Some important technical (and skeptical) notes about the Chinese-backdoored-servers story

Yesterday, Bloomberg published a blockbuster story accusing the Chinese military of sneaking spy-chips "the size of a grain of rice" onto the motherboards of servers sold by Supermicro and/or Elemental for use in data-centers operated by the biggest US corporations (Apple and Amazon, among others), as well as US warships and military data-centers, and the servers used by Congress and the Senate. Read the rest

Report: Chinese spies snuck tiny backdoor chips onto US corporate, government and military servers

According to an explosive report in Bloomberg, US spies and large corporate IT departments have had an open secret for years: the servers supplied by US hardware giant Supermicro for Elemental, Inc were sometimes infected with tiny hardware backdoors by Chinese spies during their manufacture; these superminiature chips were wired into the systems' baseboard management system and were able to accept covert software patches that would allow Chinese spies to utterly compromise both the servers and the networks they were connected to. Read the rest

Cheaper PLA for my Replicator 2, delivered fast

SainSmart PLA works fantastically in my Makerbot Replicator 2.

I tried ordering plastic from Makerbot directly but delays on every color I wanted led to me check for other sources. Seems this complaint is common. Guess what? I saved $11/spool and got every color I wanted 2 days later.

Thank you Amazon Prime and the power of internet forums! There are lots of providers of PLA but people have a lot of trouble sorting them. From varying thickness of the strand's diameter to differing melting points of the plastic there is a lot to look out for. I found the SainSmart stuff to work very reliably.

After you order the plastic you will need to print a new spool holder. This pattern worked fine for me (I did rotate the model on the build plate, so it didn't build straight up!) Also, I read around on the internet and then experimented with extruder temperatures. The Replicator 2's default setting of 230F is too hot for the SainSmart, I find 215F works much, much better in my home.

I've tried Black, Red, Blue, Pink and Silver/Grey. So long as your build plate is level and the extruder is clear SainSmart works great!

SainSmart 1.75mm PLA filament Read the rest