Links May 2023

Petter Reinholdtsen wrote an interesting blog post about their work on packaging speech to text for Debian [1]. The work of the Debian Deep Learning Team seems really interesting and I look forward to playing with this sort of thing after the release of Bookworm (the packages in question will NOT go in Bookworm but I’ll run at least one system on Testing after Bookworm). It would be nice to get more information on the hardware used for running such programs, the minimum hardware needed for real-time speech to text would be interesting to know.

Brian Krebs wrote an informative article about attacks involving supply chain compromise and fake LinkedIn profiles [2]. The attacks targetted Linux as well as Windows.

Interesting video about the Illium cameras, a bit harsh though, they criticise Illium devices for being too low resolution, too expensive, and taking too much CPU time to process [3]. The Illium cameras still sell for decent prices on eBay, I wonder if it’s because of curious people like me who would like to play with them and have money to spare or whether some other interesting things are being done. I wonder how a 4*4 array of the rectangular cameras secured together with duct tape would go. The ideas of Illium should work better if implemented for multi-core CPUs or GPUs.

Bruce Schneier with Henry Farrell and Nathan Sanders wrote an insightful blog post about how AT Chatbots could improve democracy [4].

Wired has an interesting article about the way DJI drones transmit the location of the drone operator without encryption – by design [5]. Apparently this has been used for targetting attacks on drone operators in Ukraine.

This video about robot “mice” navigating mazes is interesting [6]. But I think it became less interesting when they got to the stage of milliseconds counting for the win, it’s very optimised for one case just like F1. I think it would be interesting if they had a rally contest where they go across grass or sand, 3D mazes both in air and water, and contests where Tungsten weights have to be transported. They should push some of the other limits of engineering as completing a maze quickly has been solved.

The Guardian has an interesting article about a blood test for sleepy driving [7]. Once they have an objective test they can punish people for it.

This github repository listing public APIs is interesting [8]. Lots of fun ideas for phone apps there.

Simon Josefsson wrote an insightful blog post about the threat model of security devices [9]. Unfortunately the security of most people is way below the level where this is an issue. But it’s good to think about future steps needed for good security.

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting article “The Swivel Eyed Loons have a Point” [10] about the fact that some of the nuttiest people are protesting about real issues, just in the wrong way.

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