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April 23, 2022

Daily Tech News 23 April 2022

Top Story

  • It's the weekend or something closely approaching that, which means that it's Question and Answer time or... Something closely approaching that.

    Put something resembling a question in the comments below and I'll put something resembling an answer in the post tomorrow.

  • Netflix wants to invest in fewer, better originals. (Thurrott.com)

    The company plans to invest $20 billion in original content, and has indicated that they'd like at least one or two shows not to suck.

  • Because apparently the original plan of flooding the end zone with liquid shit hasn't been a runaway success. (Pajiba)

    Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers in a quarter where they had expected to gain 2.5 million. Not me, though. I quit years ago. All my entertainment spending gets dumped into Hololive. Uh, and Nijisanji, and Prism, and indies. I spend a lot more on vtubers than I ever did on streaming services and it's still infinitely better value for money because they don't immediately turn around and use that money to destroy everything I love.

Tech News

  • TSMC's 3nm process is on track, 2nm still a long way off. (AnandTech)

    N3 - the basic 3nm node - is due to start production this year. The enhanced N3E is due for the first half of 2023. Keep in mind that advanced chips take about six months from the start of manufacturing to appearing on the shelves in finished products.

    TSMC's 3nm brings the same level of advances over 5nm that 5nm has over 7nm: 15% faster, 30% more efficient, and 40% smaller. My newest computers are built on Intel's 10nm and TSMC's 7nm process, so 3nm would completely blow them out of the water.

    TSMC's 2nm N2 node is not expected to enter production until the second half of 2025, where Intel's theoretically equivalent 20A node is scheduled for the first half of 2024. (AnandTech)

    Whether the nodes are in fact equivalent and whether either company will stick to that question I have no idea. Though Intel is expected to be one of the first customers on TSMC's 2nm node and why they'd do that when their own 2nm node will come a year earlier is a very good question.

    All that aside, at this rate we'll be pushing the limits of bulk planar silicon by the end of the decade; further advances will require a change in approach.

    Though that means that without the Red Queen's Race of updating fabs every couple of years to remain competitive, chip production will become much, much cheaper. Compare the cost of a couple of trillion transistors of 3D NAND flash against the same transistor count in logic - sixty RTX 3090 GPU chips from Nvidia.

  • Analysts predict the end is near for the global chip shortage. (Tom's Hardware)

    We're doomed.

  • Not least because with China seemingly determined to self-destruct we could be in for a supply chain meltdown that makes the last two years look like an all-you-can-eat Vegas buffet. (General Crisis Watch)

    Chinese provinces home to hundreds of millions of people have either gone into lockdown or closed their internal borders to prevent escalation of a COVID outbreak that has officially killed 17 people.

  • Speaking of which, I found the 128GB of RAM I bought to upgrade my laptops. I was going to do that over Christmas, then the blockchain melted down and I had to pull an 80 hour week during my vacation, which put me behind schedule on my other work, which snowballed until I pulled some more 80 hour weeks to clear the backlog, whereupon I discovered I had to move house by the end of May.

    Anyway. RAM located, upgrades can proceed. I need to get that done before I move because I won't be able to find anything smaller than a breadbox for six months afterwards.

    One of the reasons I was in a hurry to buy so much computer stuff earlier this year is that I was anticipating a possible Chinese interdiction or even invasion of Taiwan. Which is appallingly cynical of me but all my old computers were dying and not being able to work for a living would be something of an inconvenience.

    Now I'm expecting just as much supply chain disruption overall but in different areas. Might be living in a half-empty house for a while.

  • You can now buy the Framework laptop motherboard for your own projects. (Tom's Hardware)

    Starts at $399 with a Core i5-1135G7. It supports up to 64GB RAM, one M.2 SSD, and four USB-C ports for everything else.

    Now do a Ryzen 6000 model. And the Four Essential Keys.

  • Apropos of nothing, I bought a big bag of salted cashews last weekend that turned out to be contaminated with gluten, so that was fun.

  • Softbank is planning an IPO of Arm at a $60 billion valuation - but maintain a controlling stake. (Tom's Hardware)

    The $40 billion sale to Nvidia foundered on regulatory rocks, but Arm is a technically solid company and is finally making some inroads into the server market.

    The woke plague hasn't yet infected semiconductor design the way it has software development, because preparing a new chip for production can cost up to half a billion dollars. The beancounters still rule with an iron fist.

  • I deployed an Ubuntu 22.04 virtual server. I also noticed that Percona has a release of MongoDB 5.0 out - 5.0.7 in fact - which indicates that it may now be stable enough for use.

    Percona's MongoDB 5.0 won't install on Ubuntu 22.04.

    Oh well.

  • Will Microsoft cut off security updates if I run an unsupported install of Windows 11? (ZDNet)

    ZDNet is also running a weekly Q&A post. They point out that Microsoft says you won't be entitled to receive updates, not that you won't receive updates.

  • Ebook services are bringing "unhinged conspiracy books" into public libraries. (Motherboard)

    Oh no, books. In libraries. World ends, film at eleven.

  • Twitter has banned ads contradicting the "consensus" opinion on climate change. (Washington Post)

    I'm less concerned about Twitter blocking ads than I am about them banning accounts because I block every account I see with a promoted tweet.

  • Tech companies face substantial fines if they fail to meet the EU's new content rules, whatever they are. (Bloomberg)

    The rules forbid targeting ads based on race or religion, targeting ads to children, and using "dark patterns" like making the Decline button smaller or harder to see than Accept.

    And fines can be up to 6% of annual gross revenue. Not profit, revenue.

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