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M e la ne e

Happy 2018 dear Seeker readers!


The new year is the perfect time to re-evaluate old goals and pursue new dreams. Scott Kelly's Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery is an incredibly inspiring and fascinating read that shows readers that any dream is possible and that it is never too late to discover your true path in life.

Kelly, an American astronaut, is now famous for having completed a record-breaking year-long stay on the International Space Station (ISS) from March 2015 to March 2016. The ISS is a habitable space station orbiting Earth where astronauts live and work in zero-gravity, conducting research and experiments on astronomy, human biology, physics, medicine, and other fields - the results of which could have a profound impact on human life, whether it's a better understanding of the process of aging or of dangerous weather patterns. The ISS is also important as it represents the good that can come from nations of the world working together rather than fighting; the components of the ISS and the astronauts inside are from all over the world, and the ISS is the largest peacetime international project in history. Enduranceis Kelly's record of his time aboard the ISS, as well as a personal biography detailing his middle class childhood and his poor school performance, to his discovery of his passion for difficult and dangerous missions and his determination to achieve his lofty goals of becoming a fighter jet pilot and an astronaut. He covers the strenuous and intimidating interview process at NASA, such as the claustrophobia test where applicants are zipped into a thick rubber bag and shut into a closet for an indeterminate amount of time: with the small spaces in shuttles and the ISS, astronauts can't be afraid of tight spaces.


Kelly volunteered for the year-long mission to the ISS because he wanted to help scientists understand the long-term effects of being in space on the human body. It is worth undertaking such a risky mission for Kelly - the risk of launch, of spacewalks, of living in a metal container orbiting the Earth at 17,500 miles per hour - because the data scientists will receive from this mission will take us that much closer to travelling to Mars someday, and beyond.




By the time you read this, it will be too late. For those with computers that have AMD CPUs, you have no worries. You are safe. And, more than that, your computer's performance is almost 100% likely to not have been affected.

However, according to several technology news sites and independent researchers, the same cannot be said for those with Intel CPUs. As initially reported by The Register, a design flaw in almost all Intel CPUs manufactured in the past decade, or possibly more, has created a chip-level security bug. As inferred in the article, it is conceivable that a computer could be compromised by a bit of JavaScript in a web browser. But don't worry, no malicious code makers would want to hack the average user's computer. No, they will be targeting cloud storage servers, banking systems, crypto currency sites, national security and defense systems. In an attempt to obfuscate the matter and put some positive spin on the situation, Intel issued a statement that grouped two identified threats, termed Meltdown and Spectre. Well, Intel, Meltdown is all yours. AMD, having different internal architecture, is very likely immune to the three identified modes associated with Meltdown. By the way, both of these threats have been known to Intel for at least 6 months. The intense flurry of activity over the past few weeks appears to stem from someone in the tech community leaking the results of testing to the public. Makes me wonder how much longer they would have waited to address the situation if it had not been leaked. Anyway, the big problem with the fix is that it may be worse than the cure, at least for the average computer user. Independent testing has shown that the operating system patch - and I mean ALL operating systems Mac OS, iOS, Windows, Linux, etc - that run on Intel CPUs will reduce processor throughput by 17% to 23% (according to some researchers) or potentially by as much as 30% .

Endurance is also full of funny and interesting facts about space travel. Kelly talks about operating the first espresso maker in space, tweeting with Obama from the ISS, and how everyday actions work in space, from going to the bathroom to what to wear (Kelly has a favourite black T-shirt he has worn on several space journeys and "has to be one of the most traveled pieces of clothing in the history of clothing."). Endurance is entertaining and inspiring, and a great read to start 2018 with. It is available at the Cornwall Public Library and Coles at the Cornwall Square. M ela nee's pa ssion for r ea ding bega n at a young a ge, culminating in a M a ster 's degr ee in English Liter atur e fr om the Univer sity of Ottawa a nd a desir e to pr omote liter a cy a nd cultur e, sta r ting her e at Cor nwa ll's loca Seeker newspa per . The Book Nook pr ovides book r eviews of both newly r elea sed novels a bout to hit bookstor es a nd exciting books ca r r ied at The Cor nwa ll Public Libr a r y (including loca l author s). I nquir ies a nd comments may be sent to cor nwa llbookr

Intel has stated that this decrease in performance is unlikely. Why don't I trust that statement? Hmmm. Woody Leonhard at has an article that sums it up nicely " I?m continuing to recommend that you hold off on applying this month?s ?Early Patch Tuesday? patches. The pieces aren?t all ready yet, and you?re not in a high-risk situation.". You see, the various OS patches may not all work properly with your antivirus software. And, to really make sure your computer is secure, the BIOS will also need to be updated. Again, I am talking about the Meltdown exploit. Spectre is a different beast, and it threatens a much wider range of hardware, it isn't like Meltdown in being Intel-centric. However, Spectre would be tremendously more difficult for a hacker to make use of. It may be an exploit, but being able to make use of it would not be an easy task. If you have not updated your OS - Mac OS, iOS, Windows, Linux, etc - good. Don't do it! Wait for a few weeks or maybe a couple months to see how everyone else fared. That's what I am going to do. For those of you with AMD systems, congratulations! Have a great weekend!

THE SEEKER Vol.9 Issue 1 - January 12 - 26 - pg. 11 CLASSIFIED ADS: 613-935-3763 ext 2

Volume 9 issue 1  
Volume 9 issue 1