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Comment: Re:Since when is AMT controversial? (Score 1) 74

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48936245) Attached to: FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed
A mixture of both. The AMT system includes a dedicated ARC cpu, which runs its own OS and functions independently of the host to a large degree; but also can see into, and sometimes make use of, some of the hardware visible to the host system(details depend on version). For communication, for instance, the AMT system has access to the wired NIC below the OS's view(wireless NICs are more complex, I think AMT can do a direct connection to a trusted AP if configured to do so; but can't do VPN without piggybacking on the host OS), and it also has enough hooks into the various peripherals that it can do remote KVM in hardware, by emulating HID devices and snooping the framebuffer, mount an .iso as though it were a connected SATA device, and access some storage and memory locations that are also accessible to the host OS or programs, in order to gather data on system health, software versions, etc.

I'm not exactly sure how the BIOS/UEFI flash and the flash that stores the AMT firmware are related to one another. On computers with AMT, a 'bios update' will often flash both; but I don't know if that's because they are just different areas of the same SPI flash chip, or whether it's just a convenience bundling of two nearly unrelated updaters.

Comment: Re:Manual config (Score 1) 32

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48936033) Attached to: D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking
They all tend to be fairly miserable(though thermal issues are often more a product of the desire to have more space for ugly branding and fewer vents, which can be fixed with a bit of applied violence); but I do have to give the hardware credit for often being rather amazing for the price. The firmware is shit more or less across the board; but it is astounding how much actual computer they can cram into a $20 router.

Comment: Re:Since when is AMT controversial? (Score 1) 74

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48935903) Attached to: FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed
Any remote management tool would be a 'backdoor', except that it is put in place by the owner for their convenience and with their consent.

AMT is a particularly powerful, and somewhat opaque, management tool. Anyone who suspects the possibility that(deliberately, or by mistake) those very, very, useful capabilities might be available to others under some circumstances would naturally be suspicious of it.

And, for the FSF and those who share their concerns, the fact that it is a wholly proprietary(and tricky to remove or replace) blob embedded in the brainstem of their computer is not something that would make them happy.

Comment: Re:even when it is powered off. (Score 3, Informative) 74

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48935555) Attached to: FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed
That may differ between laptops and desktops, or between AMT versions. On the desktops I've seen the AMT stuff is active if the PC is plugged in, regardless of its power state. Some of the capabilities of the AMT system cannot be used if the host PC is off; but the system itself runs on a separate processor and only turns off if the PSU is unpowered. Laptops may need to be more conservative, for the sake of retaining battery life while inactive.

Comment: Re:And how many weeks will NBD support take?` (Score 1) 96

Speaking of Dell, failure, and lawyers, back during the 'capacitor plague' era the law firm that Dell retained to fight capacitor-plague related lawsuits was itself stuck with capacitor-plagued Dells. I can only imagine that their IT people saw the humor in the situation. True story.

Comment: Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (Score 1) 96

If your machinist is good enough you can probably fit a V12 in a wristwatch. It's just that all those cylinders will be very, very, tiny and the actual power generated will be rather unimpressive.

If you wanted the same effect in a laptop, you could probably add a GTX980 (250watt TDP) to this laptop as long as it was clocked at maybe 50MHz, rather than the usual 1100.

Comment: Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (Score 1) 96

The trouble is that the entire i5-5200u, CPU and GPU, is also 15 watt part. Unless Dell is somehow just throwing away usable space inside that case, I suspect that fan noise, battery life, or both are going to hurt if you double the demands of the core silicon.

I don't know exactly how much you save if you wholly disable the GPU portion of the intel part, probably a little less than half, so even in that case you are talking about a pretty substantial bump in thermal load.

I don't deny that the integrated graphics are feeble, merely note that you are unlikely to get anything exciting into hardware that size. Even if we assume 100% efficient disabling of the integrated GPU, and savings of ~50%, a discrete GPU arrangement would involve a 50% TDP increase. If the integrated graphics can't be cleanly disabled, it might creep closer to doubling. I doubt that that would be a pleasant machine to work with.

Comment: Re:Can someone explainn (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48934533) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated
The problem is that if the airframe is moving directly at the White House from, say, New York Ave, it could do so at ten feet above the ground. Would still clear the fence, but anybody on the roof of the White House opening up with any sort of AA or even conventional small arms fire would be, essentially, shooting right at hundreds of people, cars, trucks, and office buildings. NOT an easy problem to solve.

Comment: Re:Seems a bit unfair (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48934445) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

I think you mean to say, "If drones are illegal, only criminals will have drones".

Yes. And drones don't kill people, people kill people. It's actually kinda funny to watch a lot of normally "progressive" types who've always reflexively ridiculed the sport shooting types for their defensive postures regarding irrational gun laws ... suddenly find themselves in exactly the same predicament. "But I just want to do some fine art landscape photography from 50' feet up!" Uh huh, and I just want to break some clay pigeons. But we're BOTH evil now! How's it feel buddy!

Comment: Re:Can someone explainn (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48934173) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

And you think that's going to get by undetected?

Scenario: pop away some sort of cover on a flatbed truck a couple of blocks from the White House. Fire up a very un-sexy, easy to build hexa than can easy lift a few pounds. It could quickly self-navigate straight up to a couple hundred or more feet (these things can climb like rockets), above any local building tops, and then move horizontally towards the White House at the better part of 50mph. Who CARES if it can be detected? If there are people on the White House lawn doing some sort of camera op or press conference, that bird would be right over them in the blink of an eye, and could drop something nasty with shocking accuracy, within a meter of a typical presser podium. It would happen so fast that being detected or not doesn't really matter.

I love these machines. They're great for all sorts of fun and creative uses. But a smart, determined bad guy really could put them to some very evil, if innovative, use. And that's the point. New government limits on their use make the bad guys just laugh!

Comment: Re:Can someone explainn (Score 1) 156

by ScentCone (#48934101) Attached to: Drone Maker Enforces No-Fly Zone Over DC, Hijacking Malware Demonstrated

the payload of the DJI Phantom line is measured in low-double-digit grams

I have a pimped out Phantom. The extra payload it carries:

1) GCU
2) Gimbal
3) GoPro with Battery
4) Video Downlink TX with cloverleaf antenna
5) iOSD
6) Various related cables, mounting hardware

Which all adds up to almost 340g - and it still maneuvers like crazy, and stays up for an easy 15 minutes.

No, it's not a lot. But it's lot more than low-double-digits. My bigger rig can easily carry 8 or 9 pounds while climbing to hundreds of feet faster than you'd believe. And it can go horizontally at a pretty frightening speed.

Comment: Re:Headline stupidity (Score 1) 132

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48933053) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center
For long term maintenance of a low oxygen environment they are probably using a Nitrogen generator of some flavor. If you want the job done fast, the ready availability of liquid nitrogen is very handy: let one liter of that boil off and you get almost 700 of pure nitrogen. Just carry it down and dump it.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 1) 132

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48932979) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center
My cynical suspicion is that have a datacenter in an underground oxygen-purged bunker is something you cost-justify under 'disaster recovery' or similar; but actually do because of a vague, gnawing, ill-defined dissatisfaction with the fact that your life is basically as safe as it is tedious. The same sort of thing as why really boring federal agencies build huge SCIFs and random suburbanites lovingly shop for tacticool accessories to cram onto their AR-15.

That aside, I assume that they got it for peanuts compared to the original build cost, since abandoned bunkers aren't terribly high-value real estate(and potentially turn into blighted little holes if you don't keep them locked and have a cop watch the entrance moderately closely), and a cold war bunker is probably nice and sturdy, trivial to provide physical security for, and not too much more inconvenient than a situation where equipment has to be taken upstairs by cargo elevator. The oxygen purge seems harder to justify except for the cool factor, though.

They laughed at Einstein. They laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown. -- Carl Sagan

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