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Comment Re:This is an interesting case (Score 1) 106

But do they own what's in the engineer's head?

I was working at a video game company when the legal department got this brilliant idea to have everyone in the testing department sign NDA's to protect company intellectual property. Except this NDA had an overly broad clause that required testers must list every past copyrights, trademarks and patents they own, any idea they came up during employment at work or at home belongs to the company, and any idea they come up after they leave the company must be reviewed by the legal department. No one signed the NDA, several had attorneys who made phone calls, and everyone threatened to quit. The HR person got the legal department to go with a generic NDA.

Comment Re:With all that security... (Score 1) 108

That's interesting, because most of the open source security community loves Lenovo laptops as it is easy to install custom, secure firmware.

I'm not sure if replacing the BIOS was an option in 2008. When I tested wireless 11ac cards at Cisco in 2013, I had to reflash Lenovo laptops with unlocked BIOSes to get the cards to work. I found those unlocked BIOSes in a pretty shady part of the Internet.

Comment Re:With all that security... (Score 1) 108

I wonder how much of this is a reaction to Snowden's leaks about NSA hacking. Seems like this sort of thing is designed specifically to deal with the kind of attacks they use, installing bugs in physical hardware or adding malware to low level firmware.

When I worked at Google in 2008, IT found Chinese backdoors in the firmware for Lenovo laptops. When I was at Google in 2011, all the Lenovo laptops got replaced with Apple laptops.

Comment Re:Why is this news... (Score 3, Insightful) 108

Is this what passes for an entertaining story to you?

What's entertaining is being told by fellow slashdotters that CS programs requires absolutely no knowledge of hardware — or programming. So Google is paying a CS graduate student $100K+ per year and he can't even turn on a workstation without a $40K+ help desk technician telling him how. Mind blowing.

Because I can't help but notice you've said essentially the same thing, verbatim, on other posts.

Then you never want to hear Guy Kawasaki give a speech. It's the same speech about developing a dog food app, the logistical problems of delivering dog food to consumers, and why no one else is rushing to deliver dog food from the Internet.

Comment Re:Why is this news... (Score 1) 108

Care to tell us more boring things about your life?

When I worked the Google IT help desk, I had to walk a Stanford CS graduate through the process of turning on his own workstation because cubicle farms don't have someone standing around to turn on workstations as they do in the university computer labs.

Comment Re:Why is this news... (Score 1) 108

So it seems your claims of this information bein published before in numerous tech posts and books was bullshit.

I'm talking about Google in general and not a specific security chip. That Google custom designing their own server platform is well known since the company was founded. A specific chip for security, artificial intelligence or machine learning doesn't surprise me at all.

Comment Re:With all that security... (Score 3, Insightful) 108

So, basically, what you are saying is that open platforms are inherently less secure than closed platforms?

The design considerations are different. If you have numerous customers (cellphone providers), a cookie cutter design works better. If you have single customer (Google), a custom design works better.

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