Article note: Huh, TaoTronics, like RavPower has been a super reliable brand (I love their color-temperature-adjustable lamp heads), but they certainly do do the offer-to-get-compensated-for-reviews thing, so presumably Amazon is coming down on that behavior.
In 2017, The New York Times profiled Sunvalley, a Chinese electronics manufacturer that obsessively monitored Amazon to build and maintain US-facing brands with a reputation for quality. They include phone charging specialist RavPower, home office and dash cam supplier Vava, and headphones and home appliance purveyor TaoTronics. Now, all three of them have disappeared from Amazon, seemingly for ignoring the platform’s rules.
Article note: So many thoughts.
At least it's making students actively privacy-conscious.
There is a real problem with blatant fucking cheating.
Mandating spyware on student-owned devices and AI woo is not a valid solution, the tools are bad and side-effect laden enough to not actually solve the problem, tend to have detrimental effects on the good actors while still being easily cheated past, which is not acceptable.
Some defensive exam design helps. Vary your exams from semester to semester, pull questions from pools so the students' forms are different, run short assessments on short windows to prevent closing the chegg loop... these things are _some_ work but usually not an enormous amount, though I realize a lot of tenure-track professors understand the whole "As long as the university doesn't lose a court case as a result of my teaching, no one cares" incentive structure and would like to avoid even that minimal work and run the same course for a decade and/or buy course packet from Mcgraw Hill that 8 other schools are using and the whole of is posted on the internet for students to cheat from).
... the classes I work on are planning to revert to paper exams ASAP, it's a much cleaner solution even though grading is more work.
Article note: Some startup dbags managed to raise $20 in VC money to put a thin proprietary web-frontend veneer over a bunch of open source programming tools and rentseek off of it (which is, frankly, a minor variation on how most of the tech start-up scene seems to work these days).
Then one of their former interns built an all-open-source similar veneer in a couple afternoons.
Then their CEO threatened him, and made passive aggressive social media posts about 'copycats' and 'innovation.'
Looks like even the HN startup-douche circlejerk isn't buying this one.
Article note: Written for a friend who asked and got more than they probably wanted:
It's the latest in a series of the same observation.
DRAM ECC has been getting more common because the statistics of bit-flip errors start to get unfavorable as memories get bigger; DDR5 will have some ECC in all parts. That's basically how all the rowhammer type attacks work.
We're two generations in to filesystems that do error correction and integrity checking (first the journaling FSes, then the zfs/btrfs stuff that actually does at-rest integrity verification).
And CPUs being incomprehensibly complicated is biting us in the ass everywhere with simple stuff like fdiv bugs in the 90s and now with constant microcode updates to cover up problems (see sandsifter, spectre, etc.)
People were worried about it already in the late 70s, several mainframe designs supported processor concensus, and Intel's iAPX 432 parts (what was supposed to take over instead of the 486) were expressly designed to run in lockstep groups and eject outliers, they have a special pin to set that behavior (they also failed _hard_ for other reasons)
Rarely seen miscalculations now crop up frequently at cloud hyperscale
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.…
Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.