Wednesday, August 15


Daily News Stuff 15 August 2018

Tech News

  • For Intel, it's a new day so there's a new speculative execution vulnerability. This one is called Foreshadow by researchers and L1TF by Intel - Level 1 Terminal Fault because it relates to the level 1 cache permission checking termination logic. (Ars Technica)

    Fortunately I didn't get around to migrating to Digital Ocean just yet. We run VMs for - half a dozen of them with more on the way - but on dedicated rather than shared hardware, so this exploit mostly doesn't apply. (Digital Ocean)

    An interesting point is that Intel has already provided a patch that largely resolves the problem, unless you are running hyperthreading. I'm not sure about other cloud providers, but my understanding is that Amazon run customer-specific CPUs with hyperthreading disabled, and have done for years. As core counts increase we may start seeing a trend towards disabling hyperthreading by default - as seen in the upcoming eight core i7 chips. (Or so rumour has it.)

  • Google still tracks your location when you turn off location tracking. Because "don't be evil" got too complicated. (Fudzilla)

  • NVIDIA's new high-end graphics cards are using Samsung's new 16Gb GDDR6 memory. This is another thing that will trickle down to consumer parts fairly quickly. It's 40% faster than the fastest commonly-used GDDR5 memory (14Gbps vs. 10Gbps).

  • Faxes are now haxes. Network-attached multi-function printers too. (The Register)

    If you have an HP multi-function printer on your network, the time to update the firmware is right now. Some of the more recent models apparently update themselves automatically, but it's definitely something to check. You may have a wonderful high-tech firewall that blocks every single thing, but hackers can just dial straight in to your fax machine.

    This sort of thing has been going on for some time, really. There was a story years ago about a company that kept having outbreaks of computer viruses even after patching every single PC and server on the network.

    Turned out the source of the infection was a colour laser printer, which had an internal hard drive for storing fonts and print jobs.... And viruses.

  • PCWorld tested the Threadripper 2990WX just like everyone else (not me) and found something interesting.  Though it trails behind the fastest Intel chips on some tests (because of memory latency, OS scheduling, or something else) that's when you are testing one application at a time.

    They tried running Blender and Cinebench at the same time - and it ran Cinebench as fast as the 18 core Intel i9-7980X running Cinebench alone.  (PCWorld)

Social Media News

  • Twitter have apparently Level Two Restricted Alex Jones' account. Not suspended, but restricted, so his account is still active and his tweets are still up, he just can't tweet any more for a few days. (CNet)

    I have had two Level 2 restrictions and seventy-one Level One restrictions so far this year. The most recent was this:
    Alex Jones is like tiny baby.

  • TechDirt has some nice You CAN yell FIRE! in a crowded theatre t-shirts.

  • TwitterSafety says: The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Video of the Day

Cat Video of the Day

Wait for it...

Picture of the Day

This is the component I mentioned I was waiting for to build the new social blogging system. I already had a couple of designs I'd licensed, but this is the one I really wanted. I already have version 1 & 2, but those were just designs (PSD / Sketch), not web pages (HTML / CSS). This has some actual web pages as well as the design files so I can jump in right away.

Cat Picture of the Day

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:06 AM | Comments (13) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 664 words, total size 6 kb.

1 HardOCP tried overclocking a 2990WX to 4.2GHz and it crashed.  They think the problem was with their 1000W PSU not being big enough.  (The chip itself pulled 500+W with spikes to 600 in benchmarks.)
Also, did you see the unsettling power usage charts someone had (I think it was Anandtech, but it might've been someone else?)  The uncore/Infinity Fabric that handles moving data between cores turns out to take up a huge amount of a chip's power as you get more cores.  IIRC the 2990WX, with all threads loaded, splits power distribution about 50/50 between the cores and the rest of the chip.  Intel's HEDTs, like the 7980X, are nearly as bad--with all 36 threads loaded it's like 40% of the power going to the uncore/mesh bus.

Posted by: Rick C at Wednesday, August 15 2018 11:42 PM (Q/JG2)

2 Also also, that new Intel speculative execution issue is really nasty, because it affects something called secure enclaves, which are basically processes that have protected memory access, controlled right at the CPU level.

Posted by: Rick C at Wednesday, August 15 2018 11:44 PM (Q/JG2)

3 Honestly, anyone trying to overclock a 32 core multi-chip module with a base TDP of 250W deserves what happens to them.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, August 16 2018 01:03 AM (PiXy!)

4 Apparently the LN2 people have gotten a 5.3+GHz all-core overclock.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, August 16 2018 01:32 AM (Q/JG2)

5 Here's the link about uncore power usage, with charts showing core vs uncore/IF power graphs for the 8700K, 7898XE, 2700X, 2950X, 2990WX, and Epyc 7601--the latter, with all threads in use, devotes 86W to the IF and 89 to the cores.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, August 16 2018 04:48 AM (Q/JG2)

6 Yeah, that's the downside of the multi-chip approach; off-die interconnect uses up far more power than on-die.  Looks like this is the reason the die-to-die bandwidth is a lot lower on TR2 than EPYC - they wanted to boost power to the cores for higher clock speeds, and needed to cut it elsewhere.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, August 16 2018 09:48 AM (PiXy!)

7 Also, the 7601 has 8 memory channels and 128 PCIe lanes.  Those aren't free.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, August 16 2018 09:50 AM (PiXy!)

8 Please be a pioneer and buck the Round Icon trend.

Posted by: Mauser at Thursday, August 16 2018 10:35 AM (Ix1l6)

9 Mrrrpt.  At my day job I have a CSS class called "squircle", and all avatars / icons are defined as squircles, so we can adjust them in one place any time the designers change their minds.

I think having some round elements really helps make the page look more attractive, but maybe I'll make them squircles and calculate the border radius based on the the phase of the Moon...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, August 16 2018 11:36 AM (PiXy!)

10 Love that civet cat coffee picture, btw.  Why can't we live in a world that has quirky architecture like that, instead of cheap cookie-cutter buildings?

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, August 16 2018 01:24 PM (ITnFO)

11 It would appear that the person who drew that does not like coffee.  Or had a really, really bad cup and felt that words alone could not do adequate justice to how bad it was.

Posted by: David at Friday, August 17 2018 06:57 AM (A/T0R)

12 No, that's pretty much how kopi luwak is made.


Posted by: J Greely at Friday, August 17 2018 08:45 AM (LGSd2)

13 Secretly, all coffee is made that way.  Only kopi luwak admits it though.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, August 17 2018 09:51 AM (PiXy!)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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