Welcome to issue #11 of the Dithering Digest Weekly Tech Roundup of geeky news and links.
CES is happening in Las Vegas at the moment and that means tons of stories about new tech. Some look amazing, some are likely to never ship and some seem like they should never have been dreamt up in the first place! I will let you decide what category they fall into.
Have a lovely weekend, and enjoy the links.
Table of Contents
Memtest86+ reaches version 7.0
This is a fantastic tool for any IT techs toolkit. Boots from USB drive, doesn’t install or change the system in any way and is a great first step in troubleshooting a temperamental computer. Simply boot it up, leave it running for several hours and it will extensively test the RAM in your machine for errors.
The program had been dormant for a while but recently the pace has picked up again and it is great to see it being actively developed.
Linux devices under attack by crypto mining worm
People have a tendency to think it is only Windows that gets malware, Mac users and Linux users tend to feel fairly safe but this hasn’t been true for a number of years. Windows is certainly a juicer target and gets more attention, but the ratios have been levelling. This latest worm seems targeted at IoT and embedded devices and uses them to mine bitcoin and then also launch attacks to recruit more machines into the network. Nasty.
Spatial Computing era has begun, according to Apple
Apple have announced pre-order and shipping dates in February for their highly anticipated Vision Pro augmented reality headset. Starting at an eye-watering $3,500 and initially only available in the US, it will be fascinating to see the uptake of this device. According to those who have used one during tech demos, it is in a league of its own when compared to offerings from Meta and others. But is it better enough to justify that price tag?
Wi-Fi 7 Officially released – 4 times faster
The Wi-Fi alliance announced the release of Wi-Fi 7 at CES 2024. It features several improvements to the standard, and supports speeds up to 40Gbps. That far outstrips any internet options we have in the UK (and most countries at the moment) so it isn’t going to be an essential purchase any time soon.
iPhone falls out of plane, still works
A silver lining after the terrifying ordeal that passengers went through on a recent Alaska airlines flight after an unused door blew off in flight. An iPhone belonging to a passenger was sucked out of the plane when the cabin decompressed and dropped 16,000 feet. It landed on some grass and was found by a member of the public, who was able to unlock it (no passcode in this day and age, really???) and it worked perfectly!
Can the Raspberry Pi 5 be your main computer?
Andrew Cunningham from Ars Technica tried using the Raspberry Pi 5 single board computer as his daily driver for two weeks. It’s probably not recommended, but it seems like it will do in a pinch, and is certainly much closer to a real PC than any previous Pi has been.
Lenovo ThinkBook Hybrid runs Windows and Android
Lenovo have shown off a new Hybrid ThinkBook at CES that can run Windows and Android. When used as a laptop, you get Windows. When you take off the screen to move into tablet mode you get Android. It is an interesting concept but remains to be seen if you get the best or worst of both worlds.
Former Post Office boss returns CBE
After the release of the ITV drama “Mr Bates vs The Post Office” the nation has got behind the fight for justice for the wrongly convicted postmaster and mistresses in the UK. These people were wrongly accused and in many cases convicted of stealing funds from the Post Office. The real culprit appears to have been faulty software supplied by Fujitsu. It resulted in many paying huge fines out of pocket despite no wrongdoing, some ended up in prison and a handful even took their own lives.
It is sad that it took a TV series to get the politicians moving and the former CEO of the Post Office has now bowed to pressure and handed back her CBE.
This post offers an excellent round up of the highlights of the CES show 2024. Transparent TV’s, robots for the home and an e-ink display covered toilet. Yes.
Computer Joke of the Week
What do you call a computer that sings?
If you have any cool projects or tinkering you are doing, let us know and we will feature it in future issues of the digest. I would love to hear what you are all dithering on!
Until next week, happy dithering!