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November 20, 2021

Daily Tech News 20 November 2021

Top Story

  • Amazon doesn't rouse my ire as often as the other big tech companies. I order stuff from them - though not gluten-free jelly beans, because those seem to be perpetually out of stock - and they drop it on my doorstep. Quick, cheap, no fuss, and a life-changer during the lockdown when many smaller stores were closed (or closed to the unvaxed) and I needed something that I couldn't get in my weekly grocery delivery.

    It's only very recently that Amazon Australia has become useful. When they first launched down under, they only sold digital goods - Kindle books and things like that - which was worse than useless because it required you to change your Kindle account which would lose all the content from the US store. Still does, so far as I know, so I don't use it for that.

    But they are, quietly behind the scenes, amoral scumbags. (Reuters)

    Amazon lobbyists have scuttled dozens of state privacy bills.
    In a statement, Amazon said: "The premise of this story is flawed and includes reporting that relies on early, incomplete drafts of documents to draw incorrect conclusions." The company said it protects consumers' privacy and doesn't sell their data. "We know we must get privacy right in order to meet our customers' high expectations."
    Which is another way of saying, Yes, we did all those things, but we corrected some typos before the email went out.

  • Meanwhile, twelve ordinary men and women, picked at random and fed lies by their own government, once again showed more wisdom and courage than all the nation's self-appointed elites put together.

    Consider me grey-pilled for the rest of the day.

Tech News

  • Samsung is working on DDR6, GDDR6+, and GDDR7 RAM for PCs and video cards. (WCCFTech)

    DDR6 has a planned speed of 12.8GHz, twice as fast as DDR5. GDDR6+ will hit 24GHz - graphics RAM runs faster than motherboard RAM - and GDDR7 32GHz.

  • Speaking of DDR5, there isn't any. (Tom's Hardware)

    I saw this story yesterday but wasn't sure if the source was reliable, though the details are plausible enough. DDR5 memory modules are in short supply, yes, that's easy to confirm. The detail here is that it's not because DDR5 memory chips are hard to get, but because the PMIC - the voltage controller used on each module - is sold out, with a lead time over eight months. And it also costs ten times as much as the equivalent chip on DDR4 modules.

    Given that for most tasks DDR4 actually works out slightly faster than DDR5 - because early DDR5 modules have terrible latency settings - it makes sense to just pretend for now that it doesn't exist.

    In a year or so it will have all settled down and modules with better timings will show the benefits of DDR5, but for now, it's somewhere between a paper tiger and a white elephant.

  • China is probably lying about its supercomputers. (Tom's Hardware)

    The specs and the benchmark numbers don't add up.

  • Amazon Ion is... Wait, I've done that one. (GitHub)

    Yeah. And since then I've come to the conclusion that any data serialisation format that supports comments should be taken out behind the barn and killed with an axe.

  • If you need to keep thousands of different versions of the same program, Elfshaker is for you. (GitHub)

    Most of us don't need to do that, but if you're releasing prebuilt binaries of an application, it's really handy to keep every single version, including all the betas and debug builds. Elfshaker can do that for you - and deliver 4000:1 compression by only storing the differences between the builds.

  • 500 Server Error Unable to unlock car. (Bleeping Computer)

    If you unlock your Tesla with the mobile app and don't keep the key with you, you might want to reconsider that.

  • The ECS LIVA Mini Box QC710 Desktop is a tiny Arm-based Windows PC. (Thurrott.com)

    You can buy it from the Microsoft store and you can see that the tech giant is behind this platform all the way by their strict no refunds policy.

    It runs the Qualcomm 7c processor, which while actually a good bit faster than my own phone - it's an A76 and my phone is the older A73 - is hopelessly slow at running Windows.

    It also has just 4GB of RAM - not user upgradeable - which is pretty woeful for Windows these days. My phone, despite being an older budget model and Android being much lighter than Windows, has 8GB.

  • The FDA wants 55 years to deliver public information on the Pfizer Bat Flu vaccine. (Substack)

    Snopes says "mostly false", which means of course it's entirely true. As I've said before, Barbara was always the brains behind Snopes, and in recent years we've learned that she was also the integrity. Since they split up the site has crashed, burned, and is currently tunneling straight for the Mohorovičić Discontinuity.

  • Do not rely on SMS-based 2FA. (Engadget)

    It can rapidly devolve into 0FA if you're the victim of a SIM swap. In this case costing the victim $36.5 million.

  • The CEO of Citadel outbid a group of crypto investors for a copy of the Constitution. (WSJ)

    My immediate reaction was oh fuck not another $40 million NFT.

    As it turns out, no. An extremely rare actual physical first edition. Which given that people seem determined to burn it to ashes one way or another, may be a sound investment.

    It will be loaned and on display in an Arkansas art museum. Don't know which one because the free part of the article cuts off there.

Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day

Now that is some proper 70s music. Not the 80s come early, not the 60s running late, pure unmistakeable 70s.

Disclaimer: Hand over the nugs and no-one gets hurt.
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