All Your Computers Are Belong To Us

All Your Computers Are Belong to Us

In recent years, Intel has moved towards integrating some pretty nifty remote administration features into its CPUs. While this may be a good idea for certain enterprises, it may quickly turn into a nightmare as soon as exploits and vulnerabilities are found.

Software has bugs. Hey, it happens, everybody makes mistakes. But in this case, the mistakes can’t be corrected in time (before an attacker exploits them). That’s because, in typical monopolist corporation fashion, Intel is obscuring the process by not allowing the security community to analyze whatever code the company decides to shove into our machines. The same argument stands true regarding any proprietary code, especially Microsoft’s Windows, which after 20 years of fixes is still the most vulnerable mainstream operating system.

nVidia GeForce 1080

nVidia GeForce 1080 and AMD RX 480 – the Video Cards of June 2016

This June is a good month to be a gamer. Both nVidia and AMD have announced new graphical processing units that exhibit vast improvements over the previous generation. After being stuck for almost four years on the now-primitive 28 nanometer lithography, the GPU manufacturers have jumped straight to 14 (AMD) and 16 (nVidia), skipping over the intermediate step of 20-22 nanometers.

In combination with switching over to multigate transistors, this technological leap allows the new video cards to achieve a boost of up to 40% in performance at a much lower price than the previous generation. In terms of price/performance ratio, we’re looking at an improvement between 60% and 80%. That’s massive. We haven’t seen such a leap in GPU technology in many years.

Space X Falcon 9

The next Step after the Reuse of Space Launch Vehicles

After several failed attempts, SpaceX made history when it managed to successfully land its reusable Falcon 9 rocket booster on a (robotic) ship stationed off the Florida coast.

The road towards efficient space exploration and development is, however, a long one. Let’s think bigger. Let’s think about large space stations, asteroid mining, colonies on the Moon and Mars. Many of these projects will need an initial investment originating from Earth, probably consisting of pre-manufactured goods. As a species, we have to think long-term.

Microsoft's New Direction Is Not Surprising

Microsoft’s New Direction Is Not Surprising

Together with its new CEO, the software giant is embracing the inevitable: transforming its users into a data product.

What worries me the most is the fact that Microsoft is moving towards transforming Windows into a closed ecosystem, emulating the model established by Apple and, later, Google.

With the upcoming Universal Windows Platform, Microsoft is taking its first steps into placing itself as a leech between developers and customers, charging not only for the operating system but also taking a profit share from producers.

Oculus Rift

Ready or Not, Here Comes Virtual Reality!

Finally, the first Virtual Reality HMD (Head Mounted Display) – the Oculus Rift – has reached retail availability. The first reviews have started pouring in. Things are pretty much as I expected, with the majority of reviews being positive and the rest being rather neutral. So far I haven’t read anything seriously bad and although this is very encouraging, it is not a surprise given the fact that all companies involved have been preparing for this launch for plenty of time.

Don't Forget Tesla Motors

Don’t Forget Tesla Motors

What is the word “forget” doing in the same sentence as the name of this rising star in the world of automobiles? It all starts with an article I read on Wired a couple of weeks ago. The author is busy praising General Motors for beating Tesla in creating the “first true mass-market electric car”.

The article is far from being objective. It reads like a standing ovation for GM and its CEO, with very little regard for the full picture. There are two glaring mistakes. I’ll perform a little experiment and demonstrate how easily the author of the article could have improved upon the objectivity of his work, just by adding the following two paragraphs.