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Sunday Afternoon (0 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 18-July-2021  14:16:30 (GMT +10) - by Agg

A few people sent word of the Steam Deck, a handheld portable PC for playing Steam games - but it doesn't seem to be available in Australia yet. Coverage on Tweaktown. It's powered by AMD's Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU and has a socketed SSD slot. There's a general discussion thread here and a thread about its Retro potential here.

Another recent unveil was AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution, their counter to NVIDIA's DLSS. Coverage on TechPowerUp, Tweaktown and HotHardware, with a more recent followup article here on HotHardware. The biggest news to come out of AMD in recent weeks is no doubt the release of FidelityFX Super Resolution, which is supported across multiple Radeon GPU generations as well as as number of competitive NVIDIA products. In a nutshell, FidelityFX Super Resolution, or FSR, is a hardware vendor-agnostic technology that uses an "advanced edge-adaptive spatial upsampling" algorithm to reconstruct lower resolution game input frames to a higher "super resolution" image. Discussion here.

Backblaze have announced their next-generation Storage Pod design.. and they're basically just going to buy a bunch of Dell boxes. As we contemplated opening our data center in Amsterdam, we had a choice to make: use Storage Pods or use storage servers from another vendor. We considered shipping the 150-pound Storage Pods to Amsterdam or building them there as options. Both were possible, but each had their own huge set of financial and logistical hurdles along the way. The most straightforward path to get storage servers to the Amsterdam data center turned out to be Dell.

The chip shortage continues, with people now smuggling CPUs by strapping them to their bodies. In one instance, the Customs Department of Hong Kong had intercepted two drivers crossing the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, on Jun 16. The driver and co-driver had been acting rather suspiciously, and were soon found to be literally up to their elbows in tech.

I'm a little late on this one, but the Right to Repair movement is gaining ground in Australia. It should be easier for Australians to get their smartphones, tablets and other devices repaired or replaced, the Productivity Commission has found. The commission reviewed the so-called “right to repair” in Australia and received more than 300 submissions and comments. Many consumers complained that companies were making it harder and more expensive to get devices repaired by anyone other than the manufacturer. Some more recent info here.

TSMC are looking at on-die watercooling. As transistors get increasingly compressed together due to denser manufacturing technologies and added vertical 3D chip stacking, temperature becomes an increasingly critical problem to address. TSMC's researchers think the solution is allowing water to flow in-between sandwiched circuits. It's an incredibly simple theoretical solution, but is an extremely difficult engineering feat to pull off safely --for the electronics, that is.

The National Archives of Australia have received a funding boost. On Thursday, 18 months after receiving the review, the government announced $67.7 million in new funding for the National Archives to support critical functions. The proposed seven-year digitisation program will be “fast tracked” to four years, among other measures included in the new funding. Additional staff will be hired to address a backlog of applications for access to Commonwealth records, improvements to cybersecurity will be made, and there will be further development of the National Archives’ Next Generation Digital Archive to take on and digitise more records.

Techgage looked into GPU rendering performance in mid-2021. It’s been six months since we’ve last taken an in-depth look at GPU rendering performance, and with NVIDIA having just released two new GPUs, we felt now was a great time to get up-to-date. With AMD’s and NVIDIA’s current-get stack in-hand, along with a few legends of the past, we’re going to investigate rendering performance in Blender, Octane, Redshift, V-Ray, and more.

The next significant work of art for humanity may be created by an AI. Although aesthetically DeepDream is quite different from The Big Sleep, both of these techniques share a similar vision: they both aim to extract art from neural networks that were not necessarily meant to generate art. They dive inside the network and pull out beautiful images. These art techniques feel like deep learning interpretability tools that accidentally produced art along the way. Reminds me of the orbiting AI building tiny art boxes in the Gibson novel Count Zero.

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