It didn’t help when Intel’s patch proved buggy and caused some systems to reboot.
While this wasn’t just an Intel problem, it is, as Lunden pointed out, “one of the world’s biggest chip makers,” and as such it bore the brunt of the bad reaction. It didn’t help that the company had been aware of the vulnerability for some time or that Krzanich had sold a substantial amount of stock in November, and had filed the intent to sell those shares after the company had learned about the bugs.
This week at CES, the company addressed the problem (at least to some extent), as Lunden reported, but a show like CES has the advantage of being a stage for a number of new technologies. The company began making a flurry of announcements, planned long before the chip flaws became public last week.
It started with the announcement of a 49 Qubit quantum computing chip. If you want to change the conversation, building one of the fastest quantum computing chips in the world is one way to do it (IBM announced in November that it had built a 50 qubit prototype).
In fact, the company made a total of six announcements that we covered at TechCrunch this week involving drones, autonomous cars and cinematic VR, among other things.
All of this seems to me to be about using various degrees of showmanship and technological acumen to try and change the subject. It’s likely that Meltdown and Spectre will continue to haunt Intel and other chip makers for some time to come.
While it’s important to note that there haven’t been any documented breaches from this vulnerability, it has created a serious perception problem for Intel and its competitors, especially since they have chosen from an engineering perspective to optimize their chips for speed over security for many years, paving the way for these vulnerabilities.