BSOD from SPACE

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)

Pretty much everyone knows what the blue screen of death is. That dreaded complete system failure that happens every so often. Sometimes for no reason at all. It can happen on any device – PC, Mac, Android, iOS/iPhone… most of the time the device just reboots.

Any number of issues can cause them – software bug, hardware driver issue, poorly manufactured hardware, an operating system (OS) error, malware (like viruses, adware, etc.). However, those times when it just seems to happen out of the blue (pun intended) might be because of space. Yes, that big blue-in-the day, black-in-the-night thing above you.

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JavaScript Attack Can Break ASLR

Gold Padlock

BleepingComputer has reported that security researchers discovered a new attack that can be carried out in nearly any browser just using JavaScript. Even with the protections & sandboxing of today’s modern browsers (like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox) it can break the address space layout randomization (ASLR) that most of today’s central processing units (CPUs) use to prevent malicious programs from figuring out where system processes are located in memory. The attack is called an ASLR⊕Cache, or AnC attack.

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Intel Pushes Moore’s Law Along: 10 nm

intel logo: a light blue print of intel with a oval starting from the bottom of the "l" of the name on the right and wrapping back around to the bottom of the "l"

Moore’s Law (which states the number of transistors per square inch doubles roughly every twelve {12} to eighteen {18} months) has had repeated claims that it would end as the limits of silicon are hit and the size approaches that where quantum effects take over, yet it keeps proving the naysayers wrong. IEEE Spectrum reports that central processing unit (CPU) manufacturer Intel is pushing Moore’s law further as it plans to push out computer and mobile processors with transistors that are just ten {10} nanometers (nm) wide. However, these transistors are going to be a bit different than your average transistor…

Intel plans on, for the first time in quite a long time, decrease the size of the gate (the piece of a transistor that switches it “on” or “off”) and the gate pitch – the size of the material that exists between one gate and another. They are also planning on making two {2} improvements on their transistor design within it’s lifetime. Intel claims this change will create a processor that, while still more expensive than the last generation, will still be cheaper per-transistor than it’s previous product offerings. Though, as with the modern generations of processors, don’t expect much difference in clock speed. What about the other producers?

Intel is also planning on allowing other processor manufacturers to use their manufacturing facilities to produce their own chips. This is less likely to be an invitation to competitors and more an invitation for manufacturers of specialized processor and chipset manufacturers. Global Foundries, the manufacturer that spun off from AMD years ago, is planning on skipping ten {10} nm altogether and jumping right to seven {7} nm in 2018.

Moore’s Law is expected to end once transistors reach 5nm. Below that size the effects of quantum physics start taking over and electrons begin “tunneling” – a quantum effect where an electron suddenly tunnels through insulating material and pops out on the other side. Essentially an electron in one transistor could suddenly end up in the one next to it – a one {1} becomes a zero {0} and a zero {0} becomes a one {1} – yikes! It is yet to be seen if something – a solution or perhaps a new material – appears to continue Moore’s Law in the future.