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David Metcalfe
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David Metcalfe

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Decent additions to the Open AI team. Unfortunate to only see one female added.
We'd like to welcome the latest set of team members to OpenAI (and we're still hiring!):
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This is the most demonically clever computer security attack I've seen in years. It's a fabrication-time attack: that is, it's an attack which can be performed by someone who has access to the microchip fabrication facility, and it lets them insert a nearly undetectable backdoor into the chips themselves. (If you're wondering who might want to do such a thing, think "state-level actors")

The attack starts with a chip design which has already been routed -- i.e., it's gone from a high-level design in terms of registers and data, to a low-level design in terms of gates and transistors, all the way to a physical layout of how the wires and silicon will be laid out. But instead of adding a chunk of new circuitry (which would take up space), or modifying existing circuitry significantly (which could be detected), it adds nothing more than a single logic gate in a piece of empty space.

When a wire next to this booby-trap gate flips from off to on, the electromagnetic fields it emits add a little bit of charge to a capacitor inside the gate. If it just happens once, that charge bleeds off, and nothing happens. But if that wire is flipped on and off rapidly, it accumulates in the capacitor until it passes a threshold -- at which point it triggers that gate, which flips a target flip-flop (switch) inside the chip from off to on.

If you pick a wire which normally doesn't flip on and off rapidly, and you target a vulnerable switch -- say, the switch between user and supervisor mode -- then you have a modification to the chip which is too tiny to notice, which is invisible to all known forms of detection, and if you know the correct magic incantation (in software) to flip that wire rapidly, will suddenly give you supervisor-mode access to the chip. (Supervisor mode is the mode the heart of the operating system runs in; in this mode, you have access to all the computer's memory, rather than just to your own application's)

The authors of this paper came up with the idea and built an actual microchip with such a backdoor in it, using the open-source OR1200 chip as their target. I don't know if I want to guess how many three-letter agencies have already had the same idea, or what fraction of chips in the wild already have such a backdoor in them.

As +Andreas Schou said in his share, "Okay. That's it. I give up. Security is impossible."
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Hopefully this will also bring about improved refresh speeds.
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More data about the expense of poverty.

" When Orhun and Palazzolo compared households with similar consumption rates shopping at comparable stores — and controlling for two-ply TP — they found that the poor were less likely than wealthier households to buy bigger packages, or to time their purchases to take advantage of sales. By failing to do so, they paid about 5.9 percent more per sheet of toilet paper — a little less than what they saved by buying cheaper brands in the first place (8.8 percent).

Perhaps this sounds like a subtle discovery about minor household goods. But it supports a larger point about poverty: It's expensive to be poor. Or, to state the same from another angle: Having more money gives people the luxury of paying less for things. "
The world is full of opportunities to save money — if you just have enough money to access them.
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Following the big win by Moxie and crew with WhatsApp, now we're seeing Google adopt the same encryption protocol.
 
This is a good thing. 
Google will be launching its new Allo chat application in the coming weeks, and with it comes true end-to-end encryption. Open Whisper Systems has announce... by Ryan Whitwam in Google, News
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Interested to see my hands on Allo and Duo. Hopefully the launch comes sooner than they've advised.
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David Metcalfe

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House Republicans yesterday released a plan to slash the Federal Communications Commission's budget by $69 million and prevent the FCC from enforcing net neutrality rules, "rate regulation," and its plan to boost competition in the set-top box market. Jiminy, will someone speak up with ONE example of this congressional majority ever doing even a single thing the interests of 21st Century US citizens?

http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/05/gop-budget-bill-would-kill-net-neutrality-and-fccs-set-top-box-plan/
Republicans use nation's budget to launch broad attack on FCC regulations.
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“Our investigation has shown that while the N.F.L. had been publicly proclaiming its role as funder and accelerator of important research, it was privately attempting to influence that research,” the study concluded. “The N.F.L. attempted to use its ‘unrestricted gift’ as leverage to steer funding away from one of its critics.”
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“The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has decided to make computer programming a compulsory subject at primary schools in fiscal 2020, followed by middle schools in fiscal 2021 and high schools in fiscal 2022.”
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The World Community Grid has launched a new project for the Zika virus.
The Zika virus was relatively unknown until 2015, when it made headlines due its rapid spread and its link to severe brain-related deficiencies in newborns born to mothers who contracted the virus while pregnant. Dr. Carolina Horta Andrade, the principal investigator for the new OpenZika project, discusses how she and an international team of researchers are using World Community Grid to accelerate the search for an effective anti-Zika treatment.
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An official recap of Google I/O by Google. In particular I'm interested in the Google assistant, or whatever they choose to call it down the road. I've had my eye on Amazon Echo for some time, but the ongoing failure by Amazon to internationalize the device and get things so basic as location support for places like Canada has been baffling and a clear deal breaker for adoption. Not only will Google Home offer a competitor, and likely a much faster international roll out, but Google will also be providing this assistant in Allo, as well as likely many other areas down the road.

Exciting to see how Google's search is evolving towards a more conversational medium. Still guided by the inspirations of the Enterprise's 'Computer' from Star Trek, as Amit Singhal has signaled in the past.
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+David Metcalfe I get it. Thing with me is that when I analyse my life I don't see myself staying in one particular location for long, except my home where phone is close by. I can see why people would love the device exactly because of the reasons you mentioned. I am sure I can find some use cases in future. But right now, I don't see much use of it right now. 
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Yowza. Chemical castration. 
Under a new law, Indonesia will plant microchips on all its convicted child rapists so that they can be monitored at all times. It will also impose chemical castration for convicted pedophiles and child rapists. Indonesian President Joko Widodo gave his consent for a new law which will deter ...
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Have him in circles
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Designer, programmer, generalist. Do try and keep up.
Introduction
Obsessive reader fascinated by technology and the sciences. 'Love the outdoors; An old dog in the Parkour circuit.
Work
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Generalist
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Design, programming, knowledge work, training, security, project management.
Employment
  • Self-employed
    Trainer, 2011 - present
    Responsible for educating customers in Apple Mac Os X, Google Apps, Microsoft Office, iOS, Android, and a variety of hardware. Exercises use of non-technical language, broad knowledge, research, and problem solving.
  • Freelance
    Graphic Designer, 2006 - present
    Primarily focused on branding and identity. Working towards major in Interaction Design.
  • Shaw Communications
    TSR, 2013 - 2014
    Phone-based technical support & sales.
  • Apple Inc.
    Genius, 2008 - 2011
    Specialized technical support with Apple computers, accessories, and mobile devices (ie. iPod, iPhone).
  • OpenMedia.ca
    Asst. Web Designer, 2011 - 2011
    Work on front-end and back-end of website, large-scale spreadsheet work (500k+), design of visual assets (buttons, banners, etc), press copy, onsite technical support.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
The river is a popular spot for whitewater sports. Lots of 4x4 opportunities too.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Stylish interior and delicious food in an undesirable neighborhood. The interior is extremely small and favors take out over people dining-in since there are no more than 8 seats. Their kimchi and hot sauce are both made in house and worth trying, and their green onion pancakes are fantastic.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
Decent service, prices are a bit steep. Kayak availability tends to be lower than demand, so booking ahead a day or two is recommended.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
195 reviews
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Beautiful area, but a good amount of logging occurs here now, detracting from the scenery.
Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
Decent area for a jog or sitting and talking. Tends to be busy with people and might not appeal to some. The view tends to be rife with boats and tankers.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
Relatively clean if you go far enough away from usual hikers, but otherwise it's dirty, riddled with dog feces, and generally unpleasant compared to other, more remote options.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago