Weekly Update: 2019-10-27 to 2019-11-02

Guido van Rossum Retiring

After six years at Dropbox, he’s leaving and retiring.

Brian Kernighan Quote on "clever" code

Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?

Google to Acquire Fitbit for $2.1 Billion

Not sure what Google wanted here, except maybe the talent?

Facebook, Mozilla, and Cloudflare Announce New TLS Delegated Credentials Standard

This is solving a legitimate problem of scattering private keys over thousands of servers.

Russian Su-57 gets NATO reporting name (and it’s great): FELON

Love it!

European cloud project draws backlash from US tech giants

Government back projected to help local providers compete with the US.

US opens national security investigation into TikTok

Everyone’s criticizing this and comparing it to Facebook but the problem is that these companies are de facto state-run corporations (see above).

The spooktacular tale of Red Hat’s Halloween release

Some interesting trivia, I didn’t realize the first release was on Halloween.

Researchers unearth malware that siphoned SMS texts out of telco’s network

According to FireEye it was APT41 (Chinese government).

Ryzen Roars: AMD Posts Best Quarterly Revenue Since 2005

AMD reported revenue of $1.8B, up 9 percent quarter-on-quarter and 18 percent year-on-year, with a gross margin of 43 percent, up 3 percentage points.

I’m sure I’ve said it before but, whether you buy or even like AMD processors, there’s no arguing that competition is a good thing.

Hypercalers Lead The Way To The Future With SmartNICs

Continuing to offload more and more to things like FPGA, TPU, programmable CPU cores, etc to free up CPU cycles seems to be where there is significant room for growth for the forseeable future (see: Pensando Systems).

Fedora 31 Released

Upgraded one of my laptops and my desktop with only extremely minor problems (some dependency problems on my desktop). So far another great release.

WhatsApp Hacked To Spy on Top Government Officials at US Allies

Senior government officials in multiple U.S.-allied countries were targeted earlier this year with hacking software that used Facebook’s WhatsApp to take over users' phones, Reuters reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the messaging company’s investigation.

Also interesting, Facebook has failed a lawsuit against NSO Group, the Israeli cybersecurity company.

Level up: DeepMind’s AlphaStar achieves Grandmaster level in StarCraft II

The AI was rated at Grandmaster level for all three StarCraft II races and above 99.8% of officially ranked human players.

Twitter Is Banning Political Ads

Breaches at NetworkSolutions,, and

We use network solutions at work [Ed: barf.] and I received a password reset last week.

RPi4: Now Overclocked, Net-Booted, And Power-Sipping

I’ve gotten mine up and running, they will eventually replace the venerable 3b+ I’ve had running a few things (dns, ddclient, docker, etc). Thew new pi adds a LOT more grunt, full-speed gigabit ethernet, usb 3, etc.

UniCredit Suffers Third Breach Despite Investing Billions in Cybersecurity

Despite investing 2.4 billion euros since 2016 to upgrade its cybersecurity profile, Italian banking institution UniCredit has suffered its third recent data breach, this time impacting 3 million customers.

I was unfamiliar, this is an Italian "global banking and financial services company" that currently has 8,500 branches and about 150k employees.

Former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker Speaks Out in Favor of Strong Encryption

The guy who was famous for going after Apple to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iphone. His argument is essentially one about national security.

Country of Georgia Hit By Massive Cyberattack

I’ll give you one guess who did it.

Indian nuke plant’s network reportedly hit by malware tied to N. Korea

It’s really hard to believe this stuff is real. It seems like the plot from a movie from 20 years ago, not something that could ever actually happen.

50 Years Ago, the Internet Was Born In Room 3420

On October 29, 1969, a graduate student in a UCLA computer science lab logged into a computer hundreds of miles away at the Stanford Research Institute. It was the first connection via ARPANET, which — after 20 years as a government and academic network — evolved into the modern internet.

U.S. Invests in Fabs That Make Radiation-Hardened Chips

It never dawned on me they needed a special fab to produce these radiation hardened chips. If you had asked me I would assumed they were just regular microprocessors that were shielded somehow.

Russia’s Fancy Bear hackers conduct “significant cyberattacks” on anti-doping agencies

Instead of just, you know, not cheating, Russia’s solution is to hack into anti-doping agencies. This is just so wonderfully Russian.

China Wants Communist Party Members To Pledge Loyalty on Blockchain

China thought 1984 was an instruction manual.

AT&T loses another 1.3 million TV customers as DirecTV freefall continues

Seriously who watches cable? Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO <whatever>. What is left on cable anyone cares about?

Are Remote Workers More Productive Because Asynchronous Communication Just Works Better?

I’m pretty sure it just means you can manage interruptions better and you spend less time at the watercooler. I’m certainly much more productive on the odd day I spend working from home.

RIPE NIC: 'In Five Weeks We’ll Run Out of IPv4 Internet Addresses'

Another milestone in the long death of IPv4.

The World’s First Banner Ad Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

I don’t know if I really have much of a memory of the pre-banner-ad internet anymore.

Samsung Satellite Crashes Into Family’s Backyard

What a time to be alive.

How the 2018 Olympic Cyberattack Was Traced To Russian Hackers

Not that we needed any attribution in this particular case, still interesting.