Tech News of the Week for 9/21/2023 [MTG010]

Posted on Thursday, Sep 21, 2023 | Series: Moar Tech Garbage
Web3 is DOA, AI worse than crypto for environment, and MOVEit breach still breaching.


[00:00:01.050] Announcer: Welcome to Tech News of the Week with your host, Jasmine McMillan. Seamstress for the stars.

[00:00:08.060] Ned: Welcome to Tomahawk network of Wednesdays.

[00:00:12.210] Chris: Yeah, Thursdays.

[00:00:14.930] Ned: Oh, wow. That was incredibly wrong. Moving on, this is our weekly Tech News short podcasts that comes out on Thursdays. We’re going to start with a story about Web Three, but don’t run away, because it’s ranty and fun. Web adoption could come from startups. So says an article published on TechCrunch Plus last week, which is behind a paywall, and I refuse to read the entire thing because it is stupid on its face, and clearly someone hasn’t gotten the memo about Web Three yet. The portion above the fold that I can read starts with, quote, as the race for enterprise adoption in Web Three accelerates, end quote. And I’m just going to stop you there, Jacqueline Melanick. No one outside of the Web Three echo chamber is saying that with the exception of a few diehard NFT holdouts crypto, true believers, and the most desperate of con artists, the evidence that Web Three is enterprise focused, the article says the booming NFT market from Nike and Starbucks, which what? In fairness to Jacqueline, she has to cover the Web Three space for TechCrunch. And this rainbows and sunshines delusion is coming from deep within the echo chamber.

[00:01:43.800] Ned: That is Korea Blockchain Week. It’s a whole week dedicated to a nascent technology that has found an awkward fit in niche use cases so small that leptons are like, Damn, you tiny. The overwhelming reality is that Web Three fervor has dried up, and now everyone is gushing about AI, which may be so hyped up at this point that Flava Flav is on notice, but at least it has real world applications. Horribly dystopian applications, sure, but real world nonetheless. Did I write a whole post to complain about a ridiculous article I barely read? Yes. Does that describe most web? Three adherents. Also, yes.

[00:02:32.770] Chris: Another weird conference thing is happening in Philadelphia, so hot on the heels of the upcoming October 2, 3rd DevOps Day conference.

[00:02:44.370] Ned: Which has now been postponed until May 2024.

[00:02:48.310] Chris: What?

[00:02:49.670] Ned: Yeah.

[00:02:53.110] Chris: That we talked about a few weeks ago and I totally forgot about. Another local conference is happening in the City of Brotherly Love. Well, conference might not be the right word. This one is called the Bar Camp Philly, which is where innovation meets community, apparently, and they call it an unconference. So the idea here is interesting. There is not so much a set schedule per se. Basically everybody who is coming can come with some cards that have a listing of ideas that they might want to talk about. It is usually tech centered, but it doesn’t have to be. The group of attendees then decides what and when the topics of conversation will be. So there’s voting and networking and I assume burned coffee always. Don’t you love networking? Anyway, as a concept, it actually seems kind of fun. Or it could be a complete disaster. Which could also be kind of fun.

[00:04:13.970] Ned: Yeah.

[00:04:15.250] Chris: And as a benefit, the full price ticket is only $15. So if this kind of thing is your jam, baby, sign up and show up at Wharton, which is on Penn’s campus on November 18.

[00:04:34.150] Ned: I might just have to do that. The reason I know that the DevOps Days conference was postponed is because I actually submitted two talks and I got back an email saying we’ve moved it.

[00:04:48.350] Chris: Okay, did they say why?

[00:04:52.030] Ned: I don’t think they had enough vendor support and sponsorship yet, and they were trying to build up more before they held the conference, so it could be a proper one, I think. Think crypto was bad for the environment. AI says hold my alcoholic containment vessel. Courtesy of the Register, comes a recent white paper from French multinational national company Schneider Electric. No relation to the multinational ass hat Rob Schneider. The paper takes a closer look at the coming power demands for AI workloads. And boy, do they love some energy. We’ve been through this before with cryptocurrency, which also ate up electricity on massive rigs full of GPUs for highly dubious purposes. The GPUs remain, as does the dubiousness of said workloads. But I digress. AI workloads generally need two things power hungry GPUs to train models and high speed networks to coordinate training runs between said GPUs. And when I say high speed, I’m talking greater than 900 gigabits per second. In fact, the goal is to keep GPUs as close together as possible with minimum latency, which leads to extremely high rack density. How dense? Consider the average rack in a data center runs at about ten to 20 would be at the high end.

[00:06:30.990] Ned: These servers are running at 10. Server Schneider posits that power delivery to the racks will need to be scaled up accordingly, and overall power requirements of data centers will spike as well. What about all the heat built up by these GPUs? Liquid cooling is the natural answer, which is a nightmare to set up and maintain. But with all the money being poured into AI right now, where there’s a billion, there’s a way.

[00:07:05.130] Chris: Move It breach from God a long ass time ago continues to wreak havoc. Y’all remember the whole ServiceNow hack that kind of broke like a thousand companies? That wasn’t the first supply chain type of attack, but it was certainly a pretty high profile one. Well, hot on its heels, we had another one MoveIt, a company that sells, well, actually it’s progress sells MoveIt, which is secure file transfer software, and it suffered a major exploit over Memorial Day weekend, and the effects are still being seen. In general, if the software was open to the Internet, which it usually is, since it’s file transfer software, it was compromisable and regularly compromised at the time, shodan identified 2510 possible move in targets. Move It targets, I guess, also move.

[00:08:05.530] Ned: In for like, bad actors look around. Take whatever you want. Yeah.

[00:08:12.030] Chris: Recent publicity announced victims as wide ranging as the BBC, Shell, Australia, Radisson Hotels and Johns Hopkins University. Did I mention that this exploit happened five freaking months ago?

[00:08:28.290] Ned: You may have.

[00:08:30.130] Chris: In addition to these, some high profile victims have been and continue to be banks and bank customers are apparently displeased. Displeased enough, in fact, to sue. A class action complaint was filed in Massachusetts on the 7 September alleging that the defendants in this case fidelity bank of America Corbridge Financial, F and G, annuities the Pension Benefit Company and, of course, move its owner progress software. The suit alleges negligence and that the defendants have, quote, done little to provide affected customers with relief unquote, which is probably true. People I know who would qualify as plaintiffs have either gotten a nothing or b a free credit monitoring service subscription, which, as we all know, is effectively the same as A. So it’s extremely early days. We will see if this suit ever goes anywhere. But me, personally, I am not believing that I will get the usual 1.74 cent windfall until I see it.

[00:09:41.290] Ned: Yeah, that sounds about right. Why is it that a free credit monitoring subscription is like the thing that they offer? At least buy me, I don’t know, a case of tasty cakes or something. Something I would actually want.

[00:09:59.390] Chris: You mean you don’t want a free monitoring service?

[00:10:03.250] Ned: I already have ten and I don’t use any of them because they’re all awful and they’ll probably leak my data anyway.

[00:10:11.090] Chris: They all also ironically use move it.

[00:10:14.530] Ned: Of course they do. Well, that’s it. That’s all we have to say. Go away now. Bye.


Chris Hayner

Chris Hayner (He/Him)

Our story starts with a young Chris growing up in the agrarian community of Central New Jersey. Son of an eccentric sheep herder, Chris’ early life was that of toil and misery. When he wasn’t pressing cheese for his father’s failing upscale Fromage emporium, he languished on a meager diet of Dinty Moore and boiled socks. His teenage years introduced new wrinkles in an already beleaguered existence with the arrival of an Atari 2600. While at first it seemed a blessed distraction from milking ornery sheep, Chris fell victim to an obsession with achieving the perfect Pitfall game. Hours spent in the grips of Indiana Jones-esque adventure warped poor Chris’ mind and brought him to the maw of madness. It was at that moment he met our hero, Ned Bellavance, who shepherded him along a path of freedom out of his feverish, vine-filled hellscape. To this day Chris is haunted by visions of alligator jaws snapping shut, but with the help of Ned, he freed himself from the confines of Atari obsession to become a somewhat productive member of society. You can find Chris at coin operated laundromats, lecturing ironing boards for being itinerant. And as the cohost on the Chaos Lever podcast.

Ned Bellavance

Ned Bellavance (He/Him)

Ned is an industry veteran with piercing blue eyes, an indomitable spirit, and the thick hair of someone half his age. He is the founder and sole employee of the ludicrously successful Ned in the Cloud LLC, which has rocked the tech world with its meteoric rise in power and prestige. You can find Ned and his company at the most lavish and exclusive tech events, or at least in theory you could, since you wouldn’t actually be allowed into such hallowed circles. When Ned isn’t sailing on his 500 ft. yacht with Sir Richard Branson or volunteering at a local youth steeplechase charity, you can find him doing charity work of another kind, cohosting the Chaos Lever podcast with Chris Hayner. Really, he’s doing Chris a huge favor by even showing up. You should feel grateful Chris. Oaths of fealty, acts of contrition, and tokens of appreciation may be sent via carrier pigeon to his palatial estate on the Isle of Man.