It may sound far-fetched but you can actually get similar performance out a MacBook Air as an M1-powered MacBook Pro, with some fairly straight-forward modifications. You simply need a P5 (pentalobe) screwdriver and some inexpensive thermal pads.
Some may be curious as to why the MacBook Air doesn’t already have the same performance as
SpaceX doesn’t always get a warm reception when it expands Starlink. Reutersreports the Indian government has told Starlink to immediately stop “booking/rendering” satellite internet service in the country until it has a license to operate. The SpaceX division registered as a business in India on November 1st and has started pre-orders, but doesn’t yet have permission to run the service. Authorities have also discouraged would-be customers from signing up at this stage.
We’ve asked SpaceX for comment, although it initially declined Reuters‘ inquiries. The company hasn’t set a firm date for Starlink’s India debut, although it’s aiming for 200,000 connections in the country by the end of 2022. There were over 5,000 pre-orders as of November 1st.
Starlink is currently available in 21 countries in mostly public beta tests. However, SpaceX has a particularly strong incentive to serve India as soon as possible. India has a very large rural population (over 898 million, according to World Bank data). It’s a prime market for satellite broadband, and the Starlink team hopes 80 percent of devices sold in India by late 2022 will serve rural areas. However, it’s now clear India’s government doesn’t share that same enthusiasm.
Revealed yesterday via an investor presentation, Daybreak Game’s Austin-based Dimensional Ink game studio is developing a new Marvel MMO. However, according to the same presentation, it will likely be a few years before we see a trailer or screenshot of the upcoming online superhero game.
Linux cross-platform packaging format Flatpak has come under the spotlight this week, with the “fundamental problems inherent in [its] design” criticised in a withering post by Canadian software dev Nicholas Fraser.
By and large, the public cloud runs on Linux. Most users, even Microsoft Azure customers, run Linux on the cloud. In the case of market giant Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud provider will let you run many Linux distros or their own homebrew Linux, Amazon Linux. Now, AWS has released an early version of its next distro, Amazon Linux 3, which is based on Red Hat’s community Linux, Fedora.
AWS has long tried to incorporate Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) compatibility into Amazon Linux, but this latest release takes that to new heights. By using Fedora as its upstream, the new Amazon distro, also called AL2022, is a stable distribution. It’s gone through extensive testing to offer package stability, and it also includes all available security updates….
TechRadar adds some more details:
The distro has had two major releases till now; the first in 2010, and the second in 2017. However, with the third AL2022 release the service is committing to a two year release cycle, with each release supported for a period of five years… AWS argues that the two year major release cycle, with updates shipped quarterly via minor releases, will help keep the software current, while the five year support commitment for each major release will give customers the stability they need to manage long project lifecycles.
We’ve heard the fable of “the self-made billionaire” a thousand times: some unrecognized genius toiling away in a suburban garage stumbles upon The Next Big Thing, thereby single-handedly revolutionizing their industry and becoming insanely rich in the process — all while comfortably ignoring the fact that they’d received $300,000 in seed funding from their already rich, politically-connected parents to do so.
In The Warehouse: Workers and Robots at Amazon, Alessandro Delfanti, associate professor at the University of Toronto and author of Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science, deftly examines the dichotomy between Amazon’s public personas and its union-busting, worker-surveilling behavior in fulfillment centers around the world — and how it leverages cutting edge technologies to keep its employees’ collective noses to the grindstone, pissing in water bottles. In the excerpt below, Delfanti examines the way in which our current batch of digital robber barons lean on the classic redemption myth to launder their images into that of wonderkids deserving of unabashed praise.
This is an excerpt from The Warehouse: Workers and Robots at Amazon by Alessandro Delfanti, available now from Pluto Press.
Besides the jobs, trucks and concrete, what Amazon brought to Piacenza and to the dozens of other suburban areas which host its warehouses is a myth: a promise of modernization, economic development, and even individual emancipation that stems from the “disruptive” nature of a company heavily based on the application of new technology to both consumption and work. It is a promise that assumes that the society in question is willing to entrust such ambitions to the gigantic multinational corporations that design, implement, and possess technology. This myth of digital capitalism is based on a number of elements, including magical origins, heroes, and stories of redemption. Some are by now familiar to everyone: A couple of teenagers tinkering away in a garage can revolutionize or create from scratch an entire industry, generating billions in the process. The garage is an important component of this myth. Here we are not talking about the garages where MXP5 workers park their cars after a ten-hour shift in the warehouse, nor about the garages where Amazon Flex couriers store piles of boxes to be delivered. The innovation garage is the site where individuals unbounded by old habits and funded by venture capital turn simple ideas into marketable digital commodities. Nowhere does this myth run deeper than in California: William Hewlett and David Packard’s Palo Alto backyard shack is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places as “the birthplace of Silicon Valley,” while the garage of Steve Jobs’ parents’ house (where he and Steve Wozniak built the first batch of Apple computers) has been recently designated as a “historical site” by the city of Los Altos. These garages have even been turned into informal museums and receive thousands of visitors a year, some even arriving with organized tour buses. For Californian historian Mario Biagioli, the garage has become an important rhetorical device in contemporary discourses, helping mythify the origins of contemporary innovation. Masculine innovation in particular, since the garage is a strictly male space. Bezos himself started Amazon in a garage, albeit not in California—or so Amazon’s origin myth goes: in 1994 he left his lucrative but dull Wall Street hedge fund job and wrote a business plan while driving cross-country from New York to Seattle, where he used his and his family’s money to start the company.
The myth of the redemption and success of the hero entrepreneur trickles down to the warehouse, insofar as Amazon presents work to its employees through the frame of emancipation. The idea of redemption through work is nothing new. On the contrary, it is a damnation common to modern society. In the early 1960s, militant sociologist Romano Alquati pointed out that the culture of mid-20th century Italian factories included the construction of a “myth” or “cult” of emancipation. In this instance, it was directed at the masses of migrant workers who, following World War II, moved from the rural south to the north of the country to find manufacturing work with the flagship companies of the Italian postwar economic boom, such as FIAT or Olivetti. Redemption from the backwardness of rural life was ensured not only by steady paychecks and the prospect of a pension at the end of the line, but also by participation in technologically advanced production processes—the assembly line of industrial capitalism. Amazon simply repeats and updates such promises. In Italy, for example, Amazon positions itself as an employee-focused company that brings stable employment back to a precarized labor market—a boon to a labor market hit by financial crises, lackluster growth, and lack of opportunities for retraining and upskilling. So Amazon continues a historical trajectory of Italian capitalism, but imports onto the local context novel characteristics borrowed from the American digital corporation model.
Indeed, digital capitalism updates industrial capitalism’s promise of economic and social emancipation with some novel elements of its own. Rather than simply swapping out the assembly line with the robot or the algorithm, the culture of digital capitalism mixes libertarian ideology with entrepreneurial elements. At the core of this myth lies a form of individualism. The combination of new information technologies with free-market dynamics enables emancipatory potential for the entrepreneur. Furthermore, digital capitalist companies state that they exist to change the world, to make people happy, to create value for everyone and not just for investors—technological optimism at its apex. After all, how could you deliver a bad outcome when your first principle is don’t be evil, as Google’s old slogan famously put it.
Amazon extends this old myth to all its workers. Indeed, in corporate documents, the company goes so far as to state that everyone is an “owner” at Amazon. While this is quite literal in the case of engineers and executives who receive shares of the company, it can only be understood at the level of mythology for warehouse workers. A figurative or spiritual commitment to the company’s destiny. Managerial techniques used in the warehouse contribute to building this myth, as associates are asked to have fun at work and help Amazon make history, as one of its corporate slogans goes. The myth brings with it the idea that there is no alternative to digital capitalism. Only co-option, or failure for those who can’t keep up or won’t adapt or submit.
Myths are not just old stories or false beliefs. They are ideas that help us make sense of the world. The myth of digital capitalism itself is not simply fictitious, but instead has very concrete effects. For Big Tech corporations, this myth projects a positive contribution to the world, helping to attract workers and investment, and boost corporate value on financial markets. But it has other concrete effects as well. In different areas of the world, and in different communities, the myth of redemption stemming from participation in high-tech production has impacted economies and cultures. Feminist media studies scholar Lisa Nakamura recounted how, in the 1970s, electronics manufacturers operating on Navajo land in New Mexico justified the employment of Indigenous women. Labor in microchip production was presented as empowering for the crafty and docile Navajo women—assumptions derived from racist stereotyping. Italy is completely different from the Navajo Nation, and yet the idea that an imported version of American digital capitalism can be a force for collective modernization and individual emancipation is alive and well there too. Belief in this myth is evidenced in many different and even contrasting ways. Some bring resources, like the $1.5 billion state-owned venture capital fund launched in 2020 by the Italian government to support start-up companies in the hope they will foster economic growth. Others sell resources off, like when mayors of small towns with high unemployment compete to attract the next Amazon FC, offering the company both farmland newly opened up for development and a local workforce ready to staff the warehouse. Over the years, the mayors of Castel San Giovanni have described the presence of MXP5 as a force of “development” and a source of “pride” for the town. This is not unique to Italy. American mayors are routinely quoted praising the arrival of a new Amazon facility as a “wonderful” or “monumental” thing for their town.
Amazon’s corporate slogans also hedge up its myth. Central is the valorization of disruption—the idea of a hero entrepreneur defeating the gods of the past. Some of the slogans (the so-called Leadership Principles) are repeated time and again and painted everywhere in the warehouse. While Aboutamazon.com, the company’s corporate website, describes them as “more than inspirational wall hangings,” that is exactly what they sound like. Customer obsession is perhaps the most famous one, a slogan that captures the strategic goal of focusing on customers’ needs: the rest (profits, power) will follow. It also signals that workers are by design an afterthought. Other slogans are even more predictable, like Leaders are right a lot or Think big. Amazon’s myth trickles down to fulfillment centers like MXP5 in many ways. Amazon routinely conducts marketing operations aimed at finding new workers, not new customers. Billboards sporting smiling warehouse workers, recruitment events, and glowing articles commissioned by staffing agencies in the local newspaper are common sights in Piacenza, as in the areas surrounding other FCs. Social media multiplies the message. Amazon encourages employees to join its army of “ambassadors”—workers who plaster social media with positive stories about their job or videos in which they happily dance inside the warehouse. Like the FC’s walls, all these practices are soaked with the Leadership Principles: at a recruitment event near Toronto, slogans, such as Fulfilling the customer promise, were projected as part of a slideshow filled with smiling arrow logos, accompanying a presentation of more mundane details like job descriptions or benefits. “Every Amazonian who wants to be a leader,” we were told, should focus on “customer obsession” and “never settle,” and let’s not forget that Amazonians “are right a lot.” The event wrapped up with free pizza.
In the buildup to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, it seemed like Zendaya sure was gonna be in more of it than she actually was. The trailers implied that her character Chani would be more than a girl who haunts—or graces, depending on your POV—the dreams of Timothée Chalamet’s Paul Atreides, while the actual film itself…
Having a tough time scoring a PlayStation 5 console? You’re not alone—like the Xbox Series X and Nintendo Switch OLED, the PS5 is a highly elusive console that is incredibly difficult to buy. Well, unless you’re willing to pay through the nose on eBay or from a marketplace seller. Good news, though. Another PS5 restock is right around the
After more than a year of development, an updated distribution kit for mobile phones NemoMobile 0.7 version was released, using the developments of the Mer project, but based on the ManjaroArm project. The systemimage size for Pine Phone is 740 MB. All applications and services are open under GPL and BSD licenses and are available on GitHub.
While there have long been diehard fans of vintage and antique furniture, the furniture shortage and resulting delivery delay throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has made higher-end secondhand shopping even more competitive. And with the increased demand has come a flood of fakes, Sydney Gore writes in an article for…
On Monday morning the moderation team for the Rust programming language “resigned effective immediately,” reports The New Stack:
The resignation was tendered via a pull request on GitHub, wherein team member Andrew Gallant wrote that the team resigned “in protest of the Core Team placing themselves unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”
According to the page describing Rust governance, the moderation team’s purpose is to do just that — to help “uphold the code of conduct and community standards” — and according to the resignation letter, they are unable to do so, with the Core Team seemingly being outside of those bounds. “As a result of such structural unaccountability, we have been unable to enforce the Rust Code of Conduct to the standards the community expects of us and to the standards we hold ourselves to,” Gallant continues, before making four specific recommendations to the Rust community as to how to move forward.
First, Gallant writes that the Rust community should “come to a consensus on a process for oversight over the Core Team,” which he says is currently “answerable only to themselves.” Next, the outgoing team recommends that the “replacement for the Mod Team be made by Rust Team Members not on the Core Team,” and that this future team “with advice from Rust Team Members, proactively decide how best to handle and discover unhealthy conflict among Rust Team Members,” with “professional mediation” also suggested. The final point, which they say is unrelated, is that the next team should “take special care to keep the team of a healthy size and diversity, to the extent possible,” something they failed to do themselves. To that point, the outgoing team is just three members, Andre Bogus, Andrew Gallant, and Matthieu M…
The former team concludes their resignation letter, writing that “we have avoided airing specific grievances beyond unaccountability” because they are choosing “to maintain discretion and confidentiality” and that the Rust community and their replacements “exercise extreme skepticism of any statements by the Core Team (or members thereof) claiming to illuminate the situation.”
“Our relationship with Core has been deteriorating for months,” they add in a thread on Reddit (where the subReddit’s moderators have since locked out comments “in light of the volatile nature of this thread.”)
There’s just one more official update. Thursday former Rust moderation team member Andrew Gallant tweeted the URL to a new post which has now appeared on the “Inside Rust blog” — titled “In response to the moderation team resignation.” The post reads:
As top-level team leads, project directors to the Foundation, and core team members, we are actively collaborating to establish next steps after the statement from the Rust moderation team. While we are having ongoing conversations to share perspectives on the situation, we’d like to collectively state that we are all committed to the continuity and long term health of the project.
Updates on next steps will be shared with the project and wider community over the next few weeks. In the meantime, we are grateful to the interim moderators who have stepped up to provide moderation continuity to the project.
Although buying a new GPU is still incredibly difficult, now might be a good time take a look at what else can be upgraded in your system. We have some deals on CPUs, motherboards, monitors, power supplies, and memory. We have already covered SSD storage deals yesterday, so let’s dive into these other PC hardware bargains.
Xiaomi only announced its electric car plans in March, but it already has grand ambitions. According to Reuters, the economic development agency Beijing E-Town has confirmed that Xiaomi will build an EV factory in the city capable of producing up to 300,000 vehicles per year. The plant will be built in two phases and should start mass production in 2024.
The company will also set up its EV headquarters, research and sales divisions in Beijing, the agency said. Xiaomi already plans to use its retail stores to help sell cars.
There are still many unknowns for Xiaomi’s car strategy, including the initial models and international expansion. The successful tech brand expects to invest the equivalent of $10 billion in the EV division over 10 years, but hasn’t shared much detail beyond that. The Beijing factory says more — it suggests Xiaomi intends to become a mainstream (if initially small) EV manufacturer that competes not just with Chinese rivals like Nio and Xpeng, but significant foreign automakers like Tesla.
With the near infinite customization options you have on any given Linux distribution, the most visually noticeable difference is customizing the theme. Let’s take a look at some of the GTK themes with dark mode.
Intel open-source driver engineers have been working on USI stylus support for the Linux kernel. The Universal Stylus Initiative (USI) aims to offer interoperability of active styluses across touchscreen devices…
Are you getting bored with our current units of measurement? Do you constantly weigh the pros and cons of the United States switching over to the metric system, and wonder if there was a better option?
NASA’s Mars InSight lander provided researchers with the data needed to give us our first detailed look at the red planet’s crust, mantle and core. That map doesn’t include any information on the structures nearer its surface, however, and we need that to be able to get a more complete picture of how the planet was formed. Now, a team of scientists was able to create the first detailed image of what lies right underneath the planet’s surface, showing three billion years of its history, by listening to Martian winds.
More precisely, they analyzed the ambient noise (in the absence of marsquakes) collected by the seismometer that was installed by the InSight lander. On Earth, that kind of ambient seismic noise is generated by the ocean, human activity and winds, but only the last one is present on Mars. The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) and ETH Zurich have been regularly analyzing data collected by the seismometer as part of the Marsquake Service. Over the past years, SED was able to develop ways to analyze ambient noise data to define geological structures here on Earth, and those are the techniques they used on the data from InSight.
Based on the data the tool gathered, the top three meters of InSight’s landing site is made of sand, while the next 20 meters are loose material, particularly volcanic rock fissured by meteorite impacts. Underneath that sand and rock lie lava flows divided by sediments that formed when the planet experienced cold and dry conditions. Researchers believe the uppermost lava flows were deposited around 1.7 billion years ago, while the deepest ones were deposited as far back as 3.6 billion years ago at a time when there was a lot more volcanic activity on the planet.
The researchers recently published their study in Nature, and one of the things they emphasized is that it proves techniques to investigate our planet can also work on Mars. Other methods used to know more about Earth could also give us more information about the red planet, which may one day become humanity’s second home.
Almost from the beginning of the COVID pandemic, reports have accumulated of persistent, weird, disabling symptoms in survivors, a syndrome that’s come to be known as long COVID. The complex of fatigue, confusion, heart arrhythmias, gut disorders, and other problems—which may persist months after an infection begins or arise months after it seems to have concluded—has attracted attention and sympathy, intense patient activism, substantial research interest, and huge government investment. Last December, the US Congress voted in $1.15 billion to fund four years of research into long COVID, and this February, the US National Institutes of Health announced it would use those funds to create a nested set of large studies examining adult and child experiences of the syndrome.
What makes long COVID research urgent is also what makes it, at this point, so challenging. No one has yet been able to determine its cause, beyond the association that it occurs in people who have had COVID—or who think they did but weren’t able to get a test to prove it. This makes it difficult to understand and therefore to predict who is vulnerable: why one patient develops lasting symptoms and another does not.
Linux has become a perfectly capable and easy-to-use operating system, but where can you actually buy a Linux laptop? You won’t find them in big box stores, aside from Chromebooks. Fortunately, that’s less of an issue as more of us do our shopping online. Now it’s only a matter of knowing where to look and what to look for.