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March 15, 2022

Daily Tech News 15 March 2022

Top Story

  • Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn is in talks with Saudi Arabia to set up a new $9 billion factory in that country. (9to5Mac)

    This makes total sense given Saudi Arabia's renowned pool of low-cost skilled workers.

    Um.

    Actually it does make total sense when you consider that both parties are hedging their bets. Foxconn wants more factories outside of mainland China - it doesn't care so much where they are as long as they're not in China. And Saudi Arabia wants industries other than oil - it doesn't care so much what those industries are, so long as they're not oil.

    Both have tons of money to invest. Both want to invest somewhere other than where they have been investing so far.

    Downside is, Saudi Arabia kind of sucks.

    Upside is, they're not likely to actually launch a missile strike on Foxconn HQ.


Tech News

  • Microsoft is testing ads in the Windows 11 File Explorer. (Bleeping Computer)

    Seriously, Microsoft, WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU DOING?

    The desktop / laptop market is yours. They only thing you need to do is not piss off your users too much. And yet, and yet...


  • QNAP has another severe privilege escalation bug. (Bleeping Computer)

    This time, though, it's not entirely their fault. It's the "Dirty Pipe" bug that affects all recent versions of the Linux kernel.

    But mainstream Linux releases have already been patched. QNAP's version has not.


  • Twitter has rolled back a change that tried to force users into their awful algorithmically-driven "Home" timeline. (The Verge)




  • Speaking of privilege escalation bugs in Linux there's another one. (The Hacker News, which is not the same site as Hacker News)

    Please not.


  • Google is being evil again. (Ars Technica)

    In this case they have on online app for ordering food from restaurants. They set up helpful pages for restaurants who join the program where customers can order food online. And being Google, they preferentially link their own ordering pages from search results.

    Also, being Google, they create these online ordering pages even for restaurants that do not join the program. And preferentially link to those pages rather than to the restaurant's own website.

    Google has responded to the lawsuit, saying:
    We are not doing what we are obviously doing. We will vigorously defend ourselves from these baseless claims of malfeasance which are obviously true and which we completely deny. We did not create the hundreds of thousands of web pages in our application we we run and link to them from our search engine and we don't know who did, and in fact, they're probably not there at all. Dave, can we scrub those, like, now?


  • There is something of a kerfuffle in the physics world right now over room-temperature superconductors. (Science)

    One group published a paper claiming they had created a room-temperature (though not STP) superconductor. Another researcher got hold of some of their raw data and, not mincing words, called it a case of "probable scientific fraud". Then things started to get heated.

    Both parties have had papers removed from prepublishing site arXiv.
    Hellman says the superconductor controversy may stem in part from the ethos of physics, which has historically encouraged combativeness. "The culture of physics is one that is more aggressive and not very welcoming," Hellman says, which can lead to accusatory language ending up in papers. She would like to see that change. "I flinch at some of the language being used."
    Oh, grow up and quit whining. If they're not actually calling for pistols at dawn, leave them to it.


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