Welcome to issue #12 of the Dithering Digest Weekly Tech Roundup of geeky news and links.

The news in the UK has been dominated by the ongoing enquiry into the Fujitsu / Horizon Post Office scandal. More and more damning evidence has been coming out showing that Fujitsu were aware of bugs in the system right from the start, and yet it has taken some 15 years since the problem was first reported on to get justice.

We are increasingly reliant on software, and it can never be assumed that the system is always right. And with the advance in AI, these systems will become harder to analyse and problems like this could become more common. Tight regulation and scrutiny of these systems will be essential to avoid catastrophe in the future.

Have a lovely weekend, and enjoy the links.

$1 billion knocked of Fujitsu market cap

As a result of the botched handling of the Horizon / Post Office scandal which resulted in almost a thousand postmasters falsely accused of theft / fraud, Fujitsu have seen share price plummet. A small price to pay for the horror that was inflicted on innocent users of their faulty software. Many of the victims ended up bankrupt, isolated from family and in at least 4 instances, committed suicide.

🔗 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-01-17/fujitsu-takes-1-billion-knock-as-post-office-scandal-escalates?leadSource=uverify%20wall

Apple lose patent battle and remove blood oxygen sensing

Apple have lost their battle with Masimo over the use of the blood oxygen sensor in the Ultra 2 and Series 9 Apple Watch. The ban will only affect sales of Apple Watch in the US, so it looks like they will give special serial numbers to units being sold in the US and disable the blood oxygen sensor via software. In the event they get the ban overturned on appeal they can simply issue a software update to re-enable the sensors on those devices.

🔗 https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/01/apple-watch-no-longer-sold-with-blood-oxygen-monitoring-after-patent-battle-loss/

Elite is 40 years old

Classic space game Elite is 40 years old. I never played the original but spend many happy hours playing Frontier: Elite 2 on the Amiga 600. The fact they managed to code an open-ended game that ran in only 22kb (yes, kilobytes!!!!) of memory is just astounding. Even the creator of the BBC Micro it ran on couldn’t believe what the programmers had achieved.

Have a read at the interview and there is a site linked to all the source code for the game, with every line documented! Pure nerdy goodness.

🔗 https://www.theregister.com/2024/01/18/elite_game_retro/

GCHQ celebrates 80 years of Colossus by releasing previously unseen images

The Colossus computer that was instrumental in code-breaking during World War 2 is 80 years old. To celebrate, GCHQ (the UK intelligence agency) have released previously unseen images and details around the machine.

🔗 https://www.gchq.gov.uk/news/colossus-80

Can’t upgrade to Windows 11?

Windows 10 will go end-of-life in October 2025. It is estimated that up tot 240 millions PCs will end up in landfill as a result of this upgrade. So how can you continue to use your hardware after this cutoff? This article will give you some ideas. For tinkerers and ditherers, this might be a good thing as there will be so many cheap computers on eBay that you can snap up and use as Linux servers for your home lab. Bargains to be had I suspect!

🔗 https://www.makeuseof.com/cant-upgrade-pc-windows-11/

WaveShare release PoE hat for Pi 5

WaveShare have released a design for a Pi 5 compatible PoE hat that incorporates cooling in a single board. Just pop this on top of your Pi5 and you are cooled, powered and networked all with a single cable. Fantastic!

🔗 https://www.hackster.io/news/waveshare-releases-a-raspberry-pi-5-poe-hat-design-offering-cooling-and-power-in-one-1d00ea0cdd2a

WINE 9.0 is a major update

WINE (WINE Is Not an Emulator) is a compatibility layer on Linux based OSs that allows you to run Windows applications. It has been steadily developed over the years but this release will allow running of older 32-bit applications under 64-bit modern Linux operating systems.

🔗 https://www.howtogeek.com/wine-9-0-release/

Computer Joke of the Week

What is a Linux user’s favourite game?

Sudo Ku!

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!

By Colin

Serial tinkerer.

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