Archive for the ‘Recent News’ Category

Worst Ever CPU Design Flaws.

Meltdown and Spectre: are  CPU bugs.

The report linked below says it does not matter what brand of computer you have.

Meltdown and Spectre.
The flaws, named Meltdown and Spectre, were discovered by security researchers at Google’s Project Zero in conjunction with academic and industry researchers from several countries. Combined they affect virtually every modern computer, including smartphones, tablets and PCs from all vendors and running almost any operating system.

Don’t worry. There is nothing your can do. So don‘t worry.

Three billion computer chips are vulnerable to a security flaw .

Most likely your Apple, Winmdows or Smartphone has a chip flaw.

Just now, this week, chip maker Intel released inmformation about major flws in the hardware itself. It is not a software issue.

This means that even if you use a new operationg system or even do a complete imnstall of your computer, tablet or smartphone, the flaws are still there. The flaws are in the chips inmside.

Here is one link:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609891/at-least-3-billion-computer-chips-have-the-spectre-security-hole/

Here is another:

https://www.pcmag.com/news/358249/intel-chips-have-a-major-design-flaw-and-the-fix-means-slowe

 

Clicks on the limnks above for more details.

Microsoft is going to kill Windows 7 soon.

The Big Software Giant wants you to switch.

Windows 7 will soon drop out of normal support .

No more  bug  fixing. And in 2020 no security support. But Microsoft wants you  to quit before that. Right now, it is hard to get a legal copy of Windows 7. Major retail stores can not get any new copies.

On eBay, and some other places  you buy ‘leftover’ versions of Windows 7 product keys that might work. It seems that Microsoft does not stop such selling, but does not let the big stores do it. Well, that is what it looks like.

So how does that prevent people for confining to use Windows 7? Well,  many companies want to expand  a  successful business by getting new computers that will work like the old ones. But Windows 7 is not available. So they have to make use of a provision of Windows 10 that lets you  ‘roll back’ to Windows 7. Fine, but where do you get the Windows 7 to roil back?

Windows 7 download is available over the Internet. That is good. But each version of Windows 7 requires a certificate that proves it is authentic and bust have a product key.

Some users, maybe just a few, report they have trouble using a legal product key. Microsoft support gives very limited help.  Reportedly it is near impossible to talk to a real person and get everything right.

Here is a quote:

The general term is its “Lifecycle” and the details for Windows 7 can be found here. They could of course withdraw a particular version from sale at any time as it is currently “To be determined”.

In other words they can break any promises to continue helping people out with defects that are found in the software. If that happens, it might bring an early end to the widespread use of Windows 7 on home and office computers.

Really, you still can get Windoss7 on a new computer. Nut it is not always easy. There are some who claim they represent Microsoft and will tell  yum that you can not get Windows 7 unless you violate  the law. That is not the truth.   And those people do not officially represent Microsoft, but hey otherwise work for the company.


What do you think? I think the company wants employees to say that and them deny it has such a policy that would mike old copies of  W windows 7 unlawful.

Get Windows 7 at a very low price.

Is  Microsoft now letting some vendors  sell Windows 7 for a very low price?

We found this ad on Bing.com, which is a search tool owned by Microsdft.

You can make the image larger and see the prices go way down for just the product key itself.

You can downloasd the ISO files of Windows  7 yourself in about an hour or two. If you don’t pay yourself a salary, it is free. The product key is needed to properly activet Widdows 7.

Heer is a link to the site taht offers the bargain product key.

I have not tried this, but the fact taht it is advertised on a search tool under Microsft control would suggest that Microsft aloows thisto happen.
But the Winjdows 7 doe NOT let you have a free Windows 10. That train has left the station long ago.

Google helps NASA finsd a planet far away .

These stories indicate taht AI was used to find a planet.

This helps ilusstrate the power of computerxs in sc i ence.

The planet mentioned is very far away and it is remarkable that a computer was able to fid it by working only with numbers, not actual photographs. Just numbers.

Sources:
Google discovers new planet which proves Solar System is not unique

Google’s AI found an overlooked exoplanet…

NASA has discovered an eighth planet around a distant star, which means we’re no longer the largest solar system we know of. The discovery was made thanks to some artificial intelligence help from Google, which found the planet by scouring previously overlooked “weak” signals in data captured by the Kepler Space Telescope. The newly found planet is located in the solar system around Kepler-90, a star about 2,500 light-years away from Earth that was previously discovered in 2014.

 How can they find another solar system so far away?

Here is a artiscti redition of out system and the far away system. It is not a real phootographo, but is base on NASA data.

Windows 10 Update makes computers crash.

It can happen to you. Windows 10 Update can lock up your personal computer.

You need to have a backup plan if you use automatic updates. Microsft is now using customers computers to test things that have not been fully tested in the laboratory.

Yes, it is true. Microsft, the company that created Windows, is no letting home users test out new features taht have the potential to lock up you computer. If this happens to you, you hve to restore your system from a backup you had made earlier.

It is a good idea to mkadea backup at least once a week.  And  backup your dailt work to a remote storage thing. Wither a clound service or a portable device lyu have.

What can you do to stop this from happening? AFor one, hyou can turn off the auto-update feature in Windows 10.

Just now I found pthis:

Interestingly, there is a simple option in Wi-Fi settings, which if enabled, stops your Windows 10 computer from downloading automatic updates. To do that, search for Change Wi-Fi settings in Start Menu or Cortana. Click Advanced Options, and enable the toggle below Set as metered connection.Aug 14, 2015
Source for above:
Of course, eventually you will want to insll the updates, but only after you have made backups and set restore options on you system. Truning off the updates gives you time to do your work and gfinish your backups.

A New Silicon Surprise – AMD and INTEL together!

INTEL and AMD  are rivals. Not anymore.

Hard to believe.But They both have said they have a new product that will impact how we use personal computers for entertainment.

For the first time ever, soon you can get a personal computer that has the beet Intel CPU  and the best AMD graphics. Really? How?

Earlier this year the California based chip maker did  announce cw some new research into how chips can communicate without the need for motherboard wires.  It is a method of interconnect via he silicon substrate.

Think of a woman gibing birth to twins. The might be identical. Or not. That is sort of like the new silicon design troll Intel has invented.  For the first time two silicon chips that are not identical can be created on the samde silicon base material. And the work independently, yet can transfer data via the silicon base material.

OK.  That is just too simple. But you get the idea. Intel says that the two  different chips can be down with different trace size. The chips are separate, but are created at the same time and on the same base materiel. They have the ability to transfer data directly without the need for external wires.

If this is true, speed will increase and price will go down. Sometime next year expect to see some kind of home computer that is really fast with action games and can run high definition without an jerks or delays.

Here is a picture from Intel.

On the left are the chips needed to connect the main processor to the graphics interface often found on high speed gaming computers. On the right is the new design from Intel and AMD.

Small size can mean better results. You can expect  Better speed, lower cost. Potentially it could make it possible to build a tablet PC with the speed needed for action games and movies.

How to enlarge the image above.

Put  the mouse  over image. Right click, then select the ‘view image’ item. The will make the image go full screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why the Price of Gold will go Down.

Really? Do you believe in Gold?

Sooner or later Gold will drop in price. Slowly or quickly, it will fall. Do you know why?

Because  Gold is one of those things that has limited value. You can’t eat it. You can burn it for fuel.  Neither can you use it for clothing or shelter.  Well, you might build a barn out of gold, but it would not be any better than other materails.

What about being a good electrical conductor. The role is already taken by copper, which is widely used. Of course gold is much more resistant to oxidation. But a very thin layer of gold will make something rust proof. And other metals could be used instead.

So then, Why is gold prices\d so much higher that other metals? It is due the idea people have about its value. That think it is valuable and that makes it valuable. people think it is valuable.  When a large number of people start selling their gold for something needed, the price  will drop.

But what about the geld needed for electronics?  That need is very small compared to the amount of gold available.  Besides, other metals and alloys  can be used if needed.

Today, the greatest use of gold is in jewellery.  And even so the idea that it is beautiful and valuable is a product of out  imagination. There are metals that look as good and sell for a fraction of the price of gold.

Try this: Go to eBay and look for ‘fake gold jewelry’ and see lots of cheap snuff that looks good. The is not real need to own real gold jewelry.

When a large number of people start using practical thinking, the price will drop.

This kind of reasoning has been presented elsewhere. It it not real news at all. In time, it will happen. Gold will drop like a dead bird.

Meanwhile,  don’t listen to anyone telling you to buy gold. It is not a good idea at all.

 

 

What About Moor’s Law and Computer Chips?

In the electronics industry people sometime quote Moore’s law as if it was a solid principle of atomic physics.
Well it’s not really about atomic physics, rather it is about the growing rate of electronic chip technology.

Actually, all areas of technology are growing at a rate faster than what you might imagine. Certain parts of modern technology have not developed as fast as they should have for various reasons. One factor being the marketplace and the presence of large commercial interests who do not want radical change in technology.

Any kind of rapid sequential growth might be termed a form of exponential or geometric growth. This is similar to having a bank account where the interest you receive goes back into the account and added to the principal. Doing so, it’s possible to double your original investment within a number of years. Depending on the interest rate, you might double your investment in a period of about 15 years or so. Most people understand how that works.

Now what made Moore’s law so noteworthy is that he proposed the doubling would occur in just 18 months. Of course, that kind of growth does catch your attention and it tends to disrupt whatever technology already existed. Often times the idea is applied to lithography as used to produce computer chips. In this case lithography means a photographic process where a silicon wafer can be etched and exposed to different materials to build transistors on the basic silicon chip. This is a form of photography where an intense light shines through in negative image that is focused down to the silicon wafer. Thus it is possible to make transistors and interconnections that are extremely small.

Electronic logic does not require any specific size, at least at the moment. Even transistors made extremely small are still functional and perform logic. So the whole idea was traduce everything in size to reduce the costs and reduce power consumption.

A benefit from smaller feature size is higher-speed. So as to improve the yield from the silicon foundry, you also increase the speed of the chips and reduce the  cost.

Now then, why are some saying that Moore’s law is coming to its end? Well, there is a principle called diminishing returns. This is usually cited in economic articles. But the idea could apply to almost any area where there is rapid growth followed by a leveling off.

Another example is an oil well.  Somebody drills an l oil well and goes through a lot of effort to try to get the oil well to yield. Then one day the oil will starts improving its yield, more and more oil comes out faster and faster. It is on a geometric expansion. Sad to say, oil wells to eventually dry up and the period of expansion terminates and then the oil well produces less and less until eventually it is not profitable.

Now back to the subject of electronic chips and silicon foundries and lithography. There is a limit as to how small you can make an etching on a silicon chip using conventional photographic techniques. You get to a point where the light wave used must be extremely short and becomes difficult to focus. When you get to that point you start running out of tricks and techniques to make the etchings smaller and smaller.

So what about going to x-ray technology and the use of electron technology to make etchings? Well, it’s not really the same as optical light. Try to control and electron beam and focusing it into a small area and etch something on a silicon surface is not quite as easy as it is with photographic techniques. In fact, the electron voltages can be so high that they become destructive and that’s not really what you want. So it would seem that there is an up word limit as to how far you can go with electronic technology as far as making computer chips smaller and smaller.

Not necessarily so. There are other ways to make things smaller and smaller that have not been fully exploited. For one thing, there is the concept of building things in a three-dimensional array instead of using a two-dimensional surface to etch electronic circuits. True 3-D technology is not yet with this when it comes to making computer chips. But if some new breakthrough should come that makes it possible to build computer chips in three dimensions, then Moore’s law may continue.

So what is the actual limit of how small you can make a transistor ? Some researchers believe it’s possible to make an effective transistor gate down at the molecular level. Thus a transistor might actually be a few molecules tied together. As for me, that’s beyond my ability to comprehend. So I am not qualified to say that it’s impossible.

Anyhow, I don’t believe that Moore’s law has it come to its limit if you take a broader view of what it means. The broader view is it means we can keep on expanding our technology in the foreseeable future.

What do you think?

Why Passwords Ar Needed. Why Not.

You must use a password. But it is not enough.

Let me explain what I mean. Without a password anybody could have access to your computer and all the information you have stored on it. Having a password makes it more difficult for most people to get into your computer. However, individuals who have spent any time learning about computers know how to get around your password protection. It’s not as hard as you might think. To someone that has pursued this course of action, it can be done in less than 30 min.
So, when somebody tells you that you should change your password every month, go ahead and do that if you wish, but there is no reason to feel good just because you did not. How often do you change the keys to your house? Or do you go out every month or two and get a new set of keys for your car? Of course not. Likewise, there is no substance to the idea that changing your password regularly makes it more secure. It does not.
Put it this way. If somebody has compromised your password and note how to get into your account, they’re not going to take to three weeks to go ahead and help themselves to your data. They can get the data off your computer in a matter of minutes or even an hour. Just because you change your password doesn’t mean they will not get into your account. If they found your password once, they’ll do it again.
I was going to give an example of a very important government agency that had their network compromised by a foreign agency. But before I could get all the details posted, something happened to my post and it just disappeared. Really. I’m not making that up, so I’m not going into any more detail about what I was thinking about. But the point is this: even very powerful institutions have found that there network security is not as good as it should be.

And by the way, and she was not really about passwords all. It was something else which we will not discuss here.

– Kohn

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