Computer chips have advanced to the point that they’re no longer reliable: they’ve become “mercurial,” as Google puts it, and may not perform their calculations in a predictable manner.

Not that they were ever completely reliable. CPU errors have been around as long as CPUs themselves. They arise not only from design oversights but also from environmental conditions and from physical system failures that produce faults.

But these errors have tended to be rare enough that only the most sensitive calculations get subject to extensive verification if systems appear to be operating as expected. Mostly, computer chips are treated as trustworthy.

Lately, however, two of the world’s larger CPU stressors, Google and Facebook, have been detecting CPU misbehavior more frequently, enough that they’re now urging technology companies to work together to better understand how to spot these errors and remediate them.

Source: The Register

Money quote:

“One of our mercurial cores corrupted encryption,” he explained. “It did it in such a way that only it could decrypt what it had wrongly encrypted.”

They also have a short talk (~10 minutes) where they explain what happend.

2021-05-11 @ 10:41: Patina on CDs Music | Personal | Technology | Tools

Over the years I bought lots of compact-discs. The collection is massive (several hundred discs) and some of the discs are more than 20 years old, and to my mind in perfect condition. In order to preserve this wonderful collection for the future generation I decided to create perfect copies as FLAC files using EAC. Easy task: Install EAC, put disc into drive, click a button and wait. But there’s a catch. Due to the age of some of the discs some of them cannot be read properly. I checked the surface and it looks pretty perfect. No scratches, no marks, nothing. But the drive still had serious issues reading the disc. I use a new Asus BW-16D1HT and a new Asus DRW-24D5MT to extract the audio data. Very good drives by the way.

Still, EAC told me about read and sync errors on some discs. So, I canceled the extraction and again looked at the surface of the disc. Now, there were thin, matt clouds of some kind of patina on the discs, which were previously not visible. I guess, the laser made them somehow visible.

Since I was unable to remove them with a cloth and I didn’t want to ruin the disc, I tried a wet glasses cloth, and to my surprise it worked. Put the disc back into the drive and it had no issues reading it.

The downside of this is, since the patina is not visible prior trying to read the disc, I have to clean every disc before I put it in the drive regardless of if it’s dirty or not.

Google used a secret program called “Bernanke” that used historical bidding data to give its ad-buying system a major advantage over its rivals, an antitrust lawsuit filing claims, a program that earned the company hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Google is in the process of dealing with an antitrust lawsuit from a group of state attorneys general, about its advertising technology and ad industry dominance. In a response to the lawsuit filed by Google in early April, the search company accidentally let slip of some of its behind-the-scenes work.

In the initial version of the filing, seen by the Wall Street Journal, Google failed to properly redact some sections, revealing the secretive business elements. A federal judge allowed Google to refile the properly-redacted version under seal.

Source: Apple Insider

Bernanke? Does that tell you something? Oh yeah right! The head of the US Federal Reserve. The one responsible for zero interest rates and money printing. And for the billions of billions for the banks in the financial crisis. For the largest bottom-up redistribution of wealth in the history of the world. That Bernanke!

It’s a zombie economy. For 40 years, we’ve eroded the wages of workers and transfered their share of profit and productivity to owners of capital. This is a problem, because people need money to buy things, and if they run out of money, they stop buying and profits vanish.

Source: Cory Doctorow

Today I present a very special treat. Conservative groups in Alabama uphold a ban on yoga in school citing fears of the practice spreading Hinduism.

Legislation that would have allowed yoga to be taught in Alabama public schools died in committee Wednesday, stalling a years-long battle by one state legislator to bring the practice back.

Bill AL HB246 was put forth by Alabama State Rep. Jeremy Gray, who wrote that bringing yoga back to school would be voluntary. It sought to overturn a ban on the practice in Alabama schools in place since 1993.

Source: Insider

Just as in the Middle Ages: “Witches are made of wood. That’s why they swim.”

At first glance, Matthew Macy seemed like a perfectly reasonable choice to port WireGuard into the FreeBSD kernel. WireGuard is an encrypted point-to-point tunneling protocol, part of what most people think of as a “VPN.” FreeBSD is a Unix-like operating system that powers everything from Cisco and Juniper routers to Netflix’s network stack, and Macy had plenty of experience on its dev team, including work on multiple network drivers.

So when Jim Thompson, the CEO of Netgate, which makes FreeBSD-powered routers, decided it was time for FreeBSD to enjoy the same level of in-kernel WireGuard support that Linux does, he reached out to offer Macy a contract. Macy would port WireGuard into the FreeBSD kernel, where Netgate could then use it in the company’s popular pfSense router distribution. The contract was offered without deadlines or milestones; Macy was simply to get the job done on his own schedule.

Source: Arstechnica

US President Joe Biden has put Vice-President Kamala Harris in charge of controlling migration at the southern border following a big influx of new arrivals.

Mr Biden said he was giving her a “tough job” but that she was “the most qualified person to do it”. The numbers of people arriving have grown since Mr Biden took office. They include hundreds of unaccompanied minors who are being held in immigration detention facilities. Mr Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, was widely criticized over his government’s treatment of young migrants at the US-Mexico border.

Since January, the Biden administration has reversed a policy of turning away unaccompanied children, instead choosing to process them and place them with sponsoring families in the US. But Mr Biden’s critics say his policies have led to a surge in illegal migration.

Source: BBC

So, yes, we know the mRNA sequence of the Moderna, BioNTech/Pfizer and CureVac vaccines. Moderna did not publish this sequence themselves, but because RNA can be read (‘sequenced’) in the lab, it is now also available.

As yet however, there is no technology that lets you “just print” this code as mRNA. There barely are DNA printers, and even these are not really desktop things, and from what I hear, still need you to send off your results for post-processing.

Source: Berthub

More than 700 thousand human deaths from mosquito bites are observed annually in the world. It is more than 2 times the number of annual murders in the world. In this regard, the invention of new more effective methods of protection against mosquitoes is necessary. In this article for the first time, comprehensive studies of mosquito neutralization using machine vision and a 1 W power laser are considered. Developed laser installation with Raspberry Pi that changing the direction of the laser with a galvanometer. We developed a program for mosquito tracking in real. The possibility of using deep neural networks, Haar cascades, machine learning for mosquito recognition was considered. We considered in detail the classification problems of mosquitoes in images. A recommendation is given for the implementation of this device based on a microcontroller for subsequent use as part of an unmanned aerial vehicle. Any harmful insects in the fields can be used as objects for control.

Source: Rakhmatulin, I. Raspberry PI for Kill Mosquitoes by Laser. Preprints 2021, 2021010412 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202101.0412.v1).

The Federal Ministry of the Interior is calling for personal data to be retained without a cause, with verified data from all citizens who communicate on the Internet via messenger or e-mail.

Source: Netzpolitik

Can someone please explain Mr Seehofer how the Internet works and why his idea is stupid and dangerous? Such incompetence and cognitive dissonance is no longer funny, and he should resign immediately.


  • About

    I never asked for this.

  • Got something interesting?

    You think you got something which should be on this site? Then contact me. You want something removed from this site, because you think it should not be here? Then go fuck yourself. This is a free website. Free as in freedom. It tolerates every opinion from everyone. However, it does not tolerate things which are illegal according to the Swiss legislation.

  • Disclaimer

    I cannot be held responsible for any kind of direct, indirect or consequential damages caused by the stuff and or opinions I provide here. Use this on your own risk. Don’t blame me if something goes wrong or totally messes up your machine, your life or whatever. If this is unacceptable for you then go away and never come back again. Thank you!