Apple Suspects Hardware Espionage

From 9to5Mac:

At least part of the driver for this is to ensure that the servers are secure. Apple has long suspected that servers it ordered from the traditional supply chain were intercepted during shipping, with additional chips and firmware added to them by unknown third parties in order to make them vulnerable to infiltration, according to a person familiar with the matter. At one point, Apple even assigned people to take photographs of motherboards and annotate the function of each chip, explaining why it was supposed to be there. Building its own servers with motherboards it designed would be the most surefire way for Apple to prevent unauthorized snooping via extra chips.

I can’t say this is terribly surprising. There’s been reports of this sort of thing happening to Cisco hardware among others.

Grace Hopper For #TheNew10 Dollar Bill

Grace Hopper
Since the Treasury Department announced they will be redesigning the $10 bill and featuring a woman on the front, it got me thinking. While more obscure, Grace Hopper is the ideal candidate.

Lets go through her qualifications:

  • Attained the rank of United States Navy rear admiral. A rare feat for a woman (the first was Alene Duerk).
  • Active in the service between 1943–1966, 1967–1971, 1972–1986 for a total of approx. 41 years of service. Including during WWII.
  • Notable achievements in her field had a large influence on shaping the her industry as well as the nation as high level programming languages accelerated computer proliferation through business and eventually personal use:
    • Wrote the first compiler.
    • Invented COBOL, which is still in use over 50 years later and it’s predecessor .
  • She’s the one responsible for the term “bug” being used to describe a defect in software.
  • Responsible for some badass quotes like “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”
  • And lastly… diseased (technically relevant).

Per the Treasury Dept. website:

…The person should be iconic and have made a significant contribution to — or impact on — protecting the freedoms on which our nation was founded.

I think a Navy veteran buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors meets the qualifications as much as anyone who walked the face of this earth.

So to summarize, she’s a female veteran who climbed the ranks of the Navy who quite literally invented her field and launched and industry that’s reshaping her country and the world even years after she passed away. I’d say that’s worth $10.



Planet or not, roughly 100 years after the first powered flight, we’ve sent a vehicle equipped with a camera to Pluto to take pictures and wirelessly transmit them back. That’s nothing short of amazing.

Adventures In KVM Land

Hopefully this saves someone doing a Google search some time. Running something like sudo ubuntu-vm-builder kvm trusty tahir on Ubuntu 14.04 at least seems to sometimes generate the following error (emphasis mine):

Preparing to unpack .../linux-image-virtual_3. ...
Unpacking linux-image-virtual ( ...
, stderr: grep: /proc/cpuinfo: No such file or directory
This kernel does not support a non-PAE CPU.
dpkg: error processing archive /var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-3.13.0-52-generic_3.13.0-52.86_amd64.deb (--unpack):
 subprocess new pre-installation script returned error exit status 1
Examining /etc/kernel/postrm.d .
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postrm.d/initramfs-tools 3.13.0-52-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.13.0-52-generic
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postrm.d/zz-update-grub 3.13.0-52-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.13.0-52-generic
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

Ends up this is an older known bug. Adding --addpkg linux-image-generic seems to work as recently as Trusty Tahir.