We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Moore’s Law keeps on ticking…

Intel is keeping up the pace established many decades ago in Gordon MooreŠ› eponymous law:

The chips are the first to become available from any company with features as small as 22 nanometers (the finest details on today’s chips are 32 nanometers), allowing transistors to be smaller and packed more densely. Ivy Bridge chips offer 37 percent more processing speed than the previous generation of chips, and can match their performance while using just half the energy.

I personally believe it is one of the reasons why Socialist efforts at Global Domination have been spiked. It is damned difficult to control the flow of information when individuals have this kind of power in their hands.

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15 comments to Moore’s Law keeps on ticking…

  • Mr Ecks

    I agree but it cuts both ways.

    With more computing power the scum can do more snooping–more info trawling etc–not to mention insect (or smaller) sized flying camera/microphone snoop devices everywhere.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    It is damned difficult to control the flow of information when individuals have this kind of power in their hands.

    It’s not difficult, it’s easy, technologically speaking at least.

    Look at the Great Firewall of China. All you have to do is route all traffic from outside your country to a few bottlenecks with filtering capacity. It is relatively simple to cream off the stuff you don’t want the plebs to see. Identifying the “thoughtcrime” material amongst terrabytes upon terrabytes of material is slightly more difficult.

    The problem in western nations is arranging this without it looking like that is what you are trying to do. In America there have been great moves to constrain the freedom of the internet, mostly under the bizarre guise of “protecting copyrights”.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    The thing to remember about the power of the state vs. the power of the people is that the state is (1) Outnumbered and (2) Surrounded.

  • Perry Metzger

    “Look at the Great Firewall of China” — the Great Firewall of China is extraordinarily leaky. I’d go so far as to say that it barely functions at all — it only stops those who aren’t trying to avoid it.

    On the other hand, the Great Firewall has been an enormous boon to freedom. Without it, the authorities in China would not have been foolish enough to allow the entire country to have internet access. With it, they thought they would be able to control the flow of information, so they hooked up to the net, and now they’re in a position where disconnection is unthinkable.

  • revver

    A great article on the impact technology has had on the size of the state.

    http://www.bcaplan.com/Cowentech.pdf

    Heres Bryan Caplan’s inputs on the author/ a shorter version:

    http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2012/04/highlights_from_2.html

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    @ Perry Metzger

    Perhaps, but that just means their capacity to identify prohibited material is imperfect. In theory at least total censorship is a possibility. It is just that the sheer volume of data is difficult (but not impossible) to adequately scan.

    And in any case, none of this has any connection with processor speeds improving liberty which was the contention of the original post. If anything faster processors may make it easier for the Chinese to develop efficient robot web censors.

    The ability of the state to censor information is largely contingent on the physical architecture of the internet itself, not the processors in your laptop. For the moment the network hardware is pretty much under government control so restructuring the rest of the web to mirror China is not outwith the realms of possibility.

    And as I said, it definitely seems to be on someone in at least the US governments wish list.

  • Richard Thomas

    With more computing power the scum can do more snooping–more info trawling etc–not to mention insect (or smaller) sized flying camera/microphone snoop devices everywhere.

    That cuts both ways too.

    Perhaps, but that just means their capacity to identify prohibited material is imperfect. In theory at least total censorship is a possibility. It is just that the sheer volume of data is difficult (but not impossible) to adequately scan.

    Once you allow some information, you allow all information. Steganography and one-time-pads see to that.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    Once you allow some information, you allow all information. Steganography and one-time-pads see to that.

    While it may be true that “unbreakable” encryption means that even the firewalled Chinese internet could be used to make anti-government transmissions, the general public are not going to be using one-time pads to receive “samizdat”. They will use the internet to email, shop, read the news and look at porn.

    If anything remotely anti-government is not visible on the unencrypted open web, for the average user that is equivalent to it not existing at all.

    They don’t have to get all anti-government material off the web. They just need to get it out of the places they expect you to look, while filling the state news sources with frightening stories of what happens to you if you get caught being a bad little socialist worker bee.

  • Richard Thomas

    Perhaps. But that is a different issue anyway in many ways. One should never expect the general proletariat to bother to put much effort in. It is down to the dedicated foot-soldier to do the work of getting the message out.

  • “in their hands” – and their pockets too. Mobile computing is getting extremely powerful, lately.

  • David Gillies

    Deep packet inspection is essentially impossible with end-to-end encryption. More and more traffic is moving to HTTPS-only, and unless governments move to make SSL illegal then they are stymied. You can’t disambiguate the traffic (‘all cats look grey in the dark’.) And with onion routing, even traffic analysis becomes very, very hard. Secure file transfer is fairly simple, too: say I set up a Dropbox account with a bogus email address. My correspondent has the same account activated on his PC. I encrypt a file with a pre-agreed password using OpenSSL: openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -salt -in file.txt -out file.enc (this is available from the command line on machines with real operating systems like Linux and OS X, and via a little bit more grunting and squealing on Windows). mv file.enc ~/Dropbox; srm -z file.txt. With a strong password (e.g. 20 truly random characters) this is very secure. Distribution of the password can be accomplished via the standard public key methods, which OpenSSL has full support for.

    The spooks know full well that all their prying is only ever going to catch the low-hanging fruit. There are so many back-channels available to the true bad guys that attempting to supervise them all is a fool’s errand. I tend to assume that every request by the ‘security’ authorities is at the behest of the tax authorities.

  • Laird

    Michio Kaku is of the belief that Moore’s Law is on its last legs. It’s difficult to argue with the fundamental physics. Enjoy it while it lasts!

  • It’s difficult to argue with the fundamental physics.

    Until the ‘fundamental’ physics changes again.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Dale, as our resident commentator on engines and stuff, when are you going to mention Skylon? According to some news items here in Australia, they hope to be ready to showcase their engine (the Sabre), and plane, at farnsborough air show.
    Any updates on that? If Pommy invaders are only 4 hours away from us at any time, we need to know!

  • Dale Amon

    They have had a successful test of the heat exchanger but I think they have a way to go before they actually build the engine.

    I have been following Bond for decades and I am sure he will succeed eventually… I am just not sanguine that his success is any nearer than the end of this decade.

    When they start firing engines I’ll probably talk more about them.