Worth Reading: Malware in your screen

4 September 2017

Phone touchscreens, and other similar hardware components such as orientation sensors, wireless charging controllers, and NFC readers, are often produced by thirdparty manufacturers and not by the phone vendors themselves. Third-party driver source code to support these components is integrated into the vendor’s source code. In contrast to “pluggable” drivers, such as USB or network…

Worth Reading: It’s okay to forget what you read

4 September 2017

Many of us feel this near-existential fear that we might “lose” what wisdom we extract from the books we read.Such fears are unfounded. First of all, if you love books, memory is never a problem. If I read for pure pleasure, what harm is there is forgetting? I get to enjoy the same wonderful book…

Worth Reading: Wave System’s DPU architecture

1 September 2017

Their view is that dataflow architectures are the only way to efficiently train networks with high performance. The CPU is carved out of their systems entirely and as we explained when first details were clear about what they were working on in depth last year, the Hybrid Memory Cube does a great deal of the…

Worth Reading: Updating Surveillance Laws

1 September 2017

For decades, Americans have forfeited their privacy rights for a false sense of safety. Broad, sweeping surveillance laws––such as, but certainly not limited to Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act––have given the federal government carte blanche in the realm of surveillance. Thankfully, a recently introduced bipartisan Senate bill would restore some vital protections to…

Worth Reading: Multiple perspectives on technical problems and solutions

31 August 2017

So what was this architecture review meeting all about? It was pretty simple, really. It was just a presentation by the engineer(s) looking for feedback on a solution they came up with, and Kellan and I would ask questions. The meeting was open to anyone in the company who wanted to attend. The hope was…

Worth Reading: Multitasking without Thrashing

31 August 2017

Human context switching is more complicated than computer context switching. Whereas the computer context switch replaces a fixed number of bytes in a few CPU registers, the human has to recall what was “on the mind” at the time of the switch and, if the human was interrupted with no opportunity to choose a “clean…

Worth Reading: The calculus of service availability

30 August 2017

The vast majority of software services and systems should aim for almost-perfect reliability rather than perfect reliability—that is, 99.999% or 99.99% rather than 100%—because users cannot tell the difference between a service being 100% available and less than “perfectly” available. There are many other systems in the path between user and service (laptop, home WiFi,…

Worth Reading: IoT needs a paradigm shift

30 August 2017

Building IoT ventures from scratch by prototyping hardware devices and their backend systems as well as working for a large company that tries to sell IoT devices itself, we learned a lot about the pitfalls and problems concerning security in the IoT. Nearly every connected device out there proved to be vulnerable to attacks. Researchers…

Worth Reading: ROI is not a cybersecurity concept

29 August 2017

In the cybersecurity community, much time is spent trying to speak the language of business, in order to communicate to business leaders our problems. One way we do this is trying to adapt the concept of “return on investment” or “ROI” to explain why they need to spend more money. Stop doing this. It’s nonsense.…

Worth Reading: Is it time to build an anti-DDoS alliance?

29 August 2017

A functional “anti-DOS alliance” is only feasible if SP”s are ready to commit to specific frugal investments. These ‘ prudent commitments’ will not require millions of dollars in anti-DOS technology. The commitments will require a change of the SP’s attitude and approach to DOS. It moved from a model that “I’m island on my own”…