Oculus Quest VR Goggles Becomes a Paperweight When Facebook Goes Down

When Facebook went down yesterday for nearly six hours, so did Oculus’ services. Since Facebook owns VR headset maker Oculus, and controversially requires Oculus Quest users to log in with a Facebook account, many Quest owners reported not being able to load their Oculus libraries. “[A]nd those who just took a Quest 2 out of Read more about Oculus Quest VR Goggles Becomes a Paperweight When Facebook Goes Down[…]

Scientists Have Successfully Recorded Data to DNA in Minutes not hours

[…] researchers at Northwestern University have devised a new method for recording information to DNA that takes minutes rather than hours or days. The researchers utilized a novel enzymatic system to synthesize DNA that records rapidly changing environmental signals straight into its sequences, and this method could revolutionize how scientists examine and record neurons inside Read more about Scientists Have Successfully Recorded Data to DNA in Minutes not hours[…]

Apple miffed by EU’s ‘strict’ one-size-fits-all charger plan

Smartphones, tablets, and cameras sold within the European Union could be forced to adopt a single standard charging port by the middle of the decade if the latest plans from the European Commission get the go-ahead. The proposals for a revised Radio Equipment Directive would mean that charging port and fast-charging technology would be “harmonised” Read more about Apple miffed by EU’s ‘strict’ one-size-fits-all charger plan[…]

Apple’s M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege

Aggrieved MacBook owners in two separate lawsuits claim Apple’s latest laptops with its M1 chips have defective screens that break easily and malfunction. The complaints, both filed on Wednesday in a federal district court in San Jose, California, are each seeking class certification in the hope that the law firms involved will get a judicial Read more about Apple’s M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege[…]

Samsung Is the Latest SSD Manufacturer (Crucial, Western Digital) Caught Cheating Its Customers

In the past 11 days, both Crucial and Western Digital have been caught swapping the TLC NAND used for certain products with inferior QLC NAND without updating product SKUs or informing reviewers that this change was happening. Shipping one product to reviewers and a different product to consumers is unacceptable and we recently recommended that Read more about Samsung Is the Latest SSD Manufacturer (Crucial, Western Digital) Caught Cheating Its Customers[…]

Engineers make critical advance in quantum computer design

They discovered a new technique they say will be capable of controlling millions of spin qubits—the basic units of information in a silicon quantum processor. Until now, quantum computer engineers and scientists have worked with a proof-of-concept model of quantum processors by demonstrating the control of only a handful of qubits. […] “Up until this Read more about Engineers make critical advance in quantum computer design[…]

Chinese scientists develop world’s strongest glass that’s harder than diamond

Scientists in China have developed the hardest and strongest glassy material known so far that can scratch diamond crystals with ease. The researchers, including those from Yanshan University in China, noted that the new material – tentatively named AM-III – has “outstanding” mechanical and electronic properties, and could find applications in solar cells due to Read more about Chinese scientists develop world’s strongest glass that’s harder than diamond[…]

Samsung Bricking Original SmartThings Hubs

Samsung is causing much angst among its SmartThings customers by shutting down support for its original SmartThings home automation hub as of the end of June. These are network-connected home automation routers providing Zigbee and Z-Wave connectivity to your sensors and actuators. It’s not entirely unreasonable for manufacturers to replace aging hardware with new models. Read more about Samsung Bricking Original SmartThings Hubs[…]

US FTC Weighs in On Right To Repair

A few days ago, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came out with a 5-0 unanimous vote on its position on right to repair. (PDF) It’s great news, in that they basically agree with us all: Restricting consumers and businesses from choosing how they repair products can substantially increase the total cost of repairs, generate Read more about US FTC Weighs in On Right To Repair[…]

HOTAS, HOSAS, Dual Joysticks, Omnithrottle, Space and Flight sim controllers

What are these terms and how do they work in terms of control schemes? In this world you generally get what you pay for – if it’s cheap, then it’s probably plasticky and nasty. If it’s expensive, then it’s probably high quality. Saitek and Logitech have equipment running from low to midrange. Thrustmaster from mid Read more about HOTAS, HOSAS, Dual Joysticks, Omnithrottle, Space and Flight sim controllers[…]

What Is a ‘TPM’ and Why Do You Need One to Run Windows 11?

Windows 11 was officially unveiled this week, and many eager users are checking to see if their PCs can run the upcoming OS with Microsoft’s Windows Health Check app. However, some are surprised to learn that their PCs aren’t “Windows 11 ready,” despite having new, high-end hardware. What’s a TPM? The main source of confusion Read more about What Is a ‘TPM’ and Why Do You Need One to Run Windows 11?[…]

Windows Users Surprised by Windows 11’s Short List of Supported CPUs – and front facing camera requirements

While a lot of focus has been on the TPM requirements for Windows 11, Microsoft has since updated its documentation to provide a complete list of supported processors. At present the list includes only Intel 8th Generation Core processors or newer, and AMD Ryzen Zen+ processors or newer, effectively limiting Windows 11 to PC less Read more about Windows Users Surprised by Windows 11’s Short List of Supported CPUs – and front facing camera requirements[…]

‘Atomically thin’ transistors could help make electronic skins a reality

Stanford researchers have developed a new technique that produces “atomically-thin” transistors under 100 nanometers long. That’s “several times” shorter than the previous best, according to the university. The team accomplished the feat by overcoming a longstanding hurdle in flexible tech. While ‘2D’ semiconductors are the ideal, they require so much heat to make that they’d Read more about ‘Atomically thin’ transistors could help make electronic skins a reality[…]

Engineers at MIT Have Created Actual Programmable Fibers – chip clothing

Featured in Nature Communications, this new research could result in the development of wearable tech that could sense, store, analyze, and infer the activity(s) of its wearers in real-time. The senior author of the study, Yeol Fink, believes that digital fibers like those developed in this study could help expand the possibilities for fabrics to “uncover the Read more about Engineers at MIT Have Created Actual Programmable Fibers – chip clothing[…]

Jaguar Land Rover to suspend output due to chip shortage

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is shutting its two main car factories temporarily due to a shortage of computer chips. The difficulties at Britain’s biggest carmaker echo similar problems at other manufacturers, including Ford, who have been hit by a global shortage of chips. JLR said there would be a “limited period” of closure at its Read more about Jaguar Land Rover to suspend output due to chip shortage[…]

EU law requires companies to fix electronic goods for up to 10 years

Companies that sell refrigerators, washers, hairdryers, or TVs in the European Union will need to ensure those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years, to help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste that piles up each year on the continent. The “right to repair,” as it is sometimes called, comes into force Read more about EU law requires companies to fix electronic goods for up to 10 years[…]

Sub-diffraction optical writing enables data storage at the nanoscale – on disk

The demand to store ever-increasing volumes of information has resulted in the widespread implementation of data centers for Big Data. These centers consume massive amounts of energy (about 3% of global electricity supply) and rely on magnetization-based hard disk drives with limited storage capacity (up to 2 TB per disk) and lifespan (three to five Read more about Sub-diffraction optical writing enables data storage at the nanoscale – on disk[…]

Using deep-sea fiber optic cables to detect earthquakes

Seismologists at Caltech working with optics experts at Google have developed a method to use existing underwater telecommunication cables to detect earthquakes. The technique could lead to improved earthquake and tsunami warning systems around the world. […] evious efforts to use optical fibers to study seismicity have relied on the addition of sophisticated scientific instruments Read more about Using deep-sea fiber optic cables to detect earthquakes[…]

Apple, forced to rate product repair potential in France, gives itself modest marks – still lying, they should be worse

Apple, on its French website, is now publishing repairability scores for its notoriously difficult to repair products, in accordance with a Gallic environmental law enacted a year ago. Cook & Co score themselves on repairability however, and Cupertino kit sometimes fares better under internal interpretation of the criteria [PDF] than it does under ratings awarded Read more about Apple, forced to rate product repair potential in France, gives itself modest marks – still lying, they should be worse[…]

A Bug in Lenovo System Update Service is Driving Up CPU Usage and Prompting Fan Noise in Laptops and Desktops, Customers Say

Since late January, most users running a pre-installed Lenovo image of Windows 10 has been bitten by a bug in Lenovo’s System Update Service (SUService.exe) causing it to constantly occupy a CPU thread. This was noticed by many ThinkPad and IdeaPad users as an unexpected increase in fan noise, but many desktop users might not Read more about A Bug in Lenovo System Update Service is Driving Up CPU Usage and Prompting Fan Noise in Laptops and Desktops, Customers Say[…]

Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB

Synology has introduced its first-ever list of validated disks and won’t allow other devices into its enterprise-class NAS devices. And in a colossal coincidence, half of the disks allowed into its devices – and the only ones larger than 4TB – are Synology’s very own HAT 5300 disks that it launched last week. Seeing as Read more about Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB[…]

Microsoft (MSFT) Is Designing Its Own Chips in Move Away From Intel (INTC)

Microsoft Corp. is working on in-house processor designs for use in server computers that run the company’s cloud services, adding to an industrywide effort to reduce reliance on Intel Corp.’s chip technology. The world’s largest software maker is using Arm Ltd. designs to produce a processor that will be used in its data centers, according Read more about Microsoft (MSFT) Is Designing Its Own Chips in Move Away From Intel (INTC)[…]

Cerebras’ wafer-size chip is 10,000 times faster than a GPU

Cerebras Systems and the federal Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory today announced that the company’s CS-1 system is more than 10,000 times faster than a graphics processing unit (GPU). On a practical level, this means AI neural networks that previously took months to train can now train in minutes on the Cerebras system. Read more about Cerebras’ wafer-size chip is 10,000 times faster than a GPU[…]

Researchers develop new atomic layer deposition process

A new way to deposit thin layers of atoms as a coating onto a substrate material at near room temperatures has been invented at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System. UAH postdoctoral research associate Dr. Moonhyung Jang got the idea to use an ultrasonic atomization technology Read more about Researchers develop new atomic layer deposition process[…]

eBay makes a dedicated portal for officially refurbished gear

eBay is taking on Amazon Warehouse with a new destination called Certified Refurbished, selling used goods from brands like Lenovo, Microsoft and Makita. The idea is that you can buy second-hand products at significant discounts over new, but still get a two-year warranty (from Allstate), a money-back guarantee and 30-day “hassle-free” returns, along with new Read more about eBay makes a dedicated portal for officially refurbished gear[…]