News you missed

Nvidia pays US$40b to take ARM off Softbank’s hands

A large technology sale that's on more solid ground is Nvidia officially announcing the purchase of ARM from Softbank's Vision Fund. The deal is a combo of cash & Nvidia shares worth a lazy US$40b and for the time being at least, keeps ARM's R&D in the UK with Nvidia "investing in a state-of-the-art, Arm-powered AI supercomputer, training facilities for developers and a startup incubator". Nvidia's press release proclaims the amazing synergy of "NVIDIA, the leading AI computing company, and Arm, the world's most popular computing platform" that will "turbocharge Arm's roadmap pace and accelerate data center, edge AI, and IoT opportunities". Serve The Home has a great overview of what this means for Nvidia's business. Buying ARM is all about making Nvidia the king of the datacenter as more and more stuff moves to the cloud.

New iPads, Apple Watches and various Apple services

Apple announced new iPads, Watches and a new services bundle early this morning. The new iPad Air now looks like an iPad Pro, but with a faster CPU (A12Z vs A14 in the Air, weird). The main difference seems to be a lack of Face ID and ProMotion. The entry-level iPad got updated too. Apple Watch is now up to its 6th-iteration and the main features are 20% more performance than the series 5, an always-on altimeter and a blood oxygen sensor. If that's too expensive for you, there's a slightly gimped series 5 watched called the Apple Watch SE. Family Setup for the Watch is now a thing, so you can have kids or parent's Watches paired to your iPhone if they haven't got one. Fitness+ is a new $15/m service from Apple that features "the world's best trainers" for guided workouts. Looks cool if you're into fitness. Apple's bundled up all their services into three packages so if you're deeply into Apple's stuff like Music, Arcade, etc, you can save some cash.

Former Facebook data scientist goes semi-whistleblower

Sophie Zhang spent her 3 years at Facebook as a data scientist constantly under the pump trying to spoil the "blatant attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on vast scales to mislead their own citizenry, and caused international news on multiple occasions". She published a 6600 page memo internally on her way out of Facebook that's now leaked to Buzzfeed, outlining dozens of examples where Facebook was too slow to react. Unfortunately the memo isn't public, but the list Buzzfeed revealed is staggering - Honduras, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Ecuador, India - all had huge demonstrations of "inauthentic activity", or bots/paid accounts boosting misinformation for political gain. Facebook literally can't keep up with all the high-grade bullshit happening on its platform. This article is a must-read if you're trying to understand why I hate Facebook so much and wish we took their data centers over with extreme force and turned them all into giant Folding@Home farms.

PlayStation 5 release date and pricing

Konnichiwa hajimemashite to the PlayStation 5! It goes on sale November 12th and will cost $750 for the version with a disc drive and $600 for the version without a disc drive. Pre-order it now from the usual joints if you're keen for some day one action as stock will probably be thin on the ground until after Christmas. Apparently there will only be six PS5 only games (i.e: not cross platform titles like Fortnite) available on launch. None of them really take my fancy enough to go splurging $750 just yet. You can use the PS5 to play PS4 games however, so feel free to throw your now obsolete PS4 into the nearest body of water whilst giving it a 21-gun salute.

NSW police inflict our Assistance and Access laws on a foreign company

Our shitty Assistance and Access laws have been used by NSW cops to get an overseas company to tell the police if the company is technically capable of assisting them. NSW police issued what's known as a technology assistance request (TAR) to the foreign company, which is largely voluntary (as much as the cops asking you for stuff is voluntary) unlike the technical assistance notices and technical capability notices that have punishments for non-compliance. The foreign company responded saying they don't have most of the information the police asked for and the information they do have that police want, they can't hand over due to laws in their country saying it's illegal for them to do so. Eat shit NSW cops.


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