The Year Ahead
> There are a few conferences from 2019 that I didn’t manage to get to last year (notably CCS, SOCC, and NeurIPS) which are still on my plate. And then I’ve pulled together this initial ‘watch list’ for the coming year.
Our Favorite Rides of 2019
> Every week The Wall Street Journal’s My Ride column profiles vehicles and their owners, with surprising back stories. Here’s a look back at 2019.
> A young Studebaker fan, a historic race car made newly famous by a Matt Damon movie and a Corvette expert’s Corvette are among the My Ride column’s highlights this year
On the Metal: Ron Minnich
> On this episode of On the Metal, we interview Ron Minnich. Ron has had a fascinating career working on the interface between software and hardware. Join us as ~we install Gentoo and compile GCC~ to hear a mesmerizing conversation about Unix, Plan9, LinuxBIOS, Chromebooks, RISC-V, of course some Gentoo jokes, flip flop programming toys, and more!
Didn’t actually listen, but there’s a pile of links here anyway.
Research based on the .NET Runtime
> Over the last few years, I’ve come across more and more research papers based, in some way, on the ‘Common Language Runtime’ (CLR). So armed with Google Scholar and ably assisted by Semantic Scholar, I put together the list below.
All Penn, No Teller
> Why Penn Jillette kind of makes sense as a tech magazine’s back-page columnist
> But Jillette was something different. He was already famous—certainly more famous than Pournelle, an established science-fiction author, thanks to being a regular fixture on television during much of his career and starring in a legendary Run-DMC music video—and he likely did not need a nationally distributed computer magazine column to make a living. Jillette simply liked computers and knew a lot about them, which meant that he could rant about the details of an Autoexec.bat file just as easily as he can about politics. He gave the tech writing form something of an edge, while maintaining the freewheeling nature established by fellow pre-blogging voices like Pournelle.
Some good quotes and links here.
Lots of articles and links about design of shared urban spaces and their affect on behavior.
2019 Pwnies Award Nominations
Shit happened. Mistakes were made.
Vintage TV Test Patterns
> As you might expect, the BBC test card with the girl and clown has both a backstory and a cult following.
Vulnerability disclosure publications and discussion tracking
> A long and vivid debate for and against different vulnerability disclosure models is still taking place. Sources that collect all these valuable arguments are scarce. This document acts as a place-holder for related contributions that we are aware of. Paper, articles and more informal documents are grouped based on the type of publication. We hope that these links are useful to anyone familiarising themselves with the scene or planning further contributions.
Meta note: new domain, new code base, everything should be about the same, but not quite done converting all features.
RSS now at /rss.
Porting old posts
> I’ve started the long process of porting old articles and it has been fun revisiting topics I haven’t thought about much for years.
> Anyways, as I port articles over I’ll post links to them here, with a few reflections.
A short reading list on voting security
The Internet of Food
> You know something you can’t get through the internet’s wires, at least not on its own? Food. We’ve been working on it for years, but no, we’re not at the point where we can deliver nourishment directly via the series of tubes. But food has always been something of a means to an end—a way of driving the internet forward, making it something people would actually like to use.
Plus tons of links.
> Okay, so you’re a CS graduate and you did a hardware course as part of your degree, but perhaps that was a few years ago now and you haven’t really kept up with the details of processor designs since then. In particular, you might not be aware of some key topics that developed rapidly in recent times...
> pipelining (superscalar, OOO, VLIW, branch prediction, predication)
> multi-core and simultaneous multi-threading (SMT, hyper-threading)
> SIMD vector instructions (MMX/SSE/AVX, AltiVec, NEON)
> caches and the memory hierarchy
> Fear not! This article will get you up to speed fast. In no time, you’ll be discussing the finer points of in-order vs out-of-order, hyper-threading, multi-core and cache organization like a pro. But be prepared – this article is brief and to-the-point.
I would say all of that is accurate except the brief part. It’s quite long, but very dense. Excellent resource.
It’s Time for Some Queueing Theory
> Queueing theory is the scientific study of waiting in line. It can apply to familiar lines like those at the grocery store or bank but also to things like web servers, highway traffic, and telecommunications…basically any situation where you have things entering a system, being processed by a system for a certain period of time, and leaving the system.
Assorted stories and links.
The State Of Software Security In 2019
> My goal in this post is to skim my observations on the state of software design and development over the past year, and to try to find a meaningful way forward for myself for 2019. My perspective is limited by the fact that I have worked exclusively in client-side software security for the past 7.5 years. Still, I think there are broad trends visible even to me, and some clear signs about where we need to go as an industry.
The best of GAN papers in the year 2018
> This year I had a great pleasure to be involved in a research project, which required me to get familiar with a substantial number of publications from the domain of deep learning for computer vision. It allowed me to take a deep dive into the field and I was amazed by the progress done in the last 2-3 years. It is truly exciting and motivating how all different subfields such as image inpainting, adversarial examples, super-resolution or 3D reconstruction have greatly benefited from the recent advances. However, there is one type of neural networks, which has earned truly massive amounts of hype (in my humble opinion definitely for a reason)- Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). I can agree that those models are fascinating and I am always on a lookout for some new GAN ideas.
Ars Technica’s best games of 2018
> Running through this year’s list of video games that made the most impact on the Ars staff, I’m struck by the sheer variety. Sure, there’s the usual selection of open world adventures and slick action games. But there are also a handful of fresh takes on the puzzle game genre, a few promising virtual reality games, a relatively wide variety of 2D platformers, racing games that run the gamut from realistic to campy, a couple of fighting games, and even a rhythm game!
20 more ways to spend time and money.
The 2018 Stratechery Year in Review
> In last year’s Stratechery Year in Review I noted that the predominant theme was the impact of tech on society; perhaps unsurprisingly, the dominant theme in 2018 was tech and regulation.
Securely running processes that require the entire syscall interface
> While evidence has shown that “a container with a well-crafted seccomp (secure computing mode) profile (which blocks unexpected system calls) provides roughly equivalent security to a hypervisor” (https://blog.hansenpartnership.com/measuring-the-horizontal-attack-profile-of-nabla-containers/), methods are still needed for securely running those processes that require the entire syscall interface. Solving this problem has led to some interesting research.
> Let’s take a look at some of the research being done in these areas.