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Saturday Overnight Open Thread (4/2/22) | Main | EMT 4-03-22
April 03, 2022

Daily Tech News 3 April 2022

Top Story

Questions and Answers

  • From golfman:
    Since you mentioned VPN. Is it worth it for regular ole intertube surfers that do pay some bills online? If so, which do you suggest?
    Definitely not any of the free ones. There's a reason they're free.

    The gold standard is ProtonVPN, but that's overkill for just paying bills online. In fact, unless you're paying bills online using public wifi, you should be fine without a VPN at all.

  • From Daniel Ream:
    Since Ubiquiti seems to be a bunch of dumbf*cks now - I have an ER-X and an old AC Lite AP. They've served me well enough but I'm thinking of upgrading. Having been a network/sysadmin in a former life I liked the prosumer level of customizability. Is there a good company out there that makes similar reliable hardware I can configure at a low level? Please note I'm not interested in doinking around with custom open source firmware, it never lives up to the hype.
    Good question.

    Don't know.

    I was looking for a central switch for the new house and was considering Ubiquiti. Now, of course, I'm not.

    But what else is there in the professional-but-not-enterprise space? I'll need to do some research.

  • From antisocial justice beatnik:
    Anyone here use Skiff? It's selling itself as an end-to-end encrypted replacement for Goolag Docs. Sounds interesting but I've not yet tried it myself.
    When anything's free you have to look for the catch, but in this case they're pretty obviously trying to push users onto their paid plans.

    Which is fine.

    I don't know how well it works, but given the rate at which Google is rotting from within, it's worth a look.

  • From buzzion:
    Hey Pixy, so the other day you mentioned Youtube getting a bunch of free movies and TV shows but it wasn't really released anywhere.

    Might want to try this? Here are their free to watch movies.

    And here are there free to watch tv shows.

    There is a chance you might not be able to see them since you're in Australia. The shows don't really impress me, though I may decide to watch Andromeda from the beginning.
    Yes, I had found links to the movies and TV sections.

    The problem is the movie link (yours is different but displays the same selection in the end) only displays about 10% of the available content - you can't scroll or search for more, you just get whatever 10% they choose to show you.

    And the TV link doesn't work for me in Australia. Yours gives me a blank page; the one I found elsewhere actually gives me a purple monkey error.

  • From crasey:
    Any news on updating the broken "access comments" link from to
    Sorry about the delays. It's not that hard to fix by I'm a little distracted just now.

  • From Clover4Leaf:
    I'm considering upgrading from 500GB to 2TB M.2 NVM in my new Dell laptop running Win10Pro. According to Dell's upgrade options, I need to get a PCIe Gen4 M.2 if I go to 2TB. I'm about to pull trigger and buy a Samsung 980 Pro, but I've heard concerns about heat on larger M.2 NVMs.
    Is heat something I should be concerned about and only upgrade to 1TB Gen3 M.2 NVM, which is a Dell supported upgrade option?
    I can speak with reasonably authority here because I just recently opened up a Dell laptop and swapped the existing 500GB M.2 drive for a 4TB PCIe 3.0 model.

    Works fine.

    Well, the first time around it didn't boot, but I opened it up again, wiggled things around, and it was fine after that.

    Heat is an issue for PCIe 4.0 drives. It won't overheat your laptop but the drive itself might slow down. High-end desktop SSDs now come with heatsinks, but obviously that won't fit in a laptop.
    Also, I have Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office which has a disk migration capability. I read that they can't migrate a disk that has Win10 BitLocker enabled, which is currently enabled.
    Can I just disable BitLocker on my current drive, migrate to the larger NVM and then reenable BitLocker on the larger NVM when I install it?
    Very good question and I have no idea. I did a fresh install of mine and avoided all that.

  • From Nemo:
    Pixy, I like my Kindle's hardware, but detest its OS - in particular, the fact that there is no way to snitching to amazon about what I've been reading, other than putting it on airplane mode permanently. So, I've been thinking of replacing it with a tablet. My needs are modest: to read e-books, listen to music, watch the occasional movie, surf the web, and read email. My requirements are that should be small enough that I can read it easily while lying in bed (so I can read without disturbing my wife), and that it run Linux (preferably Ubuntu - and yes, I can do the installation myself, assuming I can root the thing). And also, cheaper is better. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, I'd appreciate it if you'd share them.
    There are not a lot of good small tablets around at the moment. I have the Lenovo Tab M8 FHD and I'm happy with it for the price. 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, microSD slot, 8 core A53, and a quite good 1920x1200 screen.

    It reportedly can be unlocked and reimaged, but I haven't tried it myself.

  • From Big D:
    I have a similar question to Nemo's: I would like an e-reader that does a good job with pdfs, doesn't spy on me excessively, and either has copious fixed storage or (preferably) expandable storage via an internal card reader or an external USB-C reader. And, finally, the most difficult requirement: that it not cost significantly more than a cheap laptop that would vastly outperform it in every category *except* power consumption.
    I've heard claims that you need a 10" Android-based e-reader in order to effectively read pdfs, but most of those are well into the laptop price-range.
    You probably don't want the Lenovo Tab M8 FHD for this; the old A53 cores are underpowered for handling PDFs.

    The Galaxy Tab A8, apart from the larger 10" screen, has the A75 core which will be more than twice as fast for things like viewing PDFs.

  • From rd:
    Help! After I hit post on a comment, the new comment page appears as http, not a secure https page.
    Right, I know what's going on there. I'll fix that.

  • From davogeek:
    In one of your prior posts you mentioned you do a lot of work with NFTs. I work with a disabled veterans charity and was contemplating using a series of NFTs as a funding source to advance their work....any suggestions...
    My advice with regards to fundraising using NFTs is not to do it.

    Which is my advice for pretty much everything relating to blockchains.

Tech News

  • Vizio TVs now have software that wll display additional ads over live TV. (Flat Panels HD)

    Make the case better than I could myself to just buy a large-format computer monitor. Vizio makes significantly more money from advertising than from selling their products, so this is only going to get worse.

  • American Express: Don't leave home. (Bleeping Computer)

    American Express went down.

    Worldwide, apparently.

    Including the mobile app, their online account pages, and internal phone system, which is a pretty spectacular level of fail.

  • Horrible corner cases when dealing with music. (Artificial truth)
    My favourite: a band named brouillard, with a single member called brouillard, whose every single album is named brouillard, and of course, so is every track.
    I can see how that might be mildly irritating.

Disclaimer: Mildly irritating like ghost peppers to the eyes.
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