Links June 2023

Tablet Magazine has an interesting article about Jewish men who fought in the military for Nazi Germany [1]. I’m surprised that they didn’t frag their colleagues.

Dropbox has an insightful interview with a lawyer about the future of machine learning in the legal profession [2]. This seems like it could give real benefits to society in giving legal assistance to more people and giving less uncertainty about the result of court cases. It could also find unclear laws for legislators who want to improve things.

Some people have started a software to produce a free software version of Victoria 2 [3]. Hopefully OpenVic will become as successful as FreeCiv and FreeCraft!

Hackster has an interesting article about work to create a machine that does a realistic impersonation of someone’s handwriting [4]. The aim is to be good enough to fool people who want manually written assignments.

Ars technica has an interesting article about a side channel attack using the power LEDs of smart-card readers to extract cryptographic secret key data [5]. As usual for articles about side channels it turns out to be really hard to do and their proof of concept involved recording a card being repeatedly scanned for an hour. This doesn’t mean it’s a non-issue, they should harden readers against this.

Vice has an interesting article on the search for chemical remnants of ancient organisms in 1.6 billion year old fossils [6].

Bleeping Computer has an interesting article about pirate Windows 10 ISOs infecting systems with EFI malware [7]. That’s a particularly nasty attack and shows yet another down-side to commercial software. For Linux the ISOs are always clean and the systems aren’t contaminated.

The Register has an interesting article about a robot being used for chilled RAM attacks to get access to boot time secrets [8]. They monitor EMF output to stop it at the same time in each boot which I consider the most noteworthy part of this attack.

The BBC has an interesting article about personalised medicine [9]. There are 400 million people in the world with rare diseases and an estimated 60 million of them will die before the age of 5. Personalised medicine can save many lives. Let’s hope it is used outside the first world.

Knuth’s thoughts about ChatGPT are interesting [10].

Interesting article about Brown M&Ms and assessing the likely quality of work from a devops team [11].

The ABC has an interesting article about the use of AI and robot traps to catch feral cats [12].

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