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August 06, 2021

Daily Tech News 6 August 2021

Top Story

  • In Apple's defense, they're only spying on your children. (Ars Technica)

    Ace touched on this: Apple's touted new feature for iOS 15 is that it will secretly scan all the photos on your device and your cloud storage, secretly compare them with a secret catalogue of designated bad things, and then very publicly send the details to the feds.

    Initially it will only - they say - invade your privacy this way if you're a child. Which makes everything so much better.

    Even (most of) the idiots at Ars Technica are up in arms about this. Wade far enough into the comments and there's someone who will excuse anything. (Rule One: Never read the comments.)

    End-to-end encryption means that nobody in the middle can see your private content. But when one party - which is to say, Apple - controls both ends, they can do whatever the fuck they want. And what they want to do is spy on you.

    For your own good.

    The EFF is unimpressed. (EFF)

    This is not so much a slippery slope as an express elevator to hell.

  • Remember, Apple cares about your privacy. They won't allow anyone else to violate it.

    Fans of YouTubers can no longer send in gifts - even via a management company - thanks to Apple's AirTags. I think a really big induction coil could solve this problem though. Drop it from orbit right into Cupertino.

Tech News

  • Intel's upcoming Alder Lake CPUs include up to 8 high-performance cores and 8 high-efficiency cores, to reduce power consumption when you're not running heavy workloads.

    How well does this work? Signs are, it doesn't. (WCCFTech)

    Power deliver specs for the new 12th gen chips are 50-100W higher than for 10th and 11th gen, which are infamously power hungry.

    On the other hand, it comes with PCIe 5.0. That could account for a chunk of that increase; running I/O at 32Gbps isn't easy.

  • Adata has announced ECC DDR5 memory modules running at up to 12600MHz in capacities up to 64GB. (WCCFTech)

    Still no dates or prices, but the capacity is new information. I was certainly not expecting 64GB modules this soon.

  • The Ryzen 5600G and 5700G desktop APUs are available now. (WCCFTech)

    I checked and it's true. I might switch around the planned config for my new Linux system. Again.

    If you just want basic graphics - enough for playing Minecraft and running two 4K monitors - these will handle it without paying the current 50-100% markups on video cards. Performance doesn't trail too far behind the CPU-only versions - and they're actually cheaper.

  • I might be getting a second Dell laptop, since they're having a major sale (they usually are, true) and I just had two HP laptops expire on me.

    This one would be the Inspiron 16 Plus. 8-core Intel CPU, 3072x1920 16" screen, 16GB RAM (upgradeable), 512GB NVMe SSD (also upgradeable), RTX 3050 with 4GB RAM, which again is plenty for Minecraft, and a... Numeric keypad.

    Not my favourite layout, but probably better than not having the Four Essential Keys at all.

    With the SSD, it actually has two M.2 slots. One 2230 size, and one 2280 size. It seems to ship with a 2230-size drive, so you can just drop in a full-size unit to upgrade it.

    There's a model with 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 3060, but it's not on sale so it would cost twice as much. And I already have 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

  • A personal tale of getting put on a secret list. (Areoform)

    The author had the good fortune to share the name of someone working with a sanctioned company. That meant they couldn't receive funds from, basically, anyone. And they couldn't get taken off the list either, because none of this is coded into law and there's no oversight whatsoever. And that leads to lives being destroyed, if not cancelled entirely:
    In my case, when the programmers punted to the KYC department and legal, a bunch of transactions were cancelled. In this case, the police will raid your house and arrest you for "child porn."

    The image they will raid you for wouldn't even necessarily have to be an adult one. Computers are strange. They are very literal beings. They do exactly what they are told, which is both their greatest asset and weakness. For example, this neural network thinks that this cat is guacamole.
    A recent test showed that putting a label that said "iPod" on an apple fooled an image recognition AI into believing that it was an iPod.

    And that's what Apple is foisting upon you.

  • Oh, and the US government plans to track you everywhere you go. (The Intercept)

    If you're going to tax cars by the mile you have to know how many miles they travel, and they are planning to do this in the most invasive way possible.

    The data - if this goes through - will of course also leak. All of it.

  • Google's new Nest cameras work even without a subscription fee. (Ars Technica)

    Well, that's novel. Almost as if you own what you bought.

Disclaimer: Thanks to Apple for putting a couple of grand extra into my Linux server budget. If an issue comes up at work and I need a Mac to fix it, it just won't get fixed.
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