Apple quietly announced new iPads overnight. iPad mini keeps the same form factor and design it had for the last 4 years where it remained untouched, but is now stuffed with with modern internals like an A12 Bionic SoC, better camera, wi-fi, LTE and screen. The iPad Air is essentially the iPad Pro from last year - something cheaper than the current iPad Pro, but better than the basic iPad. Weirdly, both these "new" iPads support the Apple Pencil, but not the new Apple Pencil, only the "1st Generation" Apple Pencil. The iPad Air and iPad mini can be ordered now from the Apple website and will start shipping in early April.
It's been revealed that Myspace (yes it still exists!) has lost all music uploaded by its users prior to 2015. According to Rolling Stone, that's 50 million songs, uploaded by 14 million artists. The only reason we know about this, is because someone on Reddit wanted to retrieve tracks they made and shared on Myspace but was unable to. When they contacted Myspace support to ask what happened, they were told "due to a server migration, files were corrupted and unable to be transferred over to our updated site. There is no way to recover the lost data". 50 million MP3s would only be like, 150TB-200TB of data and wouldn't be that expensive to store. I reckon it was an accident and not a malicious attempt to cut costs.
Taking it upon themselves, Spark NZ, Vodafone NZ, and Vocus NZ have put DNS blocks on sites like LiveLeak, Mega, 8chan and 4chan that were hosting the manifesto and video of the Christchuch terrorist attack. Apparently the sites will be unblocked once the offending material is removed. Spark posted on their blog their justifications for blocking these sites. Optus, Vodafone and Telstra in Australia h ave done the same thing. Meanwhile, YouTube claims they were deleting videos of the Christchurch terrorist attack "as quickly as one per second in the hours after the shooting", according to an interview with YouTube's chief product officer in the Washington Post.
Tired of getting pantsed by China, the USA's Department of Energy is putting some big bucks into a big computer. Aurora is a US$500m supercomputer built by Intel and Cray to be installed in Chicago's Argonne National Laboratory by 2021. It'll be the USA's first computer to each "exascale" performance - that is a quintillion FLOPS (aka, a billion billion floating point operations per second). China will apparently have exascale two computers by 2020. Aurora will be used by researchers to "create significantly more accurate simulations of phenomena such as drug responses, climate changes, the inner workings of combustion engines and solar panels", among all the other things Argonne Lab researches.
In October last year, the Digital Transformation Office spent $700,000 of tax payer money to find out that blockchain tech is "interesting technology but early on in its development, it's kind of at the top of a hype cycle" and that "for every use of blockchain you would consider today, there is a better technology". Fast forward a few months later and the federal government has have ignored the DTA's advice and announced at an Adelaide blockchain conference yesterday that they're gonna drop $100,000 on a trade mission for Australian blockchain companies to New York to attend a conference. What a sad waste of money. It's not as if blockchain companies are short on cash! I love how one of the requirements for the government handout is "operates ethically".
In the never ending quest for content, a YouTuber called KrisXstream decided to test his Tesla's Autopilot emergency braking system - by using his real live human wife as the target. That's right, this idiot decided to drive his car as his wife and see if it stops when it detects a human in its path. The Model S doesn't appear to slow down as it gets closer and at one point he even has a go at his missus for moving out of the way too soon (how dare she!). Luckily she wasn't hurt and she even reckons it was her idea and the video has been taken down, but damn that's some desperate content creation. I hope I never plumb those depths.
Kids have found a way around the restrictions adults place on their socialising by using Google Docs to chat to each other when the "traditional" chat apps on their computers or smartphones are blocked. They're opening up a document each day, inviting their mates in to it and just type whatever they want until they go home. Next day, start a new document. It's the perfect crime really, as it looks like they're doing work! Considering schools are full of Chromebooks these days, it's a great way to shoot the shit behind your teacher's back. It even works when you want to chat to your mates but your parents have taken away your smartphone and implemented some bullshit internet filter. What are they gonna do? Block Google Docs and prevent you from doing your school work? Kids 1 - The Man 0.
eBay's got a new 20% off tech sale going on with the code PROGRAM20:
That's it, see ya tomorrow!