See in the Dark: a machine learning technique for producing astoundingly sharp photos in very low light

A group of scientists from Intel and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign have published a paper called Learning to See in the Dark detailing a powerful machine-learning based image processing technique that allows regular cameras to take super-sharp pictures in very low light, without long exposures or the kinds of graininess associated with low-light photography. Read the rest

Son of Spectre: researchers are about to announce eight more Meltdown-style defects in common microprocessors

The New Years revelation that decades' worth of Intel's processors had deep, scary defects called "Spectre" and "Meltdown" still has security experts reeling as they contemplate the scale of patching billions of devices that are vulnerable to attack. Read the rest

OK, panic again: patching Spectre and Meltdown has been a disaster

When the news of two showstopping bugs in virtually every computer in use today broke, it was scary stuff -- experts predicted that mitigating these bugs would be difficult and impose severe performance penalties on patched systems; a week later, Google released research suggesting that the fear was misplaced, and that patching would be an orderly and relatively painless process. Read the rest

Astounding coincidence: Intel's CEO liquidated all the stock he was legally permitted to sell after learning of catastrophic processor flaws

Five months after learning of the devastating Spectre and Meltdown bugs, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich sold off more than $39,000,000 worth of his Intel stock, all he was permitted to liquidate. Read the rest

Virtually every modern computer is vulnerable to a pair of devastating attacks, and there's only a fix for one of them, and it sucks

Today, three groups of security researchers from the Technical University of Graz, Cerberus Security, and Google Project Zero revealed a pair of defects in modern computers that allow adversaries to steal passwords and other sensitive data from virtually any computer in use today. Read the rest

Democratic Senators get feisty over intel directors' non-answers

During today's briefings with the Director of National Intelligence, and the head of the National Security Agency, Senate Democrats Mark Warner and Kamala Harris started to wear a little thin on the non-answers. Republican McCain got in a zinger too.

Via NPR:

Warner, along with several other senators, kept pressing and ultimately expressed frustration with the intelligence chiefs.

There are "reports, that nobody has laid to rest here, that the president of the United States has intervened directly in an ongoing FBI investigation and we've got no answers from any of you," Warner said.

The hearing was often contentious, particularly when Democratic senators questioned the intelligence officials.

Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, intervened at one point during a sharp exchange between California Democrat Kamala Harris and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"The chair is going to exercise its right to allow the witnesses to answer the question, and committee is on notice to provide witnesses the courtesy, which has not been extended all the way across," Burr said.

Republican John McCain of Arizona took a softer approach, drawing chuckles when he asked Coats, "Do you want to tell us any more about the Russian involvement in our election that we don't already know from reading The Washington Post?"

Coats did not offer any details, but said, "Just because it's in The Washington Post doesn't mean it's declassified."

The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding two days of closely watched hearings that might — or might not — shed new light on the state of the Russia investigation.

Read the rest

Global spy agencies meet for "Five Eyes" intel-sharing network in New Zealand, including U.S. FBI, CIA, NSA

Intelligence officials from the so-called "Five Eyes" network, which includes the United States' FBI, CIA and National Security Agency, are gathering for an annual intelligence-sharing exchange today in New Zealand. Reuters confirmed the get-together, at which spy agency reps from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will also gather. Read the rest

U.S. spies are withholding intelligence from Donald Trump, who has none

Capping off Donald J. Trump's No Good Very Bad Horrible Day today, the Wall Street Journal reports that senior U.S. intelligence officials are deliberately withholding sensitive information from the President because they don't trust him. Today's report cites sources inside the White House, and underscores the deep mistrust between career spies and the imploding kakistocracy. Read the rest

Intel's Inside the Trump Administration

World's largest computer chip maker INTEL today said it will invest $7 billion to complete the construction of a factory in Arizona which they claim will create 3,000 new American jobs for Americans. Intel's CEO made the remarks earlier today after meeting with so-called President Donald Trump at the White House. Read the rest

Even if Moore's Law is "running out," there's still plenty of room at the bottom

A very good piece by Tom Simonite in the MIT Technology Review looks at the implications of Intel's announcement that it will slow the rate at which it increases the density of transistors in microprocessors. Read the rest

FBI's war on encryption is unnecessary because the Internet of Things will spy on us just fine

The war on encryption waged by the F.B.I. and other intelligence agencies is unnecessary, because the data trails we voluntarily leak allow “Internet of Things” devices and social media networks to track us in ways the government can access.

That's the short version of what's in “Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the ‘Going Dark’ Debate,” a study published today by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. Read the rest

Intel earmarks $300m for workplace diversity

Bravo, Intel! The chipmaker, after being spooked by adolescent misogynists into dropping ads at websites critical of gamer culture, is atoning in style: a $300m drive to support women and minorities in tech. Nick Wingfield:

Intel, which was caught off guard by the ensuing controversy over its actions, eventually resumed advertising on the site. Mr. Krzanich said he used the incident as an opportunity to think more deeply about the broader issue of diversity in the tech industry. The issue resonated with him personally. “I have two daughters of my own coming up on college age,” he said. “I want them to have a world that’s got equal opportunity for them.”

Read the rest

Intel pulls ads at site critical of #GamerGate

Gamergate, the online backlash targeting a female game developer and critics of sexism in games, has a surprising new friend: Intel, the world's largest chipmaker.

According to game news publication Gamasutra, the company pulled ads from the site after being "flooded" by complaints from gamers upset at its criticism of the protest.

“Intel has pulled its advertising from website Gamasutra,” Intel spokesperson Bill Calder told ReCode. “We take feedback from our customers very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and placements.”

A sprawling and rancorous knot of hashtagged rage, Gamergate is ostensibly a campaign against journalistic corruption, but comprises mostly of foot-stamping misogynist anger directed at developer Zoe Quinn, critic Anita Sarkeesian, and game journalists seen to be in cahoots with a feminist conspiracy to censor manly videogames. Quinn, author of interactive roman à clef Depression Quest, was targeted after an angry ex-boyfriend published a lengthy manifesto about her that falsely insinuated sexual quid pro quos with game journalists. Sarkeesian ran a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised $158,922 for a series of feminist video critiques, a popular installment of which was released last month. Each woman has since been subjected to an endless hum of menace online and off, with Quinn receiving abusive phone calls, having her websites hacked, and enduring her personal information being published online. Sarkeesian received a death threat that convinced her to flee her home.

The email complaint campaign, however (dubbed Operation Disrespectful Nod), was one of the crusade's more civilized tangents. Read the rest

Meet the anti-Net Neutrality arms dealers who love network discrimination

IBM, Cisco, Intel, and Sandvine make huge bank selling ISPs the networking gear needed to discriminate against online services that haven't paid bribes for access to the "fast lane" -- but it's totally a coincidence that they've told the US government to make sure that the FCC doesn't ban the corrupt practice. Read the rest

Intel's Tomorrow Project: prototyping tomorrow's devices with science fiction

The BBC has a good story about Intel's Tomorrow Project, through which Brian David Johnson, Intel's Chief Futurist, gets science fiction writers to produce "science fiction prototypes" that spark discussions in the engineering and product groups. I wrote a novella for Brian, "Knights of the Rainbow Table," which will be going live shortly (Intel publishes the work it commissions for everyone to see and use).

The Tomorrow Project is led by Intel futurist Brian David Johnson, who regards the scheme as an important way to assess future technology trends.

"When we design chips to go into your television, your computers, your phones - we need to do it about five or ten years in advance. We need to have an understanding of what people will want to do with those devices," said Mr Johnson.

"What science fiction does is give us a way to think about the implications of the technologies that we're building, for the people who will actually be using them."

Intel recruits sci-fi writers to dream up future tech Read the rest