Dithering Digest 14 - Weekly Tech Roundup

Posted by Colin on Fri, Feb 9, 2024

Welcome to issue #14 of the Dithering Digest Weekly Tech Roundup of geeky news and links.

More software breaches, some cool AI updates and tricorders just around the corner?

Have a lovely weekend, and enjoy the links.

Microsoft BitLocker encryption defeated in under a minute with a $4 Pico

Thomas Roth has written some open source software for the Raspberry Pi Pico along with a carrier board design to allow rapid capture of the BitLocker encryption keys on specific Lenovo laptops.

It looks like the attack could be modified to work on other laptops with a bit of rewiring. Moral of the story, physical access trumps all. Keep your data physically secure as well as encrypted!

πŸ”— https://www.hackster.io/news/thomas-roth-breaks-microsoft-s-bitlocker-in-under-a-minute-with-a-4-raspberry-pi-pico-6ac738e6ec77

AnyDesk remote software breached

This one is not entirely surprising. I have allowed scammers to “control” my computer out of curiosity on occasion (safely within the confines of a VM or an old machine) just to see how they carry out their awful tactics so that I can better protect my colleagues. The vast majority were using AnyDesk remote software to carry out the work so it isn’t surprising that they have been targeted.

πŸ”— https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/05/anydesk_breach/

How to use split screen in Windows 10

Split screen in Windows is such a great feature if you have a decent sized monitor. The ability to very quickly have two tasks side by side is fantastic and it always amazes me how many people don’t even realise the feature exists. When I show it to people in work I usually find within a few weeks they can’t imagine using their computer without it. If you haven’t tried it before, this is your sign to give it a go!

πŸ”— https://www.makeuseof.com/split-screen-windows-10/

Home Assistant updates to 2024.2

Home Assistant is my weapon of choice for home automation. I have a fairly basic setup at the moment but I hope to get some time to really try out some of the recent additions including the voice and assistant stuff to see if I can really trick out my home system. I’ll maybe even write up my adventures on here.

Home Assistant is open-source and develops at a rapid pace. If you are into home automation and tinkering, it is going to be your jam for sure.

πŸ”— https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2024/02/07/release-20242/

Budget Biosensors on the Horizon

A new inexpensive portable biosensor could be just a few years away from production. A team at the Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research in Germany have developed a palm-sized device that can perform a suite of tests on a sample whilst being very sensitive and cheap. Early tricorder anyone?

πŸ”— https://www.hackster.io/news/gold-standard-biosensor-on-a-budget-f740c4a07ed0

Apple upgrades all of its Windows apps

Apple has just released an overhaul of its Windows apps including iCloud and Apple Music. I have found iCloud Drive and Photo sync to be a little temperamentally on Windows, especially with large photo libraries, so here’s hoping this release will squash some of those bugs. It is also reassuring to see it being updated, it has always felt like an afterthought.

πŸ”— https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/02/apple-overhauls-its-entire-windows-app-suite-including-icloud-and-apple-music/

Google Bard rebranded as Gemini with freemium model

Google’s ChatGPT competitor Bard has been renamed to Gemini and an app released for Android users. They have also released a Gemini Advanced tier for $20 a month which uses their newer Ultra language model for better responses. The intro video is embedded below. If you want to try out an AI text system but don’t want to pay, why not give Gemini a whirl?

πŸ”— https://www.howtogeek.com/google-bard-is-now-gemini-ai/

Computer Joke of the Week

What’s the best way to learn about computers?

Bit by bit.

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!

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