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Saturday, Jan. 6th 2018

Intel...ligence?

Ha ha.

Take a seat and have a good laugh.

See, I don't know, this, maybe, for details. They link (as of today) to the meltdown PDF file, which, if you are literate enough, gives all the details on the crappy bug(s) those intelligent people at this private company produced.

The public reactions of everyone I saw so far are quite entertaining. Thank you all for the lulz!

I have several personal comments on this thing.

Do not trust private companies.

I am 100% convinced that my "colleagues" at Intel knew from scratch about the problem. The people who implemented this idea of speculative execution, however they did, saw that there was a leakage of information in case a problem occurs and the instructions following the faulty one have to be sort of "canceled", so to speak.

My guess is they bet at this point. They bet it would not be such a big problem. This is internal to the CPU, there is no way someone can do something with this.

I guess the pressure from competition (another bad thing in human societies, and this one will be hard to fight) led them to release their chips as is.

Or maybe they informed their managers who decided it was okay.

Who cares?

Free software authors will do shit.

That has already started.

Something like the linux kernel will be modified to limit the attack surface of the bug. They will make their software even more complex than it is today.

There are zillions of security (and non-security) bugs in these millions lines of code. It is getting worse everyday.

We have a bunch of guys who wanted some fame and took the Intel chips of the time (it all started on the i386) and on top of it made an operating system. They used the privilege separation offered by the chip to have a "safe" kernel mode and a "do whatever the hell you want, you can't crash the whole system" user mode.

And that's very enjoyable as a hacker.

Thank you for that.

And even with the crappy recent bugs, it's still the case.

What changed is the security assumptions.

Before this bug, it was something like "data in kernel cannot be read or modified by unauthorized user land program".

This is not true anymore. It can be read by anyone.

So the kernel people won't say: "linux does not guaranty security on this and that CPU". They will deeply modify how they manage memory to overcome the crap from Intel.

And they will be proud of it.

Any sane human being on this planet will now ask herself: "what? but why?"

Intel chips suck. What do you care? That's not your problem.

A top executive of Intel went away with his money a few weeks before the crap became public.

That's how everyone should deal with it.

Just despise Intel.

Simple.

No?

No, because the whole "computer industry" is enslaved to Intel. You can't buy a cheap and fast computer without Intel (AMD is probably affected too).

So as for the f00f bug (dig the web) of a few years ago, some people will be proud of fixing the shit of Intel.

Now let's go back to 1990.

Imagine that in 1990 such a huge problem was found in the Intel chips of the time.

No sane person would have started a pet OS based on this malfunctioning CPU, not even some random student from a random part of Europe.

But today things are different.

Hackers writing the linux kernel play the competition. They want to be the best. They strongly think they are.

But who is more intelligent in there? Random hackers fixing some crap by some stupid hardware engineers and managers?

Or a guy who had a hell of salary as top executive and went away with lots of money before the crash?

More than ever we need free hardware.

Free hardware is harder than free software.

You need to generate a CPU. This is hard.

You need to manipulate matter.

We have FPGA today. It's hard to program. There is not much free software in this area.

This is a first step.

Of course you can go back in time and buy some logic gates and assemble everything. But the generated computer will be slow.

But that's the way to go.

To hell with Intel and others.

Design your own CPU (see here). Burn it to an FPGA (or whatever you want, FPGA is just a first step, we need better than that, but to be honest, I don't know what, hardware is not my world). Port an operating system, a compiler, a few libraries on it and you're down. You have a reasonable CPU, that you can trust much more than what you use today. (Actually you don't even need to do all this, a lot of work has already been done and today you can burn an existing "soft CPU" into an FPGA and run a full system on top.)

But then, the world will be much less spectacular than today, where a single bug destroys nearly everything on its path.

So we'll need to entertain the old fashioned way. Talk and interact with other human beings.

No more Intel for some good lulz. No more Volkswagen. No more Donald Trump. No more Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan!

Oh. My.

What kind of noise will I be able to produce then?

Bah. All this thinking is totally fictitious. Truth is: the lulz will go on.

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Friday, Dec. 8th 2017

Social networks are bad for your brain

Here is why.

Let's start with some illustrations.

twitter
[image: screen capture of twitter]

facebook
[image: screen capture of facebook]

These are obvious targets.

github (a place where people can host their free software)
[image: screen capture of github]

Some people in the "free" culture are also trapped in this madness.

framasphere (a "free" alternative to facebook, pretending to respect the privacy of users, as if it was the most important thing)
[image: screen capture of github]

And no, github is not a member of the "free" culture. It's a private company, intending to get money from their activity, not help people around the world to share their stuff.

The wrong is obvious but just to be clear let's elaborate a little more.

The counters, yes, the counters. How many people "follow" me. How many people "like" me. How many people comment on what I say. How many people duplicate my software.

A big ego-bad-trip is going on. And your brain wants more, always more. It's a drug. Your brain is not protected against drugs. Actually your brain loves drugs.

That's why you should stay away from any website where counters are the most visible information offered to you, the user. Unless you are ready to pay the price, which is to live the life of a drug-addict. Is it what you want? I doubt it.

Those things are new, that's why it's easy to be fooled. Someone selling you heroin in the street won't last long. It's illegal (maybe not everywhere on this planet, to be checked). But selling you, what? egoin? is still legal, and may be legal forever.

Sure, the effect seems less dangerous than heroin. It's just some time wasted and a bit of depressive feelings when something goes wrong because of those social networks.

But still.

Some people killed themselves after some bad time on a social network. (References needed here.)

So, be warned.

Stay away from social networks.

How to share then? How to use the internet?

Dig in your "real" life. Look for what activities lead to pleasure and what activities lead to bad feelings. And try to have the same on the internet. It's just a place, like in "real" life. The contact is different, but it's the same also. So what is good in "real" life is also good on the internet.

Well, to be honest, I don't know. I would say that if you want social interactions on the internet, go for mailing lists. But even there you find some ego-wars, so I don't know. Maybe we can't avoid those things.

Maybe. But it's almost certain that promoting those ego-counters are not a step in the right direction.

A few decades ago, there were BBS (dig the web). People using it were saying it was a place without judgment, as opposed to "real" life. You can be young or old, you can be of a different culture, your face or skin color may look different, you may be male or female, no one cares. That's what the internet can do. It can remove all those differences so we can share using what we have in common.

Well, maybe. Or maybe not. You need something to connect to the internet. You need electricity. You need to speak english. This is already a lot.

Anyway, stay away from social networks, it's the best you can do for your mental health.

Comments (1)


Friday, Nov. 24th 2017

Let's make some noise

Because why not?

Let me entertain your rationality by exercising mine through the use of shared words.

Or whatever.

It just has to be loud and make some noise in this anechoic chamber of mine. Not really mine actually, rather provided by people making money selling internet access to others.

Why not keep silent and wait for the massacre to end?

Because it won't.

So let's make noise!

Comments (3)


Nothing more.


Contact: sed@free.fr

Created: Fri, 24 Nov 2017 22:18:15 +0100
Last update: Sat, 06 Jan 2018 19:41:59 +0100

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