Issue 1520 - Thursday 6th Jan, 2022

Welcome back to The Sizzle for 2022. I'm nice and relaxed after a 2 week break, but glad to be returning to my usual routine of trawling RSS feeds for tech news and bargains. Felt weird not writing anything!

If you feel like looking back at 2021, The Sizzle's year in review is still available to purchase. You pick the price and 50% of the revenue will go to local charity CAFS - $464 has been raised already! Act quickly, as sales end Jan 10th.

In Today's Issue

The News

Elizabeth Holmes guilty of lying to investors about Theranos, probably going to jail

A jury has found that Elizabeth Holmes guilty of three counts of wire fraud and guilty of conspiracy to defraud investors in her farce of a blood-testing startup, Theranos. Unfortunately she wasn't found guilty of lying to patients who took Theranos tests and got incorrect results, just the investor stuff. What appears to have secured Holmes' fate were forged documents sent to investors. Walgreen's CFO testified that they received letters from Homes with Pfizer and Schering-Plough letterheads verifying Theranos tech, but they were 100% forged by Holmes. Even this master of bullshit couldn't spin that deceit as legit and now she pays the price. She will get a sentence soon, but will likely appeal it. Fingers crossed she does some jail time.

Apple is now worth three trillion dollars and expected to keep growing

Happy new year, Apple is worth three trillion US dollars, making it once again the world's most "valuable" company and the first ever to hit the US$3t mark. They added over US$1 trillion in the last 16 months alone thanks to a massive demand for their products and servives during the pandemic. Tim Cook's reign as CEO has added US$2.7t to Apple's market cap. They generate more than US$1b or revenue per day. Apple's financial results for Q4 2021 haven't even come out yet, which is usually their strongest quarter so expect their valuation to go up even higher. One analyst interviewed for the article reckons hype for Tesla and EVs in general is bleeding into Apple's value as people expect them to release their own EV at some point.

German ASML factory catches fire, ASML still assessing damage

By now I think most of us are familiar with a Dutch company called ASML. They create the machines that allow TSMC and Samsung to make their cutting edge semiconductors. Without ASML's fancy extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography machines, of which they are the only manufacturer, there would be no Apple M1 CPUs, no Nvidia GPUs, no PlayStation 5s or Xbox Series X. The fact only ASML makes these EUV lithography machines is one of the bottlenecks that prevents new semiconductor fabs from popping up and easing the semiconductor supply crunch, so it stings to tell you that one of ASML's factories in Germany (which makes components for final assembly in the Netherlands) caught fire. ASML is still assessing the damage. Just what we need to start 2022.

Something I Saw On The Internet

CES 2022 Dumpage

Among Asus' rather forgettable gaming laptops, they announced the Zenbook 17 Fold OLED - a laptop that's nothing but screen and folds in half. No price but goes on sale mid-2022. Lenovo's ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 is a 17" unit with a 2nd 8" screen next to the keyboard. Extremely odd. More mainstream are a new range of ThinkPads, the Z13 and Z16. They have a more "progressive" design than the black rectangles usually associated with ThinkPads. I like it. TCL has a "budget" ARM based Windows laptop, the Book 14 Go, using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c SoC but paired with a ratshit 1366x768 display.

Hisense and Sony now have Mini-LED flagship models. Sony is also releasing a "QD-OLED" TV - a quantum dot OLED panel made by Samsung, which interestingly Samsung themselves didn't announce, instead hyping Micro-LED units as flagships. QD-OLED has "the best traits of OLED (perfect blacks, infinite contrast, etc.) with benefits of quantum dot LED TVs like improved brightness and more vivid color reproduction at higher brightness levels". LG now has 97" and 42" OLEDs. That 42" OLED would be a nice computer monitor! Speaking of monitors, Samsung has a 55" curved 4K 16:9 monitor that comes with a stand you can use to spin the screen into a vertical orientation. Too big I reckon.

AMD and Intel made some CPU related announcements. Intel has more 12th-gen desktop SKUs and announced mobile 12th-gen CPUs, claiming their i9-12900HK is faster than Apple's M1 Max at the same 25W-35W power draw. Big claims that'll have to be tested by someone that isn't Intel's scrambling marketing department. AMD's new Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs are a mild update to the previous Ryzen 5000 ones using "Zen3+" cores and an updated GPU. Zen 4 desktop CPUs will appear in the 2nd-half of 2022.

Nvidia and AMD have new GPUs you won't find in shops and will have to pay a scalper on Facebook Marketplace twice the RRP for. Nvidia's got the RTX 3090 Ti, a juiced up version of their RTX 3090 that'll go on "sale" late-Jan. On the other end of the scale there's the RTX 3050, an entry level RTX card designed to replace the GTX 1050 Ti/GTX 1650. AMD also has a budget/entry-level GPU, the Radeon RX 6500 XT, which will be a bit cheaper than the RTX 3050 but also a bit slower. There's new mobile GPUs from AMD too.

Other random bits and pieces from CES:


The End

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