Friday, August 06


Daily News Stuff 6 August 2021

Sigh Edition

Top Story

  • Hoping for good news from Brickmuppet soon.

  • In Apple's defense, they're only spying on your children.  (Ars Technica)

    Ace touched on this: Apple's touted new feature for iOS 15 is that it will secretly scan all the photos on your device and your cloud storage, secretly compare them with a secret catalogue of designated bad things, and then very publicly send the details to the feds.

    Initially it will only - they say - invade your privacy this way if you're a child.  Which makes everything so much better.

    Even (most) of the idiots at Ars Technica are up in arms about this.  Wade far enough into the comments and there's someone who will excuse anything.  (Rule One: Never read the comments.)

    End-to-end encryption means that nobody in the middle can see your private content.  But when one party - which is to say, Apple - controls both ends, they can do whatever the fuck they want.  And what they want to do is spy on you.

    For your own good.

    The EFF is unimpressed.  (EFF)

    This is not so much a slippery slope as an express elevator to hell.

  • Remember, Apple cares about your privacy.  They won't allow anyone else to violate it.

    Fans of YouTubers can no longer send in gifts - even via a management company - thanks to Apple's AirTags.  I think a really big induction coil could solve this problem though.  Drop it from orbit right into Cupertino.

Tech News 

  • Intel's upcoming Alder Lake CPUs include up to 8 high-performance cores and 8 high-efficiency cores, to reduce power consumption when you're not running heavy workloads.

    How well does this work?  Signs are, it doesn't.  (WCCFTech)

    Power deliver specs for the new 12th gen chips are 50-100W higher than for 10th and 11th gen, which are infamously power hungry.

    On the other hand, it comes with PCIe 5.0.  That could account for a chunk of that increase; running I/O at 32Gbps isn't easy.

  • Adata has announced ECC DDR5 memory modules running at up to 12600MHz in capacities up to 64GB.  (WCCFTech)

    Still no dates or prices, but the capacity is new information.  I was certainly not expecting 64GB modules this soon.

  • The Ryzen 5600G and 5700G desktop APUs are available now.  (WCCFTech)

    I checked and it's true.  I might switch around the planned config for my new Linux system.  Again.

    If you just want basic graphics - enough for playing Minecraft and running two 4K monitors - these will handle it without paying the current 50-100% markups on video cards.  Performance doesn't trail too far behind the CPU-only versions - and they're actually cheaper.

  • I might be getting a second Dell laptop, since they're having a major sale (they usually are, true) and I just had two HP laptops expire on me.

    This one would be the Inspiron 16 Plus.  8-core Intel CPU, 3072x1920 16" screen, 16GB RAM (upgradeable), 512GB NVMe SSD (also upgradeable), RTX 3050 with 4GB RAM, which again is plenty for Minecraft, and a...  Numeric keypad.

    Not my favourite layout, but probably better than not having the Four Essential Keys at all.

    With the SSD, it actually has two M.2 slots.  One 2230 size, and one 2280 size.  It seems to ship with a 2230-size drive, so you can just drop in a full-size unit to upgrade it.  

    There's a model with 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 3060, but it's not on sale so it would cost twice as much.  And I already have 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

  • A personal tale of getting put on a secret list.  (Areoform)

    The author had the good fortune to share the name of someone working with a sanctioned company.  That meant they couldn't receive funds from, basically, anyone.  And they couldn't get taken off the list either, because none of this is coded into law and there's no oversight whatsoever. And that leads to lives being destroyed, if not cancelled entirely:
    In my case, when the programmers punted to the KYC department and legal, a bunch of transactions were cancelled.  In this case, the police will raid your house and arrest you for "child porn.”

    The image they will raid you for wouldn’t even necessarily have to be an adult one.  Computers are strange.  They are very literal beings.  They do exactly what they are told, which is both their greatest asset and weakness.  For example, this neural network thinks that this cat is guacamole.
    A recent test showed that putting a label that said "iPod" on an apple fooled an image recognition AI into believing that it was an iPod.

    And that's what Apple is foisting upon you.

  • Oh, and the US government plans to track you everywhere you go.  (The Intercept)

    If you're going to tax cars by the mile you have to know how many miles they travel, and they are planning to do this in the most invasive way possible.

    The data - if this goes through - will of course also leak.  All of it.

  • Google's new Nest cameras work even without a subscription fee.  (Ars Technica)

    Well, that's novel.  Almost as if you own what you bought.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Apple for putting a couple of grand extra into my Linux server budget.  If an issue comes up at work and I need a Mac to fix it, it just won't get fixed.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:09 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 905 words, total size 8 kb.

1 I don't think we can say that we've hit peak statist idiocy until the house of cards collapses, and we can say so in hindsight.

I think the Apple surveillance thing may actually be aimed at preventing internal defection.  I'm pretty sure Krugman's claim that his phone was hacked was a lie, and some of the pushback at QAnon managed to persuade that the satanist pedophile model of the opposition might be credible. 

(QAnon had many implausible claims.  "Trust the plan" in hindsight looks like an information operation to secure the power transition.  But pushing back specifically at the satanist and pedophile claims, and refusing to demonstrate why someone thinks they are not plausible, looks like gaslighting.  Anyone who has seen US public school sexual education might find accusations of pedophilia plausible.  Communism is also pretty clearly a religion, and as a profoundly evil heresy of Christianity, might be properly classified as a satanism.)

PRC's internal genocides are why smart cars are too dangerous to tolerate.  Governments friendly with the PRC should never be trusted not to be preparing to commit democide.  Legislatures should not be trusted with the power to force automation on manufacturers.  Manufacturers should not be trusted to secure ways to abuse cars from governments.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Friday, August 06 2021 11:07 PM (DHVaH)

2 I assume the Hololive/airtag thing is because people were sending gifts to the talent and using them to try to find out where they live.

Posted by: Rick C at Saturday, August 07 2021 12:31 AM (eqaFC)

3 Accelerationism is looking better every day.

Posted by: normal at Saturday, August 07 2021 01:02 AM (LADmw)

4 I haven't dug into any of the iStalker stories yet, but I've spent a lot of time playing with Facebook's PDQ perceptual hash tools, and what Apple claims they'll be doing doesn't seem to match what that kind of software does.

From the quick summaries, they say that if a parent turns the feature on, a perceptual hash will be computed on the phone when an image is shared, which sounds like it protects privacy, but that's a smokescreen. Little Kelly's Nude Selfie would not match any existing hash when it's posted, so Apple can't alert the parents until someone sends them a list of "known CP" hashes that includes it, months or years later. Which means Apple is permanently storing the hashes of every picture uploaded by Little Kelly, linked to her iCloud account. And we can trust them to never turn that feature on for other users, or perform those comparisons for any reason other than Protecting The Children.

It is nice that Apple's action is drawing some attention to the use of perceptual hashes, since all the social-media sites and online forums that allow image uploads are already doing this, with no limits on how they can be searched.


Posted by: J Greely at Saturday, August 07 2021 04:18 AM (ZlYZd)

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

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