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Tuesday Afternoon (6 Comments) (link)
 Tuesday, 20-February-2018  17:45:07 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Eighteen months after the anti-piracy site-blocking system was implemented in Australia, the Government is conducting a review to see how effective it's been. Since the legislation came into effect, a number of rights holders have employed the site-blocking mechanism. Roadshow and Foxtel led the charge, successfully applying to have a number of major piracy-linked online services blocked. Since then the pair have successfully sought additional injunctions. Australian music labels have also used the legislation. There are currently two applications for site-blocks before the Federal Court. Roadshow and Hong Kong broadcaster TVB are seeking to block online services used by a number of Android-based set-top boxes.

Intel have confirmed they are working on a discrete GPU and unveiled an early prototype. The company's first 14 nm dGPU prototype, shown as a test-chip at the ISSCC, is a 2-chip solution. The first chip contains two key components, the GPU itself, and a system agent; and the second chip is an FPGA that interfaces with the system bus. The GPU component, as it stands now, is based on Intel's Gen 9 architecture, and features a three execution unit (EU) clusters. Don't derive numbers from this yet, as Intel is only trying to demonstrate a proof of concept.

FOTW meanwhile spotted a report on the many lawsuits Intel have been hit with, over the Meltdown and Spectre exploits. At the bottom of Intel's Form 10-K filing made public on Friday, Intel notes specifically that "As of February 15, 2018, 30 customer class action lawsuits and two securities class action lawsuits have been filed. The customer class action plaintiffs, who purport to represent various classes of end users of our products, generally claim to have been harmed by Intel's actions and/or omissions in connection with the security vulnerabilities and assert a variety of common law and statutory claims seeking monetary damages and equitable relief.

Backblaze have published their 2017 HDD stats. Beginning in April 2013, Backblaze has recorded and saved daily hard drive statistics from the drives in our data centers. Each entry consists of the date, manufacturer, model, serial number, status (operational or failed), and all of the SMART attributes reported by that drive. As of the end of 2017, there are about 88 million entries totaling 23 GB of data. You can download this data from our website if you want to do your own research, but for starters here’s what we found.

If SSDs are more your style, here's an SSD Optimisation Guide for 2018 on TheSSDReview. We need to be very clear though. SSD optimization to most will bring no more than the satisfaction of knowing that your SSD is installed properly and running the best it can. Most will never see the benefits of their work as that blazing fast SSD becomes the norm until you once again find yourself chained to a hard drive based PC of course.

SpaceX have plans for a global satellite internet system. While SpaceX made no official announcement about its secondary payloads, the Federal Communications Commision issued experimental licenses to the company to conduct the mission. The company wants to place 4,425 of these small spacecraft in low-Earth orbit—between 600 and 800 miles above the Earth’s surface—and hopes to officially begin doing so next year.

Meanwhile if you want to keep an eye on Elon Musk's Telsa Roadster as it heads to Mars, here's a website showing you where it is in real-time. The current location is 2,380,872 miles (3,831,644 km, 0.026 AU) from Earth, moving away from Earth at a speed of 7,585 miles/hour (12,207 km/hour, 3.39 km/s). The car is 136,699,127 miles (219,995,988 km, 1.471 AU) from Mars, moving toward the planet at a speed of 43,350 miles/hour (69,765 km/hour, 19.38 km/s). The car is 92,278,648 miles (148,508,135 km, 0.993 AU) from the Sun, moving away from the star at a speed of 1,759 miles/hour (2,831 km/hour, 0.79 km/s).

John Perry Barlow, the founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, passed away recently. It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the Internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership. He always saw the Internet as a fundamental place of freedom, where voices long silenced can find an audience and people can connect with others regardless of physical distance.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.