Issue 1308 - Friday 19th February, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

NASA's Perseverance rover lands on Mars safely & sends back first images

NASA has landed its Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars! It sent back from low-res images to show it's creators back home that it's in the right spot. You can watch a video of the "seven minutes of terror", showing off the multi-stage landing procedure that involves a skycrane and parachutes. If you'd like to follow the rover's activities on Mars, NASA has a cool website to see what it's up to, as well as a page to view all the raw photos Perseverance sends back. In sadder news, Artemis, NASA's mission to put humans back on the moon in a permanent base by 2024, "may no longer be a realistic target due to the last two years of appropriations, which did not provide enough funding to make 2024 achievable" according to NASA's boss. Hands up who is surprised the Trump administration fucked this up?

Victorian government gets Microsoft to handle its vaccination registration and administration solution

The Victorian department of health is gonna give Microsoft $5.8m to use its vaccination registration and administration solution (shortned to VRAS) just in time for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia. This publicly unnamed platform will "enable the tracking and reporting of immunisation progress through secure data exchange that utilizes industry standards, such as Health Level Seven (HL7), Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and open APIs" - mmm, delicious buzzwords. Doesn't look like this system has anything to do with the vaccine passport initiative Microsoft has been spearheading globally.

Nvidia makes special RTX3000 variant for crypto mining that nukes video output in silicon

Anyone trying to buy a graphics card right now will know that getting one of Nvidia's shit hot RTX 3000 series units is a mega pain in the arse. Hardly any stock and the stock that does trickle in sells at over RRP. This is due to a combination of the cards being excellent for cryptocurrency mining (mostly Ethereum) and stock constraints due to the cutting edge manufacturing process. To stop the crypto dorks hogging cards, Nvidia has made a special variant of their GPUs called the CMP HX that removes the video outputs entirely in silicon, not just the headers. They're also nerfing the RTX3060 drivers (just released mainstream/value graphics card) to be crap at mining Ethereum.

Something I Saw On The Internet

The National Evaluation Guide for STEM Gender Equity Programs can help you avoid looking out of touch

Are you looking to implement a program to encourage girls or women to come work at your nerdy sausage-fest? Check out the National Evaluation Guide for STEM Gender Equity Programs, written by Isabelle Kingsley, Australia's Office of the Women in STEM Ambassador. It'll guide you through planning, designing and conducting a gender quality program and hopefully avoid you putting your massive man sized foot in a large pile of pink dogshit. I do not know if the information in this guide is any good, but it's all governmenty and official looking so it can't be any worse than winging it.


The End

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