Freesteel Blog » Plymouth here we come

Plymouth here we come

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006 at 4:50 pm Written by:

I hope to be heading off for some kayak diving down in South Devon shortly. Someone has just given us a car. Martin will stay at home and struggle with difficult compiler problems to do with multithreading.

In the future, according to this article about the end of the free lunch with regards to processors speeding up software, multithreading will no longer be optional when we have multicore machines. It’ll take deep understanding of the algorithms to break them apart into different processes to get the better performance.

Meanwhile, some business deals are being stitched up here at freesteel. If I wasn’t such a yellow-livered coward, I’d blog everything about them. As it is, I should be noting some sort of timeline into a text file embedded in the sourcecode for our records so we know what was happening and when. I have considered putting all our information into the blog as some password protected entries. Then I could stage an accident and make it all public just as the wayback machine is spidering through the system.

That puts in mind those extraordinary stories about millions of credit card numbers being “accidentally” put onto the internet. Given the amount of difficulty it takes to get something unusual uploaded onto the internet into a place where people can find it, the story always sounded suspicious. It might not seem quite so ludicrous as being caught “accidentally” selling valuable data, but the end is the same: you get paid cash to put some sensitive files up on the internet at a particular time and place, but then you claim it was a “mistake”. Like leaving a lighted match too close to a bucket of gasoline so the building burns down. So hard to prove. Well, actually it isn’t, because the evidence doesn’t necessarily destroy itself — the logfiles of what was done on the computer ought to be there, so we could ask some questions, find out who’s keyboard fingertips actually did it, and work out whether it was possible to have done what they did without knowing what they were doing. Like you can accidentally set up a webserver.

Too often companies get away with anonomizing the deeds, when we know that every computer command had to have been typed in by someone who had to be logged on with an account and a password. Computers could be one of the most accountable and transparent of all technological tools. But we deliberately run them so they aren’t.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <strong>