The older I get, the more I believe that we are the manifestation of quantum uncertainty. Imagine seeing an object traveling from point A through point B in space. Using well rather simple calculations, one can calculate the trajectory and know where the object will be along its path at any given point in time. Have that object controlled by a human being and it might just suddenly veer in one direction or another “because it felt like it” with no model able to predict it would have moved in that direction at that time.
Just read a book with the above title by James Palmer. Amazing is the only word I can use to describe it. It has completely changed my perspective on Chinese politics. It is an extremely interesting read with footnotes and references. I have the Kindle edition on my laptop.
I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars only because I reserve 5 stars for extremely extraordinary works. This one is just extraordinary but well worth the price.
I happened across this article from KABC Channel 7 in Los Angeles. The meme is that burglars are now breaking into homes through doggie doors. I would go a step beyond and say that one can gauge the severity of economic troubles by the size of the doggie doors used for burglary. The smaller the door, the more desperate / hungrier the burglar.
It is a prairie fire! Go check it out. Click the picture.
Much has been said lately about the vulnerability of key infrastructure to “hacking” from the Internet. Here’s a rather simple idea. Intel could produce a chip with a modified instruction set. It is still the regular Intel CPU that does all the things a regular CPU does, just that at the machine language level, it’s instruction set has been scrambled. What this means is that a binary from a “civilian” machine would not be able to run on the “hardened” machine. There would be no way for a virus to move from one to the other. You could break in and put your malware there, but it wouldn’t run.
Sure, someone could create a program that would run on that chip, but they would have to deliver it directly. It wouldn’t be able to spread from machine to machine and find its way to the target. It would make it very hard for code to “accidentally” find a target system by simply spreading through the computer ecosystem. It would be like having carbon-based life and silicon-based life. What is food to one is a rock to the other.
It would be pretty simple to do, just change the microcode. It wouldn’t take any physical changes in the die but they could do that, too. Change some pins around so a “hardened” CPU won’t even work in a “civilian” motherboard. In fact, it could be wired so that plugging one in to a “civilian” mother board (or vice versa, the plugging of a civilian CPU into a “hardened” motherboard) would produce a rather spectacular result. Considering the number of CPUs purchased by utility companies and government, it would seem that there would be sufficient market to warrant doing this. All of the regular software would be available, one would simply have to compile the operating system on that processor type, but malware from “civilian” hosts would just plain not run on a “hardened” host. The “hardened” CPUs could be controlled in distribution, not sold to the general public, banned from export, made only inside the US, etc.