Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Unexpected Trips

Today and Thursday have been good days -- with both of them I've gotten some good hanging out with friends. Before hanging out today, I swung by Whole Foods and had a nice and healthy meal from their salad bar and got a lot of cans of black eyed peas. Hurrah. However.. I mentioned the article I read in a magazine about people sneaking things onto supermarket shelves that were not for sale there, and then R mentioned people sneaking paintings into the Louvre that didn't belong and hanging them up, and that reminded me of a place. A long time ago, back when I was mostly hanging out with Jason M, after my relationship with Martha and long before my relationship with Debb (more on that later), there was an art gallery and show in downtown Columbus (not Mad Lab) that was set up in a haunted house motif. I'm pretty sure I went with JasonM to the show (and possibly Charles), and there was a large room near the entrance where there was live music. In the other parts of the house, there were a lot of strange exhibits, tied to blood, torture, strange and nasty events that had happened in the past, etc. In some rooms, there were pictures of people who committed suicide, others, murder victims, others had people who died in some other horrible way. I initially wandered the house with JasonM, and then hung out in the main area for awhile, chatting with the people who managed the computers for part of the show. I briefly relived that in a daydream when R mentioned it, and I realise that I've been having a number of unusually vivid daydreams recently. I apparently lose track of time when this happens -- occasionally on the Minnesota trip, I remember people mentioning me spacing out. Even after it ended, it really left an impression on me. As much as Columbus sucked, it did have a good art scene, with at least some of that being because real estate was so cheap that artists could more easily do their own thing and live as they like. More important, I'm reminded how deeply my life has changed by moving here.

It pulls me again to one of the hardest facts for me to deal with in life -- transience of personal relationships. Every time a friend or acquaintence moves away, it is painful. I don't handle casual friendships very well -- my antisocial urges only let me get close to a few people. To tie back in to an earlier note in this entry, I tend to think of parts of my life as blocs of time when I hang around with a certain crowd or in a particular place frequently. The slow recycling of people I know (a few more are leaving town within the next month) is painful, but the paradigm shifs are quite scary and difficult for me. This leads me to relationships -- they represent, among other things, an island of stability in life. If I had someone I loved who loved me, and we made the commitment to be together, I could move anywhere and feel much less bad about the loss of people important to me. Friendships are supposed to be important, but probably not quite as central to my life as they are right now -- some close friends of mine talked about moving away in about four years, and I immediately felt really bad about that.

I've come to suspect that my style of interpersonal relationship with people tends to be a bit unusual anyhow -- interpersonally I tend to push giving where with others one would pull a bit to take, and often I think I get a bit too domineering of a conversation, not letting it flow smoothly and not letting possible points drop when the conversation doesn't go where I expected. I'm trying to work on that a bit.

From a report on a kind-of security issue on Hyperthreading CPUs, there's an amusing bit on how different vendors replied to the notifier.

  • SCO was most responsive (!)
  • Intel had a very corporate attitude, making it hard for him to talk to anyone, refusing to go into detail on x86 microcode, and eventually going into spin control
  • SGI played a nice mediator between him and Intel, due to their influence
  • Microsoft claimed to assign a number of (faceless) people to the problem, but wouldn't provide contact info or tell him anything of what they did
  • Linus said that it's not really a problem
I'm not sure if I think it's a problem either, or rather, I'm not sure if it is fixable or reasonable to expect there to be a fix. The warning is essentially that on Hyperthreading CPUs, processes can tell, based on timing information, some info on what might be being accessed by other processes on the same CPU (possibly some scant information on what areas of memory are being read, due to cache issues). The problem may be unfixable, but that kind of information also may be visible, to a lesser degree, on SMP systems too. I will look further into this -- the specifics of his idea on how to do exploits should be good reading.
Tags: tech
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