Wednesday, March 13


Daily News Stuff 13 March 2019

I Didn't Really Want That Steak Anyway Edition

Tech News

  • AMD launched the Radeon RX 560 XT - 75% faster than the existing Radeon RX 560.  (AnandTech)

    This is because it's a Radeon RX 570 with four compute units disabled.  Also, only available in China.

  • Dammit, where did my bookmarks go?

  • What are they doing all the way over there?

  • GoDaddy, Google, and Apple screwed up and mis-issued an estimated two million certificates.  (Ars Technica)

    They used - horrors - only positive 64-bit integers to assign serial numbers rather than the full range of positive and negative values.  This basically doesn't matter at all.  Unfortunately the reporting was carried out by a brain-damaged budgie:
    The 63 bits is far off the mark of the required 64 bits and, as such, poses a theoretically unacceptable risk to the entire ecosystem. (Practically speaking, there’s almost no chance of the certificates being maliciously exploited. More about that later.) Adam Caudill, the security researcher who blogged about the mass misissuance last weekend, pointed out that it’s easy to think that a difference of 1 single bit would be largely inconsequential when considering numbers this big. In fact, he said, the difference between 263 and 264 is more than 9 quintillion.
    This is complete and utter nonsense.  If it were 2127 vs. 2128 the difference would be 170 undecillion, and it would be even less relevant.

    The fault is actually in the spec, which requires (a) at least 64 bits of entropy and (b) that the most significant bit be 0, which means you need at least a 65 bit value, but while this problem was discussed when the spec was written no-one actually bothered to update the spec.

  • ASRock's X399 Phantom Gaming 6 is an only slightly cut down Threadripper motherboard for $250.  (AnandTech)

    Eight DIMM slots, three full PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, 2.5GbE and 1GbE ports, three M.2 slots (all PCIe 3.0 x4).

    Only real limitation is that its CPU power supply is limited to 180W and it can't run the recent 24 and 32 core Threadrippers.  But those are somewhat specialised - and expensive - parts and probably not a reason to be looking at low-cost motherboards anyway.

  • Firefox just released Send, an end-to-end encrypted file sharing service.  (Tom's Hardware)

    You can send files up to 1GB, or 2.5GB if you sign up (for free, I think).  If they use Backblaze and Cloudflare it's cheap enough that they can run this at a loss until/unless it takes off.

  • There is one law for left and right alike, which prevents them equally from saying "learn to code" and wearing red baseball caps.  (TechDirt gets this story egregiously wrong.)

  • The truth of that story about Liz Warren's anti-Facebook ads getting banned by Facebook is more nuanced.  Facebook is simply run by idiots.  (TechDirt)

  • She's wrong about everything anyway.  (Stratechery)
    Unfortunately, Senator Warren’s proposal helps highlight why I have not gone further with my own: hers would create massive new problems, have significant unintended consequences, and worst of all, not even address the issues Senator Warren is concerned about (with one possible exception I will get to in a moment). Worst, it would do so by running roughshod over the idea of judicial independence, invite endless lawsuits and bureaucratic meddling around subjective definitions, and effectively punish consumers for choosing the best option for them.
    But apart from that...

  • Twttr got disemvoweled.  (Tech Crunch)

  • Toyota is building a moon rover and it looks exactly like you would want a Toyota moon rover to look.  (Engadget)

  • Unicode is one big semantic sewage farm.

  • Charting the voracity of hyperscalers, and what it means for the future.  (The NExt Platform)

  • Boeing is planning a software patch for the 737 MAX.  (ZDNet)

    Guys...  Maybe do that before?

  • Google's Jigsaw division has rolled out a new Chrome extension that ensures you never learn anything.  (CNet)

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