Holy moly … CellSpex has the best, most eloquent (scathing) review of Disney’s live-action Mulan. Period. It starts with a hilariously satirical summary and goes on to dissect the maelstrom of bad decisions the film displays with its story adaptation (both from the folk tale as well as the Disney animated movie), characters, themes, style and production. I agree with each and every point.
What could go wrong if-as a joke-your being asked if you could hack the former prime minister of Australia Tony Abbott? Well Alex Hope has documented it. Finding pictures of boarding pass he could log into the booking system of the airline (without additional authentication). Then he found out that the systems leaked sensitive information (passport number, telephone number, airline-internal comments about the passenger). He then went through the whole charade of finding someone in government responsible for concrete data security issues. 😵
There’s even an interesting section on when he finally gets through to Tony Abbot and they talk on a very personal level. Given the reason they were talking in the first place it also revolved about how complicated technology seems to be and how you learn how it works.
This lead Alex to reflect about how he started learning things and how you have to change your thinking when you are “hacking.” He gives a great example which he summarizes with:
In conclusion, to be a hacker u ask for tap water.
An Apple engineer who helped launch the iPod said he helped the US government build a secret version of the device that could covertly collect data.— Arstechnica
George from Designed by Cave has a beautiful piece on the UX of LEGO interface panels (those sloped 2×2 bricks with stuff printed on them). He even utilizes them to illustrate principles of UI design. 😀
Simon Pitt writes how we have moved away from files as a representation of data and how we may have lost some freedoms on the way and gained weird new habits.
Years ago websites were made of files; now they are made of dependencies.
Chris Down explains how swap’s main role is being the missing backing store for anonymous (i.e. allocated by
malloc) pages. While all other kinds of data (e.g. paged in files) can be reclaimed easily and later reloaded, because their “source of truth” is elsewhere. There’s no such source for anonymous pages hence these pages can “never” be reclaimed unless there’s swap space available (even if those pages aren’t “hot”).
Linux has historically had poor swap (and by extension OOM) handling with few and imprecise means for configuration. Chris describes the behavior of a machine with and without swap in different scenarios of memory contention. He thinks that poor swap performance is caused by having a poor measure “memory pressure.” He explains how work on cgroup v2 might give the kernel (and thus admins) better measures for memory pressure and knobs for dealing with it.
Kashmir Hill went 6 weeks without the big 5 tech giants (Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple). It seems you basically have to become a level 5 vegan especially if you also avoid anything hosted/using their cloud services (e.g. AWS, Azure, GCloud).
Certain types of ECC RAM can also be exploited with Rowhammer. ?
This is an awesome talk for nerding out on ZFS interna. ?