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Monday Morning (1 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 3-February-2020  00:39:02 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Ok, time to catch up on the newsbox. Firstly SiliconAngel shared his concerns about the possible sale of the .org registry to a private equity firm. A registry could abuse these powers to do significant harm to the global NGO sector, intentionally or not. We cannot afford to put them into the hands of a private equity firm that has not earned the trust of the NGO community. .ORG must be managed by a leader that puts the needs of NGOs over profits.

TechSpot compare storage technologies from mechanical HDDs to PCIe 4.0 SSDs and everything in between. For someone piecing together their next build, the choices can be overwhelming. Do you go with the latest and greatest SSDs, a mid-tier value offering, or a dirt cheap SATA drive? There are also many different market segments between these areas making it hard to tell if spending a few extra dollars will get you much extra performance. Finally, how has the performance of mechanical hard drives stood up in the world of SSDs? We'll answer all of these today, so let's dive in.

There's a few more "looking back" type roundups, with the Best Tech of the Decade and the Top 10 Games of the Decade on Tweaktown, Meanwhile there's the Biggest Surprises of 2019 on GamingNexus and they also consider the Games they Kept Playing in 2019. Looking forward, TechSpot have their 10 Most Anticipated Games of 2020 as well as the Best 1440p Gaming Monitors for 2020.

Another much-anticipated technology is Intel's discrete GPU product, which we now know as Intel Xe. There's preview info on Tweaktown and HotHardware. A more recent roundup on TechSpot lays out what we know about Intel Xe so far. Intel is developing discrete GPUs for gamers, professionals, and servers, and they're all slated for release this year or coming in 2021. Intel’s cards will either be the long-awaited saviors of a stagnant market, or they’ll underperform and flop miserably (no pressure, Intel PR person reading this). Personally, I’m happy either way: we get good GPUs, or we get some good stuff to make fun of.

A few people sent word that Australia's broadband is now the forth-slowest in the OECD. Sadly I don't think that even really qualifies as news anymore. Australia has fallen to 68th in global internet speed rankings, making it the fourth slowest country for broadband in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The nation has been falling in the Speedtest Global Index rankings for the past year despite the continuing rollout of the $51 billion National Broadband Network (NBN), which is due to be completed within six months.

Also hardly newsworthy is another Intel security patch.. and now another attack? We present CacheOut, a new speculative execution attack that is capable of leaking data from Intel CPUs across many security boundaries. We show that despite Intel's attempts to address previous generations of speculative execution attacks, CPUs are still vulnerable, allowing attackers to exploit these vulnerabilities to leak sensitive data. Interesting to see the University of Adelaide involved with that one.

Here's a more positive article, about NASA's new Mars rover. Mars 2020—which JPL began preparing in 2011, a year before Curiosity landed to great fanfare—is the first Mars probe to look for evidence of past microbial life. It will drill for, analyze, and collect samples of rocks and soil from areas once thought to have been habitable, and set them aside in sealed sterile tube caches for a future mission to return them to Earth in 2026 for more detailed study. The mission is the first step toward an objective JPL began discussing in the 1980s that eventually became the Mars Sample Return campaign.

Finally, it's not really a Flash timewaster, but some OCAU folks have made a Tower Defence game for iOS and Android. A game a friend and I have been working on in our spare time (as part of Studio Qinoko) has finally been soft-launched into Aus and NZ. Eri's Forest is a tower defence game...set on a tower..of sorts. We need eyeballs and testing over the next couple of weeks to tweak and balance the game, grab it, play it and let us know what you think! Go check it out!

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