Category Archives: News

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AMD Rome Second Generation EPYC Review: 2x 64-core Benchmarked

Source: AnandTech Articles

Article note: Fuckin' shit. They're even flexing, basically, that they expected Intel's Ice Lake to deliver so they overshot their competitive position. I'm just going to gratuitously quote the tl;dr from the end of the article: "For those with little time: at the high end with socketed x86 CPUs, AMD offers you up to 50 to 100% higher performance while offering at a 40% lower price. Unless you go for the low end server CPUs, there is no contest: AMD offers much better performance for a much lower price than Intel, with more memory channels and over 2x the number of PCIe lanes. These are also PCIe 4.0 lanes. What if you want to more than 2 TB of RAM in your dual socket server? The discount in favor of AMD just became 50%"

If you examine the CPU industry and ask where the big money is, you have to look at the server and datacenter market. Ever since the Opteron days, AMD's marketshare has been rounded to zero percent, and with its first generation of EPYC processors using its new Zen microarchitecture, that number skipped up a small handful of points, but everyone has been waiting with bated breath for the second swing at the ball. AMD's Rome platform solves the concerns that first gen Naples had, plus this CPU family is designed to do many things: a new CPU microarchitecture on 7nm, offer up to 64 cores, offer 128 lanes of PCIe 4.0, offer 8 memory channels, and offer a unified memory architecture based on chiplets. Today marks the launch of Rome, and we have some of our own data to share on its performance.

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Apple subsidiary FileMaker returns to its original name from the ’80s

Source: The Verge - All Posts

Article note: It's wrong unless they also go back to the old dogcow logo. Moof!

After two decades of operating under the name FileMaker, the Apple-owned software company has decided to return to its original name: Claris.

Apple first created Claris in 1986 when it was under the leadership of John Sculley. Claris was meant to become an independent company focused on making software for the Mac, but three years later, Sculley changed course and bought back a minority ownership that had been sold off. Claris originally worked on programs like MacDraw, MacWrite, and MacPaint, but FileMaker became its leading product in the ’90s, selling 3 million copies a year across Mac and Windows.

In 1998, Apple gutted Claris and renamed it FileMaker, laying off...

Continue reading…

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We shouldn’t take peer review as the ‘gold standard’

Source: Hacker News

Article note: The publication process is largely garbage about profit-generation for parasitic publishers, and valueless prestige games for faculty. All peer review does is ensure it is cogently written, properly formatted, and doesn't offend the career interests of the entrenched players in an area. There is too much inertia, too much entrenched interest, and not enough agreement on alternative methods and metrics to kill it.
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What you may have heard about the dispute between UC and Elsevier

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Ha. "The UC Libraries do not endorse the use of Sci-Hub for article access." is the modern equivalent of “After dissolving the brick in a gallon of water, do not place the liquid in a jug away in the cupboard for twenty days, because then it would turn into wine.” I appreciate it.
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Students in the wealthiest districts are obtaining disability accommodations at much higher rates, report finds

Source: The Week: Most Recent Home Page Posts

Article note: I could easily see this. You build tools that can be used to give an advantage, and those with the means to do so will use them in technically-inside-the-rules for advantage, whether it's prescription stimulants as performance drugs, sleazy financial deals, or disability accommodations. At the university level there is a visible mix of "reasonable accommodations allowing students to succeed" and "taking advantage," it's sometimes egregious enough to be easy to call, but we can't.

Disability accommodations for schoolwork and testing are not distributed equally across the socioeconomic spectrum, The New York Times reports.

More students than ever in the United States are reportedly securing disability diagnoses, which often allow them to receive extra time for class work and tests, including standardized tests like the ACT and SAT which have bearing on college acceptance. The Times reports that in the country's wealthiest school districts students are obtaining 504 plans — a federal disability designation — at higher rates.

For example, while analyzing Department of Education data, the Times found that in the top 1 percent of wealthiest districts, 5.8 percent of students held a 504 plan, which is twice the national average. In some communities, like Weston, Connecticut, where the average annual income is $220,000, the rate was as high as 18 percent. Meanwhile, in the Cleveland Metropolitan School district, less than 1 percent of students had obtained a 504 plan. Further, a larger percentage of white students held a 504 plan than any other race.

1. New investigation from @jugalpatelNYT and me: In the top 1 percent of richest school districts, teens are 2x as likely to hold a disability plan that qualifies them for extended time on SAT/ACT and schoolwork. In some places, it's 7x the national rate. https://t.co/wFQcgxe8g7 pic.twitter.com/290io4lx87

— Dana Goldstein (@DanaGoldstein) July 30, 2019

The data does not include private schools, but in some areas, private school students reportedly are even more likely to qualify for accommodations.

The Times reports that while cases of outright fraud are rare, the system is vulnerable to abuse, in part because private mental health practitioners can operate with limited oversight. But speculation about gaming the system aside, the Times reports that the disparity more broadly represents unequal access to resources.

3. It starts in early childhood, when some parents are more able than others to have children evaluated for speech and motor-skill delays. By high school, some have spent tens of thousands on repeated psychological evaluations, which are rarely fully covered by insurance.

— Dana Goldstein (@DanaGoldstein) July 30, 2019

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A Big Blue landmark restaurant is gone as more changes come to campus-area corridor

Source: Kentucky.com -- Fayette County

Article note: On one hand, watching UK's expanded privatized food offerings kill the local restaurant scene is sad. On the other hand, food poisoning Arbys needed to go.

Another University of Kentucky landmark apparently is gone: The Arby’s at 507 South Limestone apparently has closed. The building, distinctive from other Arby’s because it had blue trim instead of … Click to Continue »

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200 million devices—some mission-critical—vulnerable to remote takeover

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: VXWorks is one of those invisibly-everywhere things, from electrical appliances to Mars rovers. It's generally pretty trustworthy, but this is ...low hanging. It would likely be difficult to get something generally-wormable because of platform diversity due to customization, but it would be easy to do a lot of damage by worming something prolific and connected (like the many modems that run it) or attacking something life-critical (think medical devices).
A repairman with

Enlarge (credit: Lisa Brewster / Flickr)

About 200 million Internet-connected devices—some that may be controlling elevators, medical equipment, and other mission-critical systems—are vulnerable to attacks that give attackers complete control, researchers warned on Monday.

In all, researchers with security firm Armis identified 11 vulnerabilities in various versions of VxWorks, a slimmed-down operating system that runs on more than 2 billion devices worldwide (this section of Wikipedia's article on the OS lists some of its more notable uses). Billed collectively as Urgent 11, the vulnerabilities consist of six remote code flaws and five less-severe issues that allow things like information leaks and denial-of-service attacks. None of the vulnerabilities affects the most recent version of VxWorks—which was released last week—or any of the certified versions of the OS, including VxWorks 653 or VxWorks Cert Edition.

High stakes

For the 200 million devices Armis estimated are running a version that’s susceptible to a serious attack, however, the stakes may be high. Because many of the vulnerabilities reside in the networking stack known as IPnet, they can often be exploited by little more than boobytrapped packets sent from the Internet. Depending on the vulnerability, exploits may also be able to penetrate firewalls and other types of network defenses. The most dire scenarios are attacks that chain together multiple exploits that trigger the remote takeover of multiple devices.

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GitHub Starts Blocking Developers In Countries Facing US Trade Sanctions

Source: Slashdot

Article note: We let a single large commercial entity effectively MITM all of open source, and now it is being used by powerful entities to assert control. *shocked Pikachu*

After a developer based in the Crimea region of Ukraine was blocked from GitHub this week, the Microsoft-owned software development platform said it has started restricting accounts in countries facing U.S. trade sanctions. GitHub lists Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syris as countries facing U.S. sanctions. ZDNet reports: As the developer reports, his website https://tkashkin.tk, which is hosted on GitHub, now returns a 404 error. He also can't create new private GitHub repositories or access them. While his website could easily be moved to another hosting provider, the block does pose a challenge for his work on GameHub, which has an established audience on GitHub. GitHub does offer developers an appeal form to dispute restrictions but [the developer] told ZDNet that, at this point, there's nothing to gain by appealing the restriction. "It is just pointless. My account is flagged as restricted and, in order to unflag it, I have to provide a proof that I don't live in Crimea. I am in fact a Russian citizen with Crimean registration, I am physically in Crimea, and I am living in Crimea my entire life," he said. "For individual users, who are not otherwise restricted by U.S. economic sanctions, GitHub currently offers limited restricted services to users in these countries and territories. This includes limited access to GitHub public repository services for personal communications only," it says. GitHub notes on its page about U.S. trade controls that its paid-for on-premise software -- aimed to enterprise users -- may be an option for users in those circumstances. "Users are responsible for ensuring that the content they develop and share on GitHub.com complies with the U.S. export control laws, including the EAR (Export Administration Regulations) and the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)," GitHub says. "The cloud-hosted service offering available at Github.com has not been designed to host data subject to the ITAR and does not currently offer the ability to restrict repository access by country. If you are looking to collaborate on ITAR- or other export-controlled data, we recommend you consider GitHub Enterprise Server, GitHub's on-premises offering."

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Tech firms “can and must” put backdoors in encryption, AG Barr says

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: William Barr, once again, doesn't like facts. There is no such thing is a MITM/Back-door which can't be abused by anyone who figures out how it works and/or gains access to the escrow. The math for such a thing has not been invented, and may not even be possible.
Graffiti urging people to use Signal, a highly encrypted messaging app, is spray-painted on a wall during a protest on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California.

Enlarge / Graffiti urging people to use Signal, a highly encrypted messaging app, is spray-painted on a wall during a protest on February 1, 2017 in Berkeley, California. (credit: Elijah Nouvelage | Getty Images)

US Attorney General William Barr today launched a new front in the feds' ongoing fight against consumer encryption, railing against the common security practice and lamenting the "victims" in its wake.

"The deployment of warrant-proof encryption is already imposing huge costs on society," Barr claimed in remarks at a cybersecurity conference held at Fordham University Tuesday morning. Barr added that encryption "seriously degrades" law enforcement's ability to "detect and prevent a crime before it occurs," as well as making eventual investigation and prosecution of crime more difficult.

The existence of encryption means "converting the Internet and communications into a law-free zone" that criminals will happily take advantage of to do more crimes, Barr added, likening it to a neighborhood that local cops have abandoned.

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Complete run of MAKE magazine on archive.org

Source: Boing Boing

Article note: Cool. At least the main content will remain accessible regardless of what happens with the ongoing collapse of Make.

I was part of the team that launched MAKE: (a technology project magazine) and served as its editor-in-chief for 12 wonderful years. I just found out that archive.org has a searchable archive of all past MAKE: issues. Enjoy! Read the rest

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