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Sci-Tech watch

An Unhappy New Year for computers and smart devices: the Meltdown & Spectre flaws in Intel, AMD and ARM processors

On Wednesday, January 3rd, there has been an announcement of two security flaws that affect Intel, AMD and ARM micro-chips, thus potentially affecting PC’s, telephones and a great many appliances alike. As a Yahoo News article reports: “Phones, PCs, everything are going to have some impact, but it’ll vary from product to product,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday afternoon. This is of course of direct interest to everyone, and it will be of more direct interest to many readers of UD, as many of us work with information technology. As well, it is illustrative of features of information and probability that will be of significant interest to design thinkers (and critics) as the case Read More ›

Sci-Tech: Apple walks off the edge of the cliff — who’s next?

One of the underlying themes of UD is that we need to be aware of how big, powerful institutions and organisations can go wrong. A typical rhetorical response to that, is to dismiss such concerns as mere ill-founded, empty conspiracist theorising. So, it is appropriate to point out a striking case that shows how easily institutions and organisations can lock in a group think mentality and march right over the cliff: Before reading the Business Insider clip below, ask yourself, do you think that no-one in Apple ever paused and asked whether this was a sound idea? Then, ponder why the firm marched in lockstep right over a cliff like this: >>Apple confirmed a longtime conspiracy theory — and gave Read More ›