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Monday January 15, 2018. 10:09 PM
Around 8:05 a.m., the Hawaii emergency employee initiated the internal test, according to a timeline released by the state. From a drop-down menu on a computer program, he saw two options: "Test missile alert" and "Missile alert". He was supposed to choose the former; as...
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Sunday January 14, 2018. 12:59 AM
I used an Apple IIe computer throughout high school and into my second year in college, before I bought a Mac SE. That following summer I sold the Apple IIe and everything that came with it - the monitor, floppy drives, and dot-matrix printer - and pocketed the cash. What I...
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Apple designed the iOS platform with security at its core. When we set out to create the best possible mobile platform, we drew from decades of experience to build an entirely new architecture. We thought about the security hazards of the desktop environment, and established ...
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I enjoyed reading Terry Crowley's thoughtful blog (What Really Happened with Vista). Terry worked in the Office organization and did a fantastic job covering the complex machinations that went into Windows Vista and the related but doomed Longhorn project - from...
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Saturday January 13, 2018. 12:52 AM
Gamers of a certain age probably remember that Nintendo worked with Maxis to port a version of the seminal SimCity to the brand-new SNES in 1991. What most gamers probably don't realize is that an NES version of the game was developed at the same time and cancelled just...
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Thursday January 11, 2018. 01:28 AM
Apple is moving its Chinese iCloud operations from its own datacenters to a local Chinese company run by the government. The firm is called Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD). It's based in Guizhou Province and supervised by a board ran by government-owned businesses. In emails...
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Apple joining the Alliance for Open Media is a really big deal. Now all the most powerful tech companies - Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, AMD, ARM, Nvidia - plus content providers like Netflix and Hulu are on board. I guess there's still no...
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Wednesday January 10, 2018. 01:39 AM
The Gemini is a clamshell Android device with an 18:9 ultrawide 1080p screen and a compact but more-or-less full physical keyboard. It runs on a 10-core MediaTek Helio X27 processor and has 4GB of RAM, a 4,220mAh battery, and two USB-C ports. It’s 15.1mm thick when...
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Tuesday January 9, 2018. 07:03 PM
From Microsoft's blog: Last week the technology industry and many of our customers learned of new vulnerabilities in the hardware chips that power phones, PCs and servers. We (and others in the industry) had learned of this vulnerability under nondisclosure agreement several ...
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Monday January 8, 2018. 11:55 PM
It's the very beginning of CES 2018, and the first trickles of gadget news are starting to come out. The flood begins tomorrow as the show floor opens and keynotes and press conferences begin in earnest. It's easy to see the broad themes of the show and the tech industry at...
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What is the oldest x86 processor that is still supported by a modern Linux kernel in present time? I asked the above quiz question during the Geekcamp tech conference in Nov 2017 during my emcee role. The theoretical answer as you can glean from the title of this post is the ...
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IBM's vacuum tube computers of the 1950s were built from pluggable modules, each holding eight tubes and the associated components. I recently came across one of these modules so I studied its circuitry. This particular module implements five contact debouncing circuits,...
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The recent reveal of Meltdown and Spectre reminded me of the time I found a related design bug in the Xbox 360 CPU - a newly added instruction whose mere existence was dangerous. Back in 2005 I was the Xbox 360 CPU guy. I lived and breathed that chip. I still have a 30-cm...
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Saturday January 6, 2018. 12:45 AM
I'm travelling around the world and sometimes I don't have very good Internet. If all I have is a 3kbps connection tethered from my phone then it's good to SSH into my server and browse the web through elinks. That way my server downloads the web pages and uses the limited...
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Thursday January 4, 2018. 10:54 PM
We've been archiving a bunch of old Xerox Alto disk packs from the 1970s. A few of them turned out to be password-protected, so I needed to figure out how to get around the password protection. I've developed a way to disable password protection, as well as a program to find ...
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The T2 processor isn't doing the heavy lifting in the iMac Pro - that's the Intel Xeon processor with between 8 and 14 processor cores. The T2 is the brain behind that brain, running the subsystems of the iMac Pro from a single piece of Apple-built silicon. The result is a...
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Wednesday January 3, 2018. 09:36 PM
Update: Google's Project Zero disclosed details about the vulnerability a week ahead of schedule due to growing concerns, and they indeed confirm AMD and ARM processors are also affected: The Project Zero researcher, Jann Horn, demonstrated that malicious actors could take...
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A fundamental design flaw in Intel's processor chips has forced a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug. Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel's virtual memory system. Meanwhile, Microsoft is ...
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We've been talking about Google's mysterious Fuchsia operating system for a while now, and today, we have a new piece of the puzzle. It's a small piece, for sure, but with Google being so incredibly secretive about the whole thing, we take what we can get. As it turns out,...
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Ending the year a new release of the "desktop engine" Arcan and its reference desktop environment, Durden. Arcan is a different take on how to glue the user-experience side of operating systems together. It has been in development for well over a decade, with the modest...
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