Issue 1605 - Thursday 12th May, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

Google I/O 2022 has begun - keynote highlights

Google's annual I/O conference kicked off this morning. Full video of the keynote is up on YouTube if you're keen. The press document I received (I'm on Google's press list??) has good info in it too. Some highlights:

Coinbase tells SEC customers are unsecured creditors should they go bankrupt

Coinbase, probably the biggest cryptocurrency related business around, has told the SEC that "in the event of a bankruptcy" its customers will just be "general unsecured creditors". In other words, anything you've got stashed in any of Coinbase's "investments" belongs to them and whatever scraps are left over after paying their debts, you'll fight over with the millions of other plebs in the same situation. There's no insurance or government bailouts here. The CEO says it's just a coincidence they're telling the SEC this now, instead of when they went public, as the price of Bitcoin tumbles. This piece in the NYT poses the thought that Bitcoin tanking as hard as the Nasdaq shows that it's nothing more than "just another speculative tech investment".

EU's draft law to scan everyone's encrypted messages for CSAM goes too far

The EU sometimes does good things (DSA, GDPR) but their new draft proposal to combat kiddie porn goes way too far. WhatsApp, Signal, Messenger and other encrypted chat apps can receive "detection orders", that'll force these companies to scan a user's messages for known child sex abuse material (like what Apple was proposing before it pulled back), messages that might appear to be "grooming" or the "solicitation of children" and even "previously unseen CSAM". I don't know how you'd do this without breaking encrypted messaging for all users. not just suspects. Cryptography professor Matthew Green described the plan as "the most sophisticated mass surveillance machinery ever deployed outside of China and the USSR. Not an exaggeration".

Something I Saw On The Internet

Nvidia open sources Linux GPU drivers, kinda

Linux people are very excited today, as "NVIDIA IS PUBLISHING THEIR LINUX GPU KERNEL MODULES AS OPEN-SOURCE" - yes it's that exciting, the Phoronix news site put it in all caps. It spans the entire GPU range from desktop, workstation and server products. Whilst great, this is not the entire driver stack. The "user-space libraries and OpenGL / Vulkan / OpenCL / CUDA drivers remain closed-source". However, by open-sourcing the kernel modules, it means distros like Ubuntu and Fedora can support Nvidia GPUs natively using the proprietary drivers, which give way better performance than the Nouveau (community made) drivers used now that got stuff up on the screen, but required manual installation of Nvidia's drivers post-install. AMD has a full open-source driver stack, if that concerns you.


The End

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