Issue 1578 - Thursday 31st March, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

Apple & Facebook handed over user data to hackers thinking they were cops

Apple and Meta appear to have "provided customer data to hackers who masqueraded as law enforcement officials" - those hackers may be part of the now notorious Lapsus$, but at the time were part of "Recursion Team" (which has since disbanded). Snap also received a fake legal request, but looks like they detected it was fake and didn't hand over any data. What data was handed over? "Basic subscriber details, such as a customer's address, phone number and IP address", in response to a forged "emergency data request". Apple, Meta and Snap haven't confirmed anything, Bloomberg is quoting "three people with knowledge of the matter".

Intel announces specs for Arc discrete GPUs designed for laptops

Intel's finally released their much hyped Arc GPUs. Unfortunately they're just the discrete laptop chips, not proper desktop PCIe card ones, but hey, they gotta start somewhere. The Arc 3, Arc 5 and Arc 7 range of graphics chips will start appearing in fancy laptops as of April. The A770M is the top end chip and hit laptops mid-2022. The lower level A370M is aiming for 1080p 60fps medium quality performance, roughly the same as the Radeon 680M in Ryzen-based laptops. Besides gaming, they have solid video encoding and decoding support, including 8K 10-bit HDR AV1 (oooh) encoding, with support already in ffmpeg, and can work in tandem with the laptop CPU's integrated graphics to "hyper encode". PCIe card GPUs are coming "summer 2022" (so August 2022).

Sony changes PlayStation Plus subscriptions, now has multiple tiers

Sony recently re-jigged their PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now subscription offerings. PS Now is dead, it's gone, will no longer exist. PlayStation Plus will be split into 3 tiers - Essential, Extra and Premium - the more you pay, the more games you get to play. Sony's press release outlines what you get in each tier. Australia however, will not get the Premium tier because we don't have PlayStation Now, Sony's cloud streaming service (still! What's the damn holdup Sony?). We have the option of PlayStation Plus Deluxe instead, which gives you all the things in PlayStation Plus Premium, but not the cloud streaming stuff. No pricing yet, but it'll likely be $20-$25/m and become available some time in Q3 20222.

Something I Saw On The Internet

Dyson's ridiculous noise cancelling headphones and air purifier combo

This latest Dyson contraption is too weird not to mention. The Dyson Zone is "a set of noise cancelling, high fidelity over-ear headphones which simultaneously deliver immersive sound to the ears, and purified airflow to the nose and mouth". Jake Dyson (the son of James Dyson), says "the Dyson Zone purifies the air you breathe on the move. It delivers a plume of fresh air without touching your face, using high-performance filters and two miniaturised air pumps". Here's a video. I legit thought this was an April Fool's gag that got taken out of the oven a few days early, but Dyson spent 6 years making this and are really going to sell them this year. Naomi Wu reckons they're perfectly designed to super spread airborne pathogens.


The End

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