Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The future will be out of date

from here and here

The Internet of Things is going to be unmanageable if we keep building it out of general purpose computers.  If we must have smart devices, we should use special purpose computers with fixed, first order functionality. Not only would updates not be necessary, they wouldn't be possible.

One of the main reasons we use general purpose computers is because their generality allows us to use the same computer for pretty much any application, so we can benefit from an economy of scale by mass producing lots of them knowing we'll find a use for them. I think it might be possible to get similar benefits from special purpose computers used to build a set of fundamental controls - there are only a relatively small number of ways we control the devices around us (ex. toggle switches, dials, etc) and since each of those fundamental control types would be common across a number of different devices, a smaller economy of scale could still be achieved with special purpose computers that drive such controls but with the benefit of lower maintenance than can be achieved with general purpose computers.

You'd never be able to build a toaster that sings to you that way, but why would you want to?

Too bad it only works on the young

found on eBaum's World

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the older generation knows how to drive stick.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Taking your privacy seriously

from here and here

That's not the problem they want to solve. It's cheaper and easier to change the company's appearance than it is to change the company's business model.

I'm An Advanced Persistent Threat shirt


Product Page

I can't help but think that this is not something an APT would actually wear (to paraphrase Ser Davos Seaworth, if you're a famous APT you're not doing it right), but just as there are shirts that say hacker on them that get worn by people who aren't hackers, so too with the advanced persistent threats.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Heavy duty trucks call for heavy duty locks

from here and here (image source)

This is the first time I've seen such a clean installation of a Master lock on a vehicle. It must be brand new. It's also the first time I've seen a hidden shackle lock used. Normally it's just an ordinary padlock (or in some cases just a sliding lock). Whoever opted for this really went all out.

Too bad the vehicle still has glass windows.

Protecting your privacy helps protect everyone's privacy

found on Reddit

It seems like if the runner had followed social norms and kept that behaviour confined to private spaces, then that surveillance wouldn't have been added. But not only can you harm everyone's privacy by squandering your own, you can also help protect everyone's privacy by fighting for your own. Every encroachment on privacy that isn't challenged is a further erosion of everyone's privacy.

Friday, September 23, 2022

When they opt out of your opt out

from here and here

In a move that surprises exactly no one, Facebook has apparently decided that they don't have to follow the explicitly stated wishes of it's users. Their users are starting to sue them over it. That's right, it's not just complaining, it's lawsuits (if we're lucky they'll become class action lawsuits) 

When your elevator needs a decryption key

found on Reddit

It may just be simple substitution, but clearly it's effective enough at hiding the meaning that a key needs to be provided to allow passengers to reverse it.  

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The sponsor for today's meme is [whatever]VPN

from here and here

If you want to fly the Jolly Roger or evade your streaming service's geoblocking then a VPN is your friend. If you're just browsing normal websites (even from public WiFi) then the fact that virtually all websites are using encryption now makes VPNs redundant for most people.

And if you're not most people, if you have special security concerns, maybe you should consider something more than just a consumer grade VPN provider. TOR for example. 

Losing $750k to a fake Elon Musk


Watch on YouTube

I didn't realize scammers were using deep faked videos now. In fact, I've heard it said that scammers don't need to use deep fake because cheap fake still works surprisingly well. So I guess this should be a wake-up call - just because scammers don't need to do something, doesn't mean they won't do it.