Fake Flash, Google Sites, GC, Plundervolt, ECS, RDP/UDP, MS Teams

  • Friend bought 512 GB USB drive and complained that it seems unusually slow (10MB/s contiguous write). I said that I suspect that it's probably a fake drive. He gave me the drive and I checked it out. Immediately the device controller ID made me suspicious. 048D:1234, it revealed that these controllers are commonly used with fake drives. Ok... Doing some random writes and immediately verifying the writes seemed to work well. So if it's a scam, the software is hiding that. But there's one way to be sure if the drive can hold the amount of data it says. I just used it as raw block device, and wrote it full of cryptographically strong pseudorandom data. When writing to device it was interesting to notice that around 32 million octets (bytes) were written at the rate of 10MB/s, but after that rate dropped to average of 4.5 MB/s with quite large jitter. That's that's strange. And made me even more suspicious. Well, as you might already guess how the verify write round went. No surprises there, at around ~30 gibibytes (GiB) the verify process failed. So, it seems that the flash device is around 32 gigabytes and there's a software / firmware fakery which utilizes around 4 last gigabytes to reflect the last writes outside the range of the first 28 GB. Creating partition bit smaller than 32 GB doesn't get corrupted, but the last 4 GB is clearly slower than the beginning. If the partition or the data amount written to the flash drive is any more than 32 gigabytes, then the last 4 GB of the drive start to get overwritten again. No surprise that the drive was initially formatted with exFAT, because it utilizes beginning of the drive first. If you format the drive with something different like ext4 with uses block groups, or you'll use GPT (with backup copies at the very end of the drive) with the device, which are outside the beginning of the drive, those get corrupted really fast. I told the guy to ask for 100% refund, but it remains to be seen how the story ends. Finally the drive ended up with 28 GB partition, which avoid the slow fake area for data security reasons. With that kind of partitioning, the only data in the "fake" are is the backup copy of GPT and it doesn't get corrupted because there are no extra writes to that area after initialization of the device with GPT. - Selling devices like these is extra 4ss move, people might write lot of data to it, if they use exFAT and only verify data written last, they might not notice that stuff written after the initial data, starts getting corrupted on the device. Really bleep deal. At least the seller refunded the purchase.

  • Time it takes to publish this site on Google Sites is also something ridiculous. I'll make two roughly 4 KB text posts and links to the blog page, update date in front page. So total of 4 change documents. Totaling less than 100KB, and it takes almost a minute to publish. Talk about high performance cloud computing, ha ha ha. When I used my own CMS platform, or even Jekyll, operations like that lasted milliseconds and with Jekyll whole site publishing took less than a second (when templates weren't changed) and files were also updated to the web-servers.

  • Modern garbage collection: Part 1 and Part 2. Great posts, about garbage collectors design choices, architecture, performance measurements and drawbacks. KW: Shenandoah, ZGC, GC, latency, overhead, pause length, memory fragmentation, etc.

  • Plundervolt - Too complex systems are just so vulnerable in so many ways. Yet another good example of that.

  • Emergency Communication Systems (ECS) - Yet most of the internet based system solutions aren't that useful in case of wider crisis, when power networks go down etc.

  • Made a clickbait clicker service. When I encounter annoying clickbait, I'll just submit the URL to the click bait clicker service. It will keep clicking the link 10 times per second for 10 days, providing them a nice 8.64 million clicks. I hope the clickbait creators are happy, with their results. If the service uses IPv6 addresses, every click will come from random IPv6 address (yet in same /64).

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop UDP is totally broken, hangs constantly. So annoying. Thank you for that.

  • Microsoft Teams is still crashing when using clipboard with it. Crashes both, word and teams when copy pasting content. Again, thanks for quality software.

  • Something different? Geopolymer.