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
The UX of LEGO Interface Panels
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.
Usefulness of Swap Explained
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 of “memory pressure.” He explains how work on cgroups v2 might give the kernel (and thus admins) better measures for memory pressure and knobs for dealing with it.
6 weeks without the big 5
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).
ECCploiting with Rowhammer
Certain types of ECC RAM can also be exploited with Rowhammer. ?
HN: the good parts
Dan Luu has a nice collection of interesting Hacker News posts.
Rooting With/For Rowhammer
The Rowhammer class of exploits never stops to amaze.
WhatsApp -> Facebook
Sadly WhatsApp will start sharing your account information with Facebook. You can’t prevent Facebook getting the data, you can only opt-out of them using it for ads.