Web Excursions 2021-06-23

gir.st - What's Inside the EU Green Pass QR Code?


Using a little bit of python, we can extract the following data from the payload, which I annotated by consulting the Green Pass schema.

{-260: {1: {'dob': '1998-02-26', date of birth             'nam': {'fn': 'Musterfrau-Gößinger', family name                     'fnt': 'MUSTERFRAU<GOESSINGER',                     'gn': 'Gabriele', given name                     'gnt': 'GABRIELE'},             'v': [{'ci': 'URN:UVCI:01:AT:10807843F94AEE0EE5093FBC254BD813#B', certificate ID                    'co': 'AT', country of vaccination                    'dn': 1, doses received                    'dt': '2021-02-18', date of vaccination                    'is': 'Ministry of Health, Austria', cert issuer                    'ma': 'ORG-100030215', vaccine manufacturer                    'mp': 'EU/1/20/1528', vaccine product id                    'sd': 2, total number of doses                    'tg': '840539006', targeted disease (COVID-19)                    'vp': '1119349007'}], vaccine or prophylaxis             'ver': '1.2.1'}}, schema version  1: 'AT', QR code issuer  4: 1624458597, QR code expiry  6: 1624285797} QR code generated 
  • As you can see,

    • 23 year-old Gabriele was vaccinated in February,

    • once,

    • with BioNTech/Pfizer's Comirnaty.

  • What is not included is the date during which she is considered immune.

    • Those are calculated from the number of shots received and the date of vaccination,

    • as well as the circumstances (going to a restaurant vs. going to work, for example) by the scanner app.

  • Apart from the name/manufacturer of the received vaccine, there is no superfluous data inside, so the QR code is not a privacy nightmare

Brave Search beta now available

  • Brave Search is built on top of a completely independent index, and doesn’t track users, their searches, or their clicks.

  • will become the default search in the Brave browser later this year.

  • recently passed 32 million monthly active users

  • Transparency:

    • no secret methods or algorithms to bias results,

    • and soon, community-curated open ranking models to ensure diversity and prevent algorithmic biases and outright censorship.

  • Brave Search will typically be answering most queries, reflected by a high independence metric.

    • However for some features, like searching for images, Brave Search will fetch results from Microsoft Bing.

  • Includes anonymized contributions from the community to improve and refine results

    • there are types of queries, as well as certain areas such as image search, for which our results are not relevant enough yet,

    • and in those cases we are using APIs until we are able to expand our index

  • Will offer options for both ad-free paid search and ad-supported free search later.

Hacker News

  • fowlie: After using the duck for a couple of years, I have become better at two things:

    • Reading man pages or official documentation sites before opening a search engine

    • Thinking of more precise search keywords, as I got used to duck not helping me as much as google

State of the Windows, part 2: Did Windows 10 slow down with each feature update? – NTDEV

  • Installation time: get a bit slower, but not to a dramatic extent; might be caused by the fact that subsequent releases of Windows 10 use more disk space

  • Boot time: The boot times did in fact get slower with subsequent builds. This is probably caused by the new security technologies implemented in newer builds of Windows, as well as the new services introduced.

  • Win32 applications: most likely open slower in newer builds of Windows.

  • UWP apps: dramatically slower with subsequent feature updates.

Your CPU May Have Slowed Down on Wednesday | Performance Matters

  • On Skylake and Ice Lack processors, filling with zeros on Tuesday is substantially faster than the same benchmark on Wednesday, at least when the region no longer fits in the L2 cache

  • These hosts run Ubuntu 20.04 and on Wednesday June 8th an update to the intel-microcode OS package was released.

    • After a reboot, this loads the CPU with new microcode that causes the behavior shown above. Specifically, this microcode disables the hardware zero store optimization

  • Raw CPU performance can silently change due to microcode updates

    • and most Linux distributions and modern Windows have these updates enabled by default.


  • marcyb5st: In Linux you can pass mitigations=off as a kernel boot time switch

  • nullify88: On Windows you'll have to delete C:\Windows\System32\mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll to prevent Windows applying Intel microcode updates. Whatever microcode is in the bios, it will use that. There are also ways to modify the BIOS to update or downgrade its microcode.