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Enter Sandbox: How Google is building an internet without cookies - and why


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Enter Sandbox: How Google is building an internet without cookies - and why publishers are concerned


Cookies are soon to be a thing of the past; Google wants to play in the Sandbox instead. It might sound rather twee, but this marks a seismic shift in the online ecosystem that will affect us all.

The “cookie-less web” is nothing less than a total restructuring of the internet, which will spell the end of digital advertising as we know it with obvious ramifications for online publishers too.

It comes after increasing concerns over online safety as our lives become ever more digital. The UK Government’s new Online Safety Bill is just one of a number of recent legislative moves to protect us online.

The death of third-party cookies


A human-like neural network chess engine

Maia is an AlphaZero/Leela-like deep learning framework that learns from online human games instead of self-play. Maia is trained on millions of games, and tries to predict the human move played in each position seen.

We trained 9 versions of Maia, one for each Elo milestone between 1100 and 1900. Maia 1100 was only trained on games between 1100-rated players, and so on. Each version learned from 12 million human games, and learns how chess is typically played at its specific level.

After a decade, NASA’s big rocket fails its first real test

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. — For a few moments, it seemed like the Space Launch System saga might have a happy ending. Beneath brilliant blue skies late on Saturday afternoon, NASA’s huge rocket roared to life for the very first time. As its four engines lit and thrummed, thunder rumbled across these Mississippi lowlands. A giant, beautiful plume of white exhaust billowed away from the test stand.

It was all pretty damn glorious until it stopped suddenly.

About 50 seconds into what was supposed to be an 8-minute test firing, the flight control center called out, “We did get an MCF on Engine 4.” This means there was a “major component failure” with the fourth engine on the vehicle. After a total of about 67 seconds, the hot fire test ended.

So what had been viewed as a strength of the program, using heritage hardware, instead became a liability. Saturday was only the first real hardware test for the rocket. It cannot afford too many more liabilities like those on display.

Intel Kills Off All Optane-Only SSDs for Consumers, No Replacements Planned (Updated)


Update 01/17/2021 5:00pm PT: Intel's discontinuation notices are quite clear that the company will no longer offer Optane-only drives for desktop PCs, but we followed up for further clarity. Intel responded to our question, 'Does that mean Intel has effectively ended its Optane-only product lines for consumers?' 

"Your statement is technically correct, but consumers do benefit from Optane based-solutions like the Intel Optane Memory H20, since it is for mobile consumer." - Intel representative. 

As noted in the article below, the Optane Memory H20 is a Flash+Optane module that doesn't offer comparable performance to the Optane-only drives for the desktop PC. Intel's statement also clarifies that those drives are destined for mobile applications, marking the end of Optane solutions for desktop PCs

NSA Recommends How Enterprises Can Securely Adopt Encrypted DNS


The National Security Agency released a cybersecurity product, “Adopting Encrypted DNS in Enterprise Environments,” Thursday explaining the benefits and risks of adopting the encrypted domain name system (DNS) protocol, DNS over HTTPs (DoH), in enterprise environments. The release provides solutions for secure implementation based on enterprise network needs.

NSA recommends that an enterprise network’s DNS traffic, encrypted or not, be sent only to the designated enterprise DNS resolver. This ensures proper use of essential enterprise security controls, facilitates access to local network resources, and protects internal network information. All other DNS resolvers should be disabled and blocked.

Edited by sman
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The NASA news is sad. The Intel news is frustrating. The death of third-party cookies and widespread adoption of Encrypted DNS can only be a good thing, however.

Speaking of widespread adoption of things... if I ever hold a government office, I'm gonna campaign for a full migration from IPv4 to IPv6 to qualify for a tax-incentive.

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12 minutes ago, Amaroq_Starwind said:

Speaking of widespread adoption of things... if I ever hold a government office, I'm gonna campaign for a full migration from IPv4 to IPv6 to qualify for a tax-incentive.

I hope IPv6 doesn't become the standard until they can secure it.  Last I heard, it suffered from numerous major security holes/vulnerabilities not present in IPv4.

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I don't know about that; I would think that with the modern web being what it is, constantly under attack by malicious actors and criminals, security should be the highest priority for any new standard, API, or platform, regardless of whether it's already been widely adopted or not, especially for something like IPv6 which we know is going to eventually need to replace the existing IPv4 standard.

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2 hours ago, Amaroq_Starwind said:

So... what exactly are some of these vulnerabilities and inefficiencies, anyway?

I don't want to hijack this thread with off-topic discussion, but you will quickly find plenty of relevant results if you simply do a web search for 'IPv6 vulnerabilities' or 'IPv6 security issues' or 'IPv6 vs IPv4 security' etc.  There are plenty of articles and rundowns on the issues.

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