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April 17, 2022

Daily Tech News 17 April 2022

Top Story

  • Why the past ten years of American life have been uniquely stupid. (The Atlantic)

    The story of Babel is the best metaphor I have found for what happened to America in the 2010s, and for the fractured country we now inhabit. Something went terribly wrong, very suddenly. We are disoriented, unable to speak the same language or recognize the same truth. We are cut off from one another and from the past.
    Babel is a metaphor for what some forms of social media have done to nearly all of the groups and institutions most important to the country's future—and to us as a people. How did this happen? And what does it portend for American life?
    There is a direction to history and it is toward cooperation at larger scales.
    Historically, civilizations have relied on shared blood, gods, and enemies to counteract the tendency to split apart as they grow. But what is it that holds together large and diverse secular democracies such as the United States and India, or, for that matter, modern Britain and France?
    Commies. A universally shared loathing of journalists.

Questions and Answers

  • From HarrysNotHere:
    Are thunderbolt graphics card boxes worth considering for gaming?
    Up to mid-range graphics cards, yes. You'd lose some speed from an RTX 3080 but below that it should cope pretty well.
    If so, does thunderbolt 4 make a huge difference in performance?
    Compared to Thunderbolt 3, none whatsoever. Both have the same PCIe throughput of 40Gbps; Thunderbolt 4 just has updated USB support and a refined spec.
    Finally, because I'm a masochist, do any of them work with Linux?
    In theory they should, because it's essentially just a hardware PCIe<->PCIe bridge. How well that translates to practice I'm not sure.

  • From Mrs. Peel:
    Remember I asked about small Android phones? Samsung has just come out with the Galaxy S22. I read some reviews, and it looks pretty good. What do you think?
    I have a lower-end Samsung phone now - the A52s - which I bought when I needed 5G support while my wired internet was out after getting hit by lightning.

    The hardware even on low-end models is great. Well worth the money.

    The UI is a bit of a nuisance. I'll have to see if I can get it to accept NovaLauncher as the default interface.

  • From Devildog Dan:
    Pixy, you have mentioned manufacturers of TVs putting in advertising into their systems, Jump Ads I think was the term for them. Can a Pi-Hole server block those ads without losing functionality? (Don't worry, I whitelist the AoSHQ.)
    Blipverts, right.

    There was some discussion of that on my blog. The answer is maybe. You do need to provide an internet connection, or otherwise your TV might connect to the first open WiFi router it can find. But if you do that you should be able to block everything by default and then allow access only to things the TV legitimately needs to function.

  • From sithkhan:
    I am getting ready to build my next desktop PC - Windows 10 - has there been a solution to migrate all my data from the old PC to the new one yet that you would recommend?
    Good question. I would have recommended Acronis, but given that their core product name changed from Acronis True Image to Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office, and pricing changed from a one-time fee to an annual subscription, I'm not sure that it works at all anymore, for anything.

    Windows backup, maybe?

  • From Justin Castreau:
    Why does ace.mu.nu cause my cellphone to burn like its a nuclear reactor? Only happens with ace and brave browser.
    I need to turn my phone off sometimes it is so bad.
    All the content "behind the fold" on the front page of the site is actually embedded in the page, and not all browsers figure out themselves what to lazy load. Particularly bad on iPhones and older Android devices.

  • From Caiwyn:
    Hey, Pixy. I mentioned this the other day but didn't see a reply: iOS converts all single and double quotation marks to "smart quotes" by default. It also converts three periods in a row into a proper ellipse, and the comments section here at AoSHQ doesn't work with any of those characters. If they aren't edited out of my comment, the post button throws a big red error. Is that something that can be fixed?
    Something in there is expecting modern UTF-8 encoding and something is expecting a code page. It tries to automatically convert between the two, which is why some but not all non-ASCII characters work. Smart quotes don't.

    It can be fixed with some fiddling. Well, quite a lot of fiddling, probably.

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