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Comment Re:Bug of feature? (Score 3, Interesting) 19

Rowhammer has been usable from JavaScript for ages. As I said above (in the post currently at 0 overrated), one of the published ways of exploiting it is to use TypedArray objects to get a large chunk of contiguous memory, which then gives you a load of addresses in the same cache associativity set. You then hammer those addresses, which forces repeated cache evictions and eventually flips some adjacent bits. You can then use this to escape from the JavaScript sandbox. I don't know why this attack wouldn't work on mobile devices, so I don't really see what's new here.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 152

I don't really understand that sort of generalisation, though I've certainly seen it a lot lately. About 16 million people voted to remain and about 17 million to leave. That's a lot of people, the majority of the adult population of the UK, so no doubt there were some delusional extremists and some just plain nasty people in there, but I imagine most of those millions of people probably weren't like that, on either side. Certainly I've talked to plenty of people from both camps who have been reasonable and quite well informed, even if they came down on opposite sides of the debate in the end. I guess I must be living in a different country to the one I keep reading about.

Comment I don't understand (Score 2, Interesting) 19

One of the simplest existing known attacks involves creating an 8MB TypedArray object in JavaScript. This gives you a contiguous virtual address range, which allows you to generate 9 addresses that will be aliased to the same cache line and therefore where 9 sequential writes will trigger an eviction and a write back to RAM. What made this attack now work on mobile devices?

Comment Re:People probably realized.. (Score 1) 210

I can see a lot of uses for a smartwatch:
  • The Apple watch can unlock my computer when I'm next to it and lock it again when I move away.
  • Apple Pay on the watch looks like it might actually be more convenient than getting the card out of my wallet - on a phone it doesn't.
  • A two-factor auth device that I carry around with me on my wrist sounds useful.
  • Calendar appointment reminders without having to get something out of my pocket.
  • More convenient map / direction display to glance at while cycling.
    • There are probably a lot more. The problem is that current smartwatches are like early-90s Nokia smartphones. All of the basic ingredients are there, but the technology isn't up to the vision. A decent smartwatch would be about 5mm thick, have a battery that lasts a few days, charge via induction from a thing I can leave on my bedside table, have always-available network connection without a smartphone, and be waterproof and rugged enough to survive frequent knocks. Give it another 5-10 years and we might get there...

Comment Re:of course the do! (Score 1) 38

I wouldn't be surprised if there's also a much more direct feedback loop for Netflix-produced content (though HBO is probably similar). Think about how a normal TV show is created:
  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. The studio takes a loss on the pilot and shops it around to TV channels.
  3. The TV channels evaluate it and decide the demographics that will watch it and if a large enough segment of a profitable (i.e. high income, low impulse control) of the population might like it, they commission the series.
  4. The studio produces the series.
  5. The channel sells ads.
  6. If the ad purchasers think that the ads are worthwhile (via a complex indirect feedback mechanism involving tracking sales against projections) then they'll be happy and the studio will renew the show (unless a new show that could possibly make more money in the same slot comes along).

Now compare that to Netflix.

  1. Someone has an idea. They persuade a studio to fund a pilot.
  2. Netflix decides that people might like it and funds the full series.
  3. As soon as the show is available, Netflix records how many people watch it, how many didn't finish an episode, and what the review score distribution is from the subset of people that bother to write reviews.
  4. If it's popular, Netflix funds another season.

Which of these is more likely to produce shows that lots of people want to watch?

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 152

I honestly have no idea what you're trying to say there. Did you reply to the wrong comment?

My previous comment was agreeing with someone else's view that Brexit will almost certainly reduce GDP in the short and possibly medium term, and then noting that there are various ways it might work out better in the longer term but no-one really knows what will happen that far ahead. I didn't say anything about subsidies, nor express any other opinion on Brexit.

Comment Re:8% (Score 1) 78

it's kind of amazing how they managed to do that and not have anyone tell them that their ideas were stupid

I have no doubt that plenty of people have told them exactly that. It would not surprise me to learn that they fired anyone who did so, though.

If Twitter were an engineering-driven company, they wouldn't be lousy with SJWs.


Comment Re:Hardware is so much better? (Score 2) 62

I'm afraid we might just have to agree to disagree on some of this.

Certainly you're right that modern cars are more reliable, and the better built-in diagnostics are a part of that. But the flip side is that you used to be able to buy a repair manual for any major model of car and take care of it yourself, and if you did then many popular models could last almost forever. Today it's barely possible to change a light bulb or diagnose the cause of a simple warning light in many new models without going to see your dealer, a term for the official representatives of the car manufacturers with other connotations that also seem all too appropriate these days.

As for the modern electronics you speak of, I fear you're suffering from much the same perception bias you think I have. A lot of devices made the best part of a decade ago were pretty reliable, but standards have dropped sharply even as recently as the past 5 years. My previous washing machine also lasted about a decade with a couple of minor repairs along the way. Talking to a surprisingly honest salesman when buying the new one, he said only certain prestige brands would expect that sort of longevity today, and with most of the mid-range models you'd be doing well if it was still economic to maintain them beyond 5 years. I never had a PC fail on me before being retired after many years of use until about 2010. I haven't had a single PC, at home or work, of any spec, last beyond about 3-4 years without at least one serious hardware failure since then. My previous DVD player lasted many years. My current Blu-Ray player, a relatively expensive model at purchase, is already starting to fail after maybe three years. Printers. Phones and tablets. TVs. PVRs. Headphones. Networking gear. Almost no technology is built to last these days, except perhaps for some of the high-end prestige brands, and many of the electronic devices in my home and office come with some element of built-in obsolescence that is entirely artificial, often due to legal controls on replacement parts and interoperability, or to dependencies on software or online services that aren't supported for very long.

I'm certainly not saying that everything we made yesterday was better made in every way than what we produce today, but junk that fails after what used to be considered a very short lifetime, often for entirely deliberate and artificial reasons, and with limited or no prospect of servicing or repair to restore it to use, is mostly a very modern and very unwelcome trend.

Comment Re:Something's fishy (Score 1) 152

Those predictions are certainly consistent with what the more informed people I know have been saying. In the short term, it seems almost certain that the UK economy will drop significantly in GDP terms. It's possible that this effect will continue for several years, depending on what if any post-Brexit deal with the EU gets worked out. But the worst of the doom-and-gloom predictions probably aren't realistic, because there are also areas such as those we were discussing before where the EU has been a negative influence even if it's a net benefit overall, and there are some effects like the devaluation of Sterling that may provide some cushioning effect for the economy.

In the longer term, it seems the jury's out. The UK already trades more with non-EU partners than EU ones, and trade with non-EU partners is growing faster so the gap has been widening. It will surely widen even faster in future if the remaining EU leaders follow through on their scorched earth rhetoric, though at some point it's likely that the adults will step in and prevent that. Meanwhile, the EU has serious economic problems of its own still bubbling under the surface, particularly within the Eurozone. As we've been seeing with TTIP and CETA, claims that the EU is somehow better placed to negotiate new trade deals with foreign partners than an independent UK may be exaggerated. And if the coming elections in places like France and Germany go in favour of eurosceptic/nationalist parties, which is certainly a possibility at the moment, the EU may not exist in its current form within a few years anyway.

For any of these factors to mean Brexit leaves the UK economically better off, it seems we're talking about 5-10 years at a minimum, though, unless something catastrophic happens within the EU sooner than that. And even a decade from now, if events turn the other way with the EU stabilising but wider global trade suffering for some reason, maybe Brexit will prove to be unhelpful economically even in the longer term. In reality, I doubt anyone has enough information and foresight to make useful predictions that far out.

Comment Re:Is this the same "One Decade" we were promised. (Score 1) 281

From 1997 to 1998 there is no warming..

Year to year warming is dominated by statistical noise, which is what I suspect you are trying to say when you say that there was no warming between 1997 and 1998; however for what it is worth 1998 was significantly warmer than 1997, so by your definition there is "warming".

The 'warming' in 2016 is insignificant. It is as straight of a horizontal line between the two points as you can make on a graph

If you choose two points you will always get a straight line. If the end point is 2016 and the start point is any prior year in the instrumental record, the slope will be upward.

If the temperature doesn't reach 1998 or 2016 levels until the next El Nino, then there will still have been no warming.

This is what logicians call "equivocation", which is making up your own definition of a term to make your argument true. What most people understand "global warming" to be is an underlying upward trend in temperature created by increases in greenhouse gases. This is overlaid on both year-to-year variability and of course ENSO. Comparing an El Niño year to a La Niña or non-ENSO year is an apples-to-oranges comparison. If you want to compare individual years to determine whether there's an underlying warming trend, then you need to compare El Niño years to prior El Niño years, etc. Or you an take a moving average with a window that's large enough to average out any ENSO events.

If you take a ten year moving average, in the last 40 years that ten year average has dropped three times: in 1975, 1993, and 2008; remained the same as the prior year once: in 2000; and has increased 36 times. If there were no underlying warming trend then the ten year moving average would be equally likely to go up or down in successive years; in fact it's ten times more likely to go up than down. 2008 by the way was an anomaly in not only was it an unusually strong La Niña, it was a rare ten year period with *four* La Niña years in it. If you take a twenty year moving average the last time that average went down was 1965.

Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 2) 210

Chiming in to agree; BUT quality isn't the only factor here. You simply couldn't engineer a smartwatch that anyone would want to wear 40 years from now. Even if it worked good as new, it would still be a ridiculously obsolete piece of gear that needs to pair with a "phone" equally out of date and totally incompatible with the networks, and completely unable to render a 'webpage', and all of its client/server apps would be broken.

Maybe steampunk types or some future equivalent "LED-punk" would wear one, with an oculus rift converted into a bike helmet... to conventions... but that's about it.

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