Weekend tech reading: PC latency compared from 1977, why paywalls don’t work, a DIY arcade …

2017: As the hardware world turnsThe year is almost over, and now it’s time to look back on the last fifty-odd weeks. What happened in this year in hacking? 2017 will go down as the beginning of another AI renaissance, although we’re not going to call it that; this year was all about neural nets and machine learning and advancements resulting from the development of self-driving cars and very beefy GPUs. Not since the 80s have we seen more work in ‘AI’ fields. What will it amount to this time around the hype cycle? Find out in a few years. Hackaday

2017: The year in programming languagesFor programming languages, languages like Java and Kotlin garnering a lot of attention in enterprise and mobile development in 2017. The JavaScript ecosystem, critical to web development, continued to expand as well. Overall, the year presented a mixed bag of improvements to both long-established and newer languages. Infoworld

Computer latency: 1977-2017I’ve had this nagging feeling that the computers I use today feel slower than the computers I used as a kid. As a rule, I don’t trust this kind of feeling because human perception has been shown to be unreliable in empirical studies, so I carried around a high-speed camera and measured the response latency of devices I’ve run into in the past few months. Here are the results: Dan Luu

Acoustic attacks on HDDs can sabotage PCs, CCTV systems, ATMs, moreAttackers can use sound waves to interfere with a hard drive’s normal mode of operation, creating a temporary or permanent denial of state (DoS) that could be used to prevent CCTV systems from recording video footage or freeze computers dealing with critical operations. The basic principle behind this attack is that sound waves introduce mechanical vibrations into an HDD’s data-storage platters. BleepingComputer

A Budget Home Theater & PC Setup: 4K, HDR, UHD Blu-ray, and MoreThe days of bulky HTPCs with built-in optical drives, massive internal storage arrays, and integrated TV tuners are long gone. The advent of over the top (OTT) online streaming services has moved a lot of functionality to the cloud. As NAS units become more powerful, it has made sense to move local media files to a central repository. All these have enabled the TV-connected PC to become more compact. Ars Technica

Arcade machine DIY guideToday we have published something very special on OCinside.de: A guide how to build an arcade machine or a worklog to do so. Daniel, one of our longtime PC forum members built a fully fledged 24-inch arcade machine construction using Raspberry Pi 3. As always, we wish you a lot of fun reading this new arcade machine DIY guide and of course to copy the Retro arcade machine. OCinside.de

How to hack a turned-off computer, or running unsigned code in Intel MEIntel Management Engine (Intel ME) is a proprietary technology that consists of a microcontroller integrated into the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) chip and a set of built-in peripherals. The PCH carries almost all communication between the processor and external devices. Therefore, Intel ME has access to almost all data on the computer. The ability to execute third-party code on Intel ME would allow for a complete compromise of the platform. Blackhat.com (PDF)

How classical cryptography will survive quantum computersJustin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, certainly raised the profile of quantum computing a few notches last year, when he gamely—if vaguely1—described it for a press conference. But we’ve heard a lot about quantum computers in the past few years, as Google, I.B.M., and N.A.S.A., as well as many, many universities, have all been working on, or putting money into, quantum computers for various ends. Nautil.us

Why paywalls don’t workCongratulations! You’ve read too much. Please pull out your credit card. And so goes the frustrating, backward logic of the journalism paywall. It’s the most popular income idea to arise since the newspaper industry was flooded with low-budget competitors, and it seems like the last best hope for profits as Google and Facebook strangle independent advertising sales. NewCo Shift

The robots are coming, and Sweden is fineFrom inside the control room carved into the rock more than half a mile underground, Mika Persson can see the robots on the march, supposedly coming for his job here at the New Boliden mine. He’s fine with it. Sweden’s famously generous social welfare system makes this a place not prone to fretting about automation — or much else, for that matter. The NY Times

Google’s voice-generating AI is now indistinguishable from humansHumans have officially given their voice to machines. A research paper published by Google this month—which has not been peer reviewed—details a text-to-speech system called Tacotron 2, which claims near-human accuracy at imitating audio of a person speaking from text. Quartz

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