AWS 的 EBS 預設型態改為 GP2 (SSD)

AWS 宣佈 EBS 的預設型態從 Standard 變成 GP2:「EBS default volume type updated to GP2」。

包括 web console 與 API 的預設值都改成 GP2:

The AWS console defaults to GP2 in all regions. On July 29th the default EBS volume type was updated in thirteen regions from Standard to GP2. Now AWS API calls for volume, image, and instance creation also default to GP2 in all regions.

GP2 是 SSD,所以可以提供比較低的 latency,而另外一個用 GP2 的好處是 i/o 的費用已經含在內了 (Standard 會另外收取費用),對於成本估算會比較簡單一些,尤其是 i/o 量比較大的時候。

Apple 提供蝴蝶鍵盤免費維修 (全球性)

翻到文章的最後面可以看到「Information as of 2019-05-21」,不過剛剛才在 Hacker News 上看到這則消息:「Apple's service program for butterfly keyboard MacBooks, even out of warranty (support.apple.com)」,官方網站的說明在「Keyboard Service Program for MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro」這邊:

Apple has determined that a small percentage of the keyboards in certain MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models may exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
  • Letters or characters do not appear
  • Key(s) feel "sticky" or do not respond in a consistent manner

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will service eligible MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge. The type of service will be determined after the keyboard is examined and may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.

機型從 MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015) 到最近的都有,可以從系統選單上面看到。時間上只要是售出四年內都包含在內,而且先前如果有因為鍵盤維修的也可以試著申請退費:

This worldwide Apple program does not extend the standard warranty coverage of your Mac notebook.

If you believe your Mac notebook was affected by this issue, and you paid to have your keyboard repaired, you can contact Apple about a refund.

The program covers eligible MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models for 4 years after the first retail sale of the unit.

Raspberry Pi 4 的 Type C 無法使用 Macbook Charger 供電的問題

Raspberry Pi 4 出來後有些災情 (畢竟又加了不少東西近去),在 Hacker News 上看到的 Type C 介面的充電問題:「Raspberry Pi 4 not working with some chargers (scorpia.co.uk)」,引用的原文可以在「Pi4 not working with some chargers (or why you need two cc resistors)」這邊看到,裡面提到了新的 Type C 供電介面在接某些充電器時不會供電 (包括了 Macbook 的充電器):

The new pi has been released and it has a USB Type-C connector for power however people are finding some chargers are not working with it (notably macbook chargers). Some have speculated that this is due to a manufacturer limitation on the power supplies however it is actually due to the incorrect detection circuitry on the Pi end of the USB connection.

這樣說有點偏頗,但是 Macbook 的充電器一向是 Type C 裡的指標,如果這顆充電器跟其他裝置配合上有問題,通常都是代表其他裝置的實作有問題... (噗)

這次發現的電阻問題看起來有點苦 (看起來需要改版子),目前文章作者建議的 workaround 主要就是「不要用那麼好的設備」,比較簡單的包括了 Type C 的線不要那麼好 (像是找充手機用的線就好,不要找拿可以跑 5A 的線),或是透過 Type A 轉 Type C 的線也應該可以避開這個問題,最差的情況應該是找其他的充電器:

Now onto some solutions. Assuming the issue you are having is caused by the problem discussed above, using a non e-marked cable (most USB-C phone charger cables are likely this type) rather than an e-marked cable (many laptop charger/thunderbolt cables and any 5A capable cable will be in this category) will allow for the pi to be powered. In addition using older chargers with A-C cables or micro B to C adaptors will also work if they provide enough power as these don’t require CC detection to provide power. Ultimately though the best solution in the long run will be for there to be a board revision for the pi 4 which adds the 2nd CC resistor and fixes the problem.

對於已經入手的人,如果真的中獎,workaround cost 應該還在可以控制的範圍...

謠言說蘋果要將蝴蝶鍵盤退役...

9to5Mac 的報導說 Apple 要改用剪刀式的設計:「Kuo: Apple to include new scissor switch keyboard in 2019 MacBook Air and 2020 MacBook Pro」。


取自「File:Scissor switch mechanism.svg」這頁。

Apple is apparently set to ditch the butterfly mechanism used in MacBooks since 2015, which has been the root of reliability issues and its low-travel design has also not been popular with many Mac users.

In a report published today, Ming-Chi Kuo says that Apple will roll out a new keyboard design based on scissor switches, offering durability and longer key travel, starting with the 2019 MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is also getting the new scissor switch keyboard, but not until 2020.

還沒真的放出來前都不能確認...

Ubuntu 改變放掉 i386 的計畫

先前在「Ubuntu 19.10 要放掉 i386 架構」這邊提到 Ubuntu 要放掉 i386 的計畫,因為造成的迴響很大,現在官方決定修改本來的結論:「Statement on 32-bit i386 packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04 LTS」。

在本來的計畫裡,是完全放生 i386 架構 (完全不管):

While this means we will not provide 32-bit builds of new upstream versions of libraries, there are a number of ways that 32-bit applications can continue to be made available to users of later Ubuntu releases, as detailed in [4]. We will be working to polish the 32-bit support story over the course of the 19.10 development cycle. To follow the evolution of this support, you can participate in the discourse thread at [5].

現在則是打算透過 container 技術支援 32-bit library & binary,算是某種緩衝方式:

We will also work with the WINE, Ubuntu Studio and gaming communities to use container technology to address the ultimate end of life of 32-bit libraries; it should stay possible to run old applications on newer versions of Ubuntu. Snaps and LXD enable us both to have complete 32-bit environments, and bundled libraries, to solve these issues in the long term.

但應該還是會有程式沒辦法在 container 環境裡跑,看起來官方決定放掉了...

Raspberry Pi 4 開賣,USD$35

Raspberry Pi 4 開賣,目前推出的是 Model B,最低規格的 1GB RAM 版本與之前 RPi 3 相同都是 USD$35,另外這次提供了以前沒有的 2GB 與 4GB 版本,分別是 USD$45 與 USD$55:「Raspberry Pi 4 on sale now from $35」。

有兩個比較大而且要注意的改變,第一個是電源接頭變成 Type-C 了:

We’ve moved from USB micro-B to USB-C for our power connector. This supports an extra 500mA of current, ensuring we have a full 1.2A for downstream USB devices, even under heavy CPU load.

另外一個是 HDMI 接頭換成 D Type:

To accommodate dual display output within the existing board footprint, we’ve replaced the type-A (full-size) HDMI connector with a pair of type-D (micro) HDMI connectors.

這兩個改變都需要準備額外的設備或是線材,其他的改變應該還好...

這次改版最明顯的是效能的增加,官方宣稱 CPU 速度是前一代的三倍:

A 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU (~3× performance)

而在 GPU 相關的則是對 H.265 的 4Kp60 硬體解壓縮:

4Kp60 hardware decode of HEVC video

先前用 RPi 3 放客廳還是覺得不太夠,也許可以考慮看看這個...

Linode 推出 GPU Instance

所以 Linode 開始有 GPU Instance 產品線了:「Introducing Linode GPU Instances」。

用的是 Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000:

Linode GPU instances are built on NVIDIA Quadro RTX 6000 GPU cards.

查維基百科可以看到是 2018-08-13 推出的卡。價錢不算便宜:

去年十月的新聞可以看到 Quadro RTX 6000 的報價是 $6,300:「Nvidia Lists Quadro RTX 6000 GPU at $6,300」,這樣可以跟 EC2 那邊的規格與價錢比一下感覺...

EC2 的 C5 系列機器推出 12x、24x 以及 metal 類別

EC2c5 系列主機推出了 12xlarge24xlarge 以及 metal 三種新的類別:「Now Available: New C5 instance sizes and bare metal instances」。

本來的 c5largexlarge2xlarge4xlarge9xlarge (這邊有一些不規則了),現在多了 12xlarge24xlarge,應該是大到需要依照硬體規格對齊數字了?

另外一個是,c5.24xlargec5.metal 其實是一樣的硬體規格 (以及價錢),主要的差異在 c5.metal 沒有虛擬化,所以除了壓榨效能以外,還可以看到很多硬體資訊:

  • do not want to take the performance hit of nested virtualization,
  • need access to physical resources and low-level hardware features, such as performance counters and Intel VT that are not always available or fully supported in virtualized environments,
  • are intended to run directly on the hardware, or licensed and supported for use in non-virtualized environments.

Ubuntu 19.10 要放掉 i386 架構

Ubuntu 19.10 版將不再支援 i386 架構了:「i386 architecture will be dropped starting with eoan (Ubuntu 19.10)」。

查了一下 x86-64 條目,AMD 的第一個 x86-64 版本是在 2003 年四月推出的:

The first AMD64-based processor, the Opteron, was released in April 2003.

Intel 則是在 2004 年六月推出:

The first processor to implement Intel 64 was the multi-socket processor Xeon code-named Nocona in June 2004.

但是 mobile 版的是 2006 年七月:

The first Intel mobile processor implementing Intel 64 is the Merom version of the Core 2 processor, which was released on July 27, 2006.

不論如何都已經十年了,如果考慮到 Ubuntu 18.04 提供五年支援,其實到 2023 年四月前都還有得用...

利用 Sensor 校正資訊產生 Device Fingerprint 的隱私攻擊

看到「Fingerprinting iPhones」這篇提出的攻擊,標題雖然是提到 iPhone,但實際上攻擊包括了 Android 的手機:

You are affected by this fingerprinting attack if you are using any iOS devices with the iOS version below 12.2, including the latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. You are also likely to be affected if you are using a Pixel 2/3 device, although we hypothesise the generated fingerprint has less entropy and is unlikely to be globally unique. A SensorID can be generated by both apps and mobile websites and requires no user interaction.

目前 iPhone 升級到 12.2 之後可以緩解這個問題,Android 看起來還不清楚...

攻擊的方式是透過手機在出場前會使用外部的校正工具,找出手機內 sensor 所偵測到的值與實際值的差異,然後把這些資訊燒到韌體裡,當呼叫 API 時就可以修正給出比較正確的值。

而因為這些校正資訊幾乎每一隻手機都不一樣,而且不會因為重裝而變更 (即使 factory reset),加上還可以跨 app 與 web 追蹤,就成為這次攻擊的目標:

In the context of mobile devices, the main benefit of per-device calibration is that it allows more accurate attitude estimation.

資訊量其實相當大,透過 app 分析可以得到 67 bits entropy,透過網頁也有 42 bits entropy,而且不怎麼會變:

In general, it is difficult to create a unique fingerprint for iOS devices due to strict sandboxing and device homogeneity. However, we demonstrated that our approach can produce globally unique fingerprints for iOS devices from an installed app -- around 67 bits of entropy for the iPhone 6S. Calibration fingerprints generated by a website are less unique (~42 bits of entropy for the iPhone 6S), but they are orthogonal to existing fingerprinting techniques and together they are likely to form a globally unique fingerprint for iOS devices.

We have not observed any change in the SensorID of our test devices in the past half year. Our dataset includes devices running iOS 9/10/11/12. We have tested compass calibration, factory reset, and updating iOS (up until iOS 12.1); the SensorID always stays the same. We have also tried measuring the sensor data at different locations and under different temperatures; we confirm that these factors do not change the SensorID either.

目前提出來的解法是加入隨機值的噪音 (iOS 的作法),不過作者有建議預設應該要關閉 js 存取 sensor 的權限:

To mitigate this calibration fingerprint attack, vendors can add uniformly distributed random noise to ADC outputs before calibration is applied. Alternatively, vendors could round the sensor outputs to the nearest multiple of the nominal gain. Please refer to our paper for more details. In addition, we recommend privacy-focused mobile browsers add an option to disable the access to motion sensors via JavaScript. This could help protect Android devices and iOS devices that no longer receive updates from Apple.

不過當初這群人怎麼會注意到的...