - pros and non-pros alike), or selling huge numbers of games (for the companies). As for the ordinary gamers, whatever OS they decide to use, be it *nix based stuff like MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Playstation 4, Nintendo etc., or Microsoft's Xbox and Windows, there are more than enough games to keep everyone busy for a very long time.
It is well known that operating systems other than Windows are more than capable of playing any game on the market, whether or not they are available on that system is another matter entirely but non-Windows OS game availability is improving all the time. While it is true that Windows is still dominant in the gaming space, largely due to inertia of the past, there are still hundreds of pages of non-Windows games available right now on Steam for both Linux and Mac OS. e.g. Mac OS has 281 pages of games (25 per page = over 7000 games), Linux has 186 pages of games (25 per page = 4650 games). Sure Windows has many more, but how many games can a gamer play in one lifetime?
"Pulling gamers off Windows" isn't really the point. The big game engines have added the ability to export to multiple platforms from Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and even web browser, and the number of games available for non-Windows systems is rapidly growing. The truth is that gamers are no longer tied to Windows if they choose not to be, and given that WINE allows me to install the Windows version of Steam alongside the Linux version, therefore allowing me to play all the Windows games that I own right there from my Linux desktop, it's the best of both worlds as far as I am concerned especially as I don't have to put up with Microsoft's shoddy software, shitty attitude, dodgy practices, untrustworthy patches, etc.
As always, each to their own.
Isn't that a little contradictory, stating "Call us when [Linux, BSD/Unix] can do mainline games like Street Fighter IV or V (and no, the arcade versions don't use Linux, either--IIRC they use the Type X arcade system...which is Windows-based)" and then claiming "When it comes to consoles, the OS doesn't really matter"?
"Call us when it can do mainline games like..."
You mean like Sony's PlayStation 4 uses Orbis OS, a fork a FreeBSD? Besides the kernel, much of the system software is also open source and UNIX-based. Though the console itself is not open source, even the SDK, compilers etc. are open source (LLVM). Much of this is also the case with both MacOS and iOS.
CellOS, the system software from the Playstation 3, also uses FreeBSD and much open source code.The Playstation Vita and more recent Nintendo Switch also follow this path.
When Sega tried to use a cut-down, mobile orientated Windows CE as their Dreamcast OS to try and pull in more developers, it broke them as a mass-manufacturer of hardware and nearly killed the company leaving them to transform into a software-only and IP licensing company to try and survive. Other than that, the only games console that doesn't use open-source UNIX-based software appears to be Microsoft's own XBox, which is hardly a great endorsement from the gaming industry.
It appears they are all leaving as promises have not been kept, and the rest don't have a clue what they are doing or how best to do it.
According to the latest issue of Private Eye, GDS recruits were hired with the promise of training in "digital, data and technology skills", and many of these were fast tracked as "technology leaders", but "many are wondering what they are being trained to do and finding themselves in posts for which they are eminently unsuited".
"One fast streamer was given a job as a software developer, despite never having written a line of code in his life and knowing no computer languages. Others, again with no relevant knowledge of experience, were assigned jobs as network technical architects".
It appears the problem, besides the lack of proper training, is that the jobs themselves are not assigned by GDS but assigned by the civil service human resourcing unit, many of whom are "less than au fait with the requirements of the various job description templates".
"At the end of the scheme, fast streamers were promised jobs at Grade 7 level, the second-most senior tier of the civil service with significant policy responsibilities. Such roles, however, are proving thin on the ground. As a result, one fast streamer tells the Eye, they are leaving the scheme in droves - many taking their skills to the private sector. GDS, meanwhile, continues to hire in private contractors at extortionate pay rates to fill the technical skills gap of its own in-house team".
Sounds like a right mess.
Desperate MS fail again
"Laughable desperation" is coming to define Microsoft these days.
When - not if - this ill conceived effort to get users to use their app store fails, will Sacknads get desperate enough to prevent users switching away from the S mode altogether? Or introduce a monthly subscription just to be able to use non-store apps and hope the general reluctance to pay gets them what they want?
Other than trying to copy Apple and Google there appears to be little point to this move. Their app store isn't even fit for purpose, and it doesn't have the majority of software that people want or need. The biggest software vendors with the most popular, biggest selling products will _never_ put their products in the MS store as there is simply no way they'd give up such a big chunk of their income to Microsoft when they don't have to.
Microsofties are stuck in the past and still believe that they have the clout to force their whims on the industry, but these days they are so far removed from reality in their echo chamber full of staff and fanboy insiders that they genuinely don't seem to understand users, the industry or their place in it. Removing choice and making things less easy to use will never win you any friends and eventually users will make alternative arrangements be that Mac, Linux or something else. The powers at MS don't even seem to have noticed that this exodus is already happening, and things will only get worse when Windows 7 support ends.
I bet he wishes he'd never sharted this, by now I bet he's champing at the shit to get out.
Has this ever been dung before?
It sounds unbelievable, but it stool true.
I have heard of drives lasting decades when they're never switched off, but more often it's the repeated on/off power cycles that kills them before the MTBF figure.
Re: They'll still be priced in multiples of 1TB...
Couldn't agree more RE cartel pricing. This is pointless for HDD customers unless the RRP falls below the current prices. If not, the only news here is WD/HGST's profits will go up.
Re: Unlikely ever to use Quantum
If you've not tried it, try Waterfox as it's more or less the same browser as Firefox but all the add-ons still working.
Waterfox has proved a good enough replacement for me so far, and it runs all my favourite extensions like NoScript, DownloadHelper, etc. Highly recommended.
If only Mozilla had any sane leadership maybe they would not be in this mess. Obviously they have vastly underestimated WHY people actually still use their browser: choice. Without the extra functionality and customisation offered by the old API and add-ons there is simply no reason to keep using Firefox at all for many users, especially as each update seems to make the browser worse.
The best thing Mozilla could do here is realise their mistake, change their minds about binning the old extensions and API, and apologise to users and devs alike. But even in the unlikely event that they did do a reverse, how many users who now have alternative browsers installed that can do everything they need with add-ons would even consider going back to Firefox? I'm not sure I would.
"[Gates] wrote a famous letter saying "the programmer deserves to be paid" a few months after he ripped off the author of what he renamed to DOS."
Indeed he did. And the first thing Gates and Allen did when they wanted to write their own version of BASIC was to go and get the DEC manuals to rip off Digital's own version of BASIC - then they had the cheek to talk about deserving to be paid for 'their' work.
"86-DOS probably infringed on Kildall's CP/M, but MS had nothing to do with that."
Probably? The software Microsoft renamed to MS-DOS then offered to IBM and sold to the public was just an unauthorised port of Kildall's CP/M that ran on Intel processors, there is no way that was that legal. Just because SCP copied it and not Microsoft directly, it doesn't change the fact it was copied without permission or stop Microsoft being guilty of selling something that they had no right to sell. It is the definition of hypocrisy when they then talk about piracy... a bit like the Hollywood story and how they got started by moving to California so they could ignore Edison's patents.
'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature
Re: Why we need faster MEMORY!
Depends which GPU you are speaking about?
nVidia are susceptible and require patches to mitigate the bugs, but AMD GPUs are not affected.
I wonder how many of those responsible for this silliness spent time in their youth taping songs from radio broadcasts, using a VCR to record a TV programme, photocopying anything out of a book, lending/borrowing books, etc.
Re: "Roll on the next general election, and get these shower of bastards away from the NHS."
While you make a good point, AFAIK 'Yes, Minister' and 'Yes, Prime Minister' were meant to be a portrayal of the Conservative party and they way they worked at the time it was made, especially with regard to how the ministers were controlled via gentlemen's clubs, promises of directorships and other cushy future jobs etc. 'The Thick Of It' was supposed to be a version of how the Labour party did things, who (arguably) had less access to the above upper-class inducements as their rivals and so relied more on bullying as a means of controlling their politicians.
I don't think Pai could be any more corrupt if he tried. Watchdog? Lapdog more like.
Why change the name of the column at all? 'On Call' sounds better than 'Who Me' IMO.
Re: Pure fantasy
While it is true that the privatised rail companies are price gouging, there are other factors. e.g. travel time. To make the same journey I referred to, it took from over 2 hours to about 3.5 hours each way, compared to 90 minutes in a taxi. For a same day return, worst case is that it takes as much as double the travel time and costs twice as much to travel by rail than by taxi. Besides, you know that when a taxi is the cheapest option you know there is something badly wrong with the rail network!
It is not so much 'we' who are removing the coal fired power generation, it is the generating companies who are closing them earlier than contracted to because the financial consequences for doing so are minimal. As for Hinkley, it is laughable idea. As part of the government bribe to get it built, the cost of the electricity generated there will be outrageous and customers will be paying way above market prices for their energy for decades to come, in what many are calling the worst deal for tax payers in history. Also, the chances of the pretty much bankrupt EDF ever laying a single brick to build it nevermind completing the project to completion are minimal, they just can't afford to build it regardless of any Chinese investment. Why do you think that with the 2025 completion deadline fast approaching they have hardly started building it? Currently EDF have something like 19 (IIRC) nuclear power stations to decommission in France with spiralling costs and little to no money to do it with. The truth is that EDF simply cannot afford to build anything at Hinkley regardless of the PR, and no doubt all the decommissioning costs will then fall onto the British tax payer. The French government are only preventing EDF from going bankrupt as otherwise the whole decommissioning bill for their own nuclear programme will land on them and the French taxpayers, currently Hinkley is their best chance of passing those costs on to the UK. I also wonder how long the French imports will continue as their own generation capacity falls with their own decommissioning programme ongoing?
Coal may not be perfect, but whatever crap is emitted is certainly less than with biomass and is far cheaper and much safer than the nuclear option. I'm not getting into global warming here as I've seen no evidence that it exists outside of the earth's natural heating and cooling cycles.
It doesn't have to be trams or rail, but finite available space and rising population does suggest that mass transit is the way forward. The only true 'rule of the road' is that the number of cars will always expand to fill the available road space no matter how many roads we build.
Safe, cheap and reliable autonomous electric vehicles any time soon is pure fantasy. It's all just hype.
Regardless of how much the tech companies salivate at the thought of selling x hundred million pieces of software, hardware and a bewildering amount of sensors, the technology isn't even close to existing with which to build reliable and safe autonomous electric cars. The environment isn't remotely suitable, and even the cities would apparently need redesigning. Parts of the industry are finally being honest and confessing to this, but nobody seems to have informed the UK government who are too busy right now enjoying appearing to actually understand anything technological to notice!
The UK doesn't even have enough electricity to power such a plan, the government already pay large electricity users not to use any at peak times and run power station car parks full of diesel generators at peak demand while many coal-fired power stations continue to close years earlier than planned with no viable replacements even started to be planned or built. There aren't even enough roads to handle any more cars and the cost would be astronomical. Who is going to pay for all this? It's nothing short of crazy, especially in the time frame being suggested.
While it wouldn't be a bad plan to reduce the number of petrol and diesel cars on the roads for reasons of public health, wouldn't the money be far better spent on improving public transport systems that all could benefit from?
Here in the UK public transport options are currently abysmal, especially if you don't live in a big city and so don't have access to various subsidised discount fares. e.g. I had a journey to make last week of approx. 75 miles. I ended up getting a taxi for £80 each way (£40 each for the two passengers). If I came back same day the return was free (so less than half the price of a train, plus £12 per hour waiting time), or next day return which involved a second journey for the taxi driver with a round trip of 300 miles which cost £160 in total (or £80 per passenger). However, this was still cheaper than an anytime return ticket on the train once the very limited number of subsidised tickets were sold out, and that doesn't take long especially if you're travelling at fairly short notice. The equivalent train price was approx. £173, so with two passengers that travelled that would cost £85 each. How come an expensive taxi is often still the 'cheapest' way to travel?
If we're going to modernise and go all electric, a system of trams feeding a much hugely less expensive rail network seems like a far more sensible idea that would benefit far more people. Other nations seem to be able to manage it, so why can't we do this on a national or even a global scale?
Re: @ conscience - Staggering
Good post. I knew about the maths bug, but I didn't know about the lookup table. Sounds like a typical Intel screw up/shortcut, not that anything they do surprises me. I completely agree with you about Intel's 'design philosophy' being all about the money. They'll do absolutely anything to boost performance by any means in order to compete/appear to beat their rivals, regardless of any consequences no matter how bad they might be for anyone. They originally started off trying to make RAM but that didn't work properly either. It says it all really...
The only things Intel are any good at are PR, hiding behind NDAs to cover up their many mistakes, and using their mountains of cash to portray themselves and their substandard products as the premium choice while crushing the competition.
Another ridiculously embarrassing screw up by Intel.
Isn't it obvious to them that there should definitely be some security on such a privileged tool as the Management Engine?
I'm starting to wonder if there is anything they bothered to design correctly?
Is this a twisted PR stunt?
I'm no financial wizard, but this seems ridiculous to me.
The investor spent $257,040 buying their 21,000 shares at $12.24 each. Today the AMD share price is up (again), and the value of those 21,000 shares currently stands at $12.18 each, or 6 cents less per share with a total value of $255,780. This is only $1,260 less than the initial purchase price, and considering AMD's share price is on an upward trajectory right now I see no reason at all to take any legal action? If this legal action has any effect at all it would only lower the share price and make the investor's own financial situation worse!? If the aim of the investment is to make money, rather than make AMD look bad, then this is a totally pointless endeavour at best and at worst financially damaging to the investor personally.
The cynic in me wonders if someone connected with Intel bought these shares just so the media would report that AMD are now also getting sued over this? Intel do seem rather keen to erroneously paint AMD as being in exactly the same boat as themselves with regard to the Meltdown and Spectre bugs and potentially considerable performance issues involved in fixing them. An anti-AMD PR attempt by Intel is the only thing that appears to make any sense.
By the time you've gained access to the motherboard and rewritten the flash, arguably it's game over anyway for any security mechanism as your computer is physically in the cracker's hands. Besides, bypassing TPM/secure boot is surely a feature, not a bug? :)
And what would Intel give right now for their CPU problems to be so easily fixed?
I suppose the bright side is that perhaps CPU makers will sit up and take notice of this, finally reducing some of the needless complexity and with any luck kill their internal 'security' processors completely.
You mean like Intel's Management Engine? I'd much rather have AMD, at least they work as advertised and (as yet) aren't known to be full of security flaws like the Management Engine is. Obviously I'd rather have no 'security' processor whatsoever inside my CPU, but given the known bugs with Intel's Management Engine I'd still rather take my chances with AMD.
Ryzen is already a far better deal than Intel's offerings, especially when you factor in this latest flaw that makes Intel's chips run even slower than advertised. Intel trying to flog buggy, half-working hardware is getting beyond a joke.
No doubt Microsoft is a money making machine, but regardless of any rankings list I sincerely doubt that their brand is seen as 'better' than the likes of Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Disney etc.
It would be interesting to see how those rankings were calculated, and whether there were any corporate sponsors who funded it.
EDIT: Didn't Microsoft do exactly that with the original XBox, and leave the Microsoft name off the console and packaging?
Another reason BIOS should only be stored in read-only ROM chips, or at least have a physical write protect switch.
The cynic in me wonders if this was deliberate by Intel in an attempt to prevent people removing or neutering their Management Engine?
Re: Replying this far down...
My thoughts exactly RE the article headline.
While I don't know about anything about US politics, you'd have to hope it is a temporary situation and that somebody steps in to resolve this and fixes the mess that the FCC have created.
Re: Replying this far down...
I don't think anyone was blaming Microsoft for this, though the Windows shortcut is probably what most people know it for these days.
CTRL + Z was a control key to suspend the currently running process to the background in the C shell (csh) in the late 1970s BSD kernel, while CTRL + Z being used for undo was first done at Xerox PARC not Apple.
Last week: Microsoft accused of covering up rape claim. This week: Microsoft backs anti-cover-up law ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Re: It's a start
Congratulate them? It was Microsoft themselves who imposed the arbitration clause on their employees, and who failed to show the least bit of concern for the victim even to the point where if the female staff member legally obtained and enforced a restraining order against the attacker then it was her who would have to move and not the attacker!
This is nothing more than an attempt at a PR whitewash, and I doubt anyone will believe that them backing this proposed new law has anything to do with doing the right thing, when it clearly has more to do with the class-action court case being brought against them and the bad publicity (and potential for lost sales) that it is generating now it is in the public eye.
Re: This is false security
If the firmware code was done right in the first place there should be no waiting for replacement ROM chips to ship, and given the cost of doing so it would undoubtedly focus the minds of the manufacturers to put more effort into getting things finished and tested prior to release. The replacement option would only be to bail them out in the case of a monumental screw up. The trouble with downloading and installing something as important as firmware is that it just isn't very secure, especially when it can be done from within the OS, and there is nothing to stop a skilled malware writer adding in their own dodgy code or ME for their own purposes.
Read-only ROM chips could do the same job as firmware stored on rewritable flash - either option would just be storage space for the code. I don't see why read-only ROM chip functionality would necessarily be any more limited than if it used rewritable flash for storage?
A physical jumper or write-protect switch would be a very good start.
As much as I'd enjoy the profits from my own chip fab, I'm no expert hardware guru (and don't have a few billion dollars to spare). The manufacturers just seem to be in too much of a rush to actually finish their products before selling them. Though Intel seem to have more problems than most, I'm not specifically having a pop at them either, e.g. AMD's Ryzen has also seen (too) many updates for things like faster memory compatibility etc. when that could and should have been finished prior to release. Same story with the software industry. Not sure they'd get away with it in other industries, would you buy v1.0 of a car with only one wheel? But hey don't worry, v1.1 will see the rest of the wheels added and we hope to add brakes in v1.2!
Re: This is false security
Infinite? Maybe if you are Intel! If the system is too complex, then it shouldn't be too hard to break it into into smaller, more manageable pieces that communicate securely with no way to do any real harm.
In my opinion, hardware/software contains so many serious bugs these days primarily because manufacturers have the option to update it later (assuming the device/user has net access), so code and hardware is often rushed out without proper testing with an irresponsible "oh nevermind we'll patch it later" attitude. Trouble is, they don't always bother because it's cheaper and easier not to, or they simply don't have the in-house talent to do so.
I'm aware of Intel's microcode, in Intel's case they would first have to get the hardware right then concentrate on getting the code done right. Not trivial for Intel, who don't seem to have adequate skills and so make more than their fair share of blunders, but it's been done before and other processors have been hard wired correctly before being sold. Intel would just need to avoid so many mistakes and do the job properly.
Re: This is false security
I'm not sure you understand. You can't update a system to be ROM based, it would be built that way. You wouldn't be able to upgrade or downgrade anything, but there wouldn't be any exploits in properly written, fully tested, finished code so no there would be no need to change the firmware - ever. That's the whole point of read-only firmware. Any potential exploits would have been found and fixed prior to the first release so, no, you wouldn't be stuck with any vulnerabilities. Having the ROM chip plug into a socket instead of soldered directly would facilitate swapping the chip in case of the odd accidental programming oversight, but it would deter manufacturers from rushing out untested code as there would be a significant cost involved other than writing the fix (manufacturing a new ROM chip plus a product recall to fit it).
Getting the code right prior to release would be essential of course, but it's more than possible. If any manufacturer isn't able to write good, secure code without security bugs then they should hire someone who can do the job properly for them. Having rewritable firmware is just an excuse to ship unfinished, inadequately tested, poor quality code, as well as a cracker's wet dream.
Writeable firmware is a terrible idea that wouldn't be necessary if Intel (and others) could be bothered to get their code right prior to shipping.
We never had this trouble with the old ROM chips. Plus, if the ROM chips were socketed, there would still be the option to physically swap the chips if emergency updates were needed without leaving everyone wide open to attack and snooping. Anything has to be better than the current arrangement.
It's all just too creepy, and inflicting it on school children who could then be affected throughout their adult lives is unforgivable. It is a bad idea to collect so much data in the first place as it can never be guaranteed to be kept secret, and the bigger the database the more attractive it will be to hackers (or anyone who finds a government laptop left on a train). Besides the obvious "for money" answer, why on Earth would this supposedly confidential data be shared with anyone? There is simply no excuse for it.
"Anybody else read this sort of thing and thinking about buying Kaspersky antivirus?"
Yes. If Kaspersky had a version for Linux I would definitely be interested in buying it.
One way trip
Maybe the best place for Trump is for him to join Willzyx and Tom Cruise on the Moon.
We all know that Microsoft are very desperate indeed to get into mobile after so many failed attempts, but I can't see this changing anything.
For a start, $600-$800 for a netbook is way too much, it's not worth even half that price. Rather than a selling point, always on mobile data is a terrible idea especially knowing how much data Microsoft like to slurp from their users - this could get very expensive very quickly. Add in the very limited hardware that slows down to almost half speed while running emulated x86 code, and their crippled Windows 10S OS that's tied to their failure of an app store, and this is almost a guaranteed loser.
Then when these overpriced, crippled netbooks fail like all Microsoft's previous attempts, they will inevitably discontinue it and demonstrate (once again) that they cannot be trusted to stick around and support their own products regardless of whether it leaves their customers screwed.
ARM in netbooks, laptops and desktops is a good idea that has it's place, I just don't believe that Microsoft will benefit from it as they don't seem to have any clue what people want.
Not sure if Pai is genuinely an idiot, has political ambitions, or has taken a bribe from the cable companies, but hopefully he's not going to get away with this.
Apple had no real case against Digital Research or anyone else over the GUI as Apple didn't invent it, as the courts ultimately agreed. That distinction went to Xerox who first showed their GUI to the world in the early 1970s, Apple were just one of the companies who copied it.
As part of their efforts to beat Microsoft, Apple legally attacked every GUI that ran on top of DOS, but without success. Interestingly, Apple ignored the non-DOS markets they didn't care about e.g. Commodore had a GUI called Magic Desk running on the C64 computer that pre-dated the Mac (IIRC). Magic Desk had a joystick controlled WIMP GUI, with file manager and document viewer, and would have also been the desktop GUI for the Commodore Plus/4 computer had the author John Feagans not left the company before finishing it. Feagans also later ported GEM for Atari without any legal challenges from Apple, nor did Apple go after Commodore (again) over the Amiga GUI.
While Digital Research agreed to settle with Apple it was not because they infringed on anything Apple made, it was purely to avoid an expensive court case that they couldn't afford. I sincerely doubt they would have agreed to make any changes to GEM at all if they had they financial resources to have been able to defend themselves from Apple's spurious legal claims. But even then, Digital Research only agreed to a few very minor cosmetic changes to GEM, concerning really crucial and innovative Apple inventions like err... changing a couple of icons and the appearance of the close window button, changing the width of the scroll bars, removing window open/close animations and shaded titlebars, and changing the default desktop view to the file manager! This changed version of GEM was released as GEM/2 and continued to be developed and sold by Digital Research without any further trouble from Apple.
Amusingly, one of the main developers of Digital Research's GEM was Lee Jay Lorenzen, who had previously worked at Xerox PARC in the 1970s developing their GUI. In effect, Apple took what was largely Lorenzen's work in the first place, implemented it on their own computer, then sued over his next GUI!
Apple also sued both Microsoft over Windows and HP over New Wave, alleging the theft of the 'look and feel' of the Mac GUI but as you may recall Apple lost both cases once it got to court. Apple later 'borrowed' much from both, ironically including the look and feel of HP's New Wave with it's 3D effect dot shading! Then, like now, Apple routinely use frivolous legal action to both try and harm their competition, as well as just another tool in their PR tool box which serves to perpetuate the idea that Apple invented something better or first. People mostly remember the initial headlines that scream alleged infringement on Apple's property rather than the end results which often don't emerge until years later e.g. whether Apple lost the case, settled, made a public apology, had their patents invalidated, etc. somehow never quite seems to get the same media coverage.
What Apple _always_ did best was marketing, that was their chosen strategy from the very beginnings of the company when Mike Markkula made the decision that Apple would be a marketing led company rather than technology led.
Then as now Apple have never been above 'borrowing' features from their rivals, including GEM. GEM was more advanced than Apple's GUI in many important ways and they feared the competition e.g. GEM/1 offered colour interfaces, multitasking and more that Apple's more basic GUI implementation did not have. Naturally, as part of their PR strategy Apple's marketing department habitually claim each new innovation or feature as their own original invention regardless of where the idea actually originated. As for Ives, I'm no design expert to judge if he is any good or not, but I do know that before the numerous awards and honours started coming in thick and fast, he used to freely admit that his designs borrowed heavily from Braun so weren't really that original either.
That anyone thinks otherwise is testament to the superb marketing that sold the fiction of the Apple myth to the world. This whole idea of two of young kids who single-handedly invented personal computing out of their garage and who continued to lead the industry through technical prowess and original innovation was never actually true in any way, it was a total fiction that was artificially and very carefully constructed for them by Regis McKenna (the man who delivered both Intel and Apple a public image as innovative market leaders they arguably did not deserve with premium reputations that were misleadingly good considering their actual products).
"And you know who had non-color touchscreens using a stylus before any of them? Apple, with the Newton. If you want to play the "who got there first" game with such a wide net Apple still did..."
Neither the iStuff nor the Newton did anything that was new or first.
Apple weren't the first to use touchscreen and stylus on tablets, phones or anything else, with examples of touchscreen devices like tablets etc. demonstrated stretching back to at least the 1950s. The tech has been gradually improved upon ever since, with resistive emerging in the early 1970s and multitouch in the early 1980s (IIRC). Nor were Apple first with handwriting recognition, that dates back a lot further.
What Apple did do was very much iterative and built mainly on the work of others, and what they did have was largely bought in (e.g. Fingerworks whom they bought a couple of years before the iPhone came out), based on open source software (iOS was based on BSD) or stolen from other companies. Besides the concepts themselves not being new, even the names 'iOS' and 'iPhone' belonged to Cisco and Apple were forced to settle with them (just like Jobs stole both the 'Apple' and 'Macintosh' names which also led to legal action against them). Interestingly, I doubt he even came up with the iPad name himself considering Fingerworks had a product called the 'iGesture Pad', which was a touchscreen peripheral with gestures for PC that ran on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Credit Apple all you want for opportunistically launching the right product at the right time, marketing things extremely well, or making a huge pile of money, but as innovative inventors? Not so much.
More DRM? No thanks.
This extra DRM seems pointless and unwanted.
Gamers won't want it turned on and will continue to cheat, mod, and generally customise their experience. All the DRM in the world won't stop workarounds, patching, cracks, edited files and custom hardware that enables gamers to get an advantage ranging from faster monitor, faster mouse and keyboard (both with a dozen buttons for speedy one-click macros each storing multi-key combos), plus other hardware cheat features built right in to 'gamer' motherboards etc. e.g. highlighting hidden opponents who otherwise wouldn't be visible.
Developers will make themselves very unpopular if they disable features if the option is not active, and publishers and developers risk the wrath of gamers and having to wait on Microsoft to patch it when it inevitably all goes wrong, potentially trashing the popularity and success of their games with bad reviews and an angry backlash from furious gamers denied access to their games.
Microsoft will likely abandon this sooner or later anyway, e.g. Microsoft shut down Games for Windows with zero consideration for the gamers, leaving devs and publishers to scramble to transfer their titles to Steam at their own expense or else piss off their customers by allowing Microsoft to kill their still played games.
And what do Microsoft achieve? More lock-in? Slurping more user data? Taking away even more control from the people who actually own the computer?
Business as usual for Microsoft, but no thanks.
Re: I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop
Having a "best" distro, implies a "worse" one, but that isn't the situation. All distros are comparable and all good, there are just choices for those who want a slightly different flavour e.g. different desktops to appeal to different aesthetic preferences.
Looking at a screenshot of the various desktops to see which you prefer is really all that is needed for people new to Linux to choose which distro to install, they are all equally capable and you can always change your mind later as you learn more.