Not enough time to follow all the news from the world of technology? Then read our subjective analysis of all the events this week. Here I will share with you my personal opinion about the most interesting and important events in the world of technology. Sometimes you scroll through the news feed, and often you don’t really want to reread everything in a row. The main goal is to briefly and easily share my impressions and thoughts about the event. This is my personal opinion, you may or may not agree with it. I will be glad read to your comments and ratings. Who stood out this time? So let’s get started.
Nearly 10 million viewers watched The House of the Dragon, and in Ukraine it was also a scandal
There has never been such a premiere. We all remember what happened in the finale of Game of Thrones, and now it’s time for a powerful start!
The Game of Thrones series taught us that it is always accompanied by hype, like no other series. It was this series that broke popularity records since its release. But we know that sequels are not always so successful. Sometimes, even if the idea hits the bull’s eye, the rest does not turn out as well as the audience would like.
Does House of the Dragon have a chance to repeat this triumph, because the plot of the series has changed significantly, and almost every sequel or triquel has shown what it is capable of in the last 10 years? It is difficult to predict success or failure so early, because recently there have been many surprises in the series market. The House of the Dragon has everything necessary to keep us in suspense, to surprise, to intrigue. The question is whether the dragons will rule over everyone else.
Well, it seems that after the official broadcast of the first series, we already have a preliminary answer to this question. HBO is probably very pleased with the debut of one of the best series of all time. According to the official press release, only on Sunday evening in the USA the premiere gathered 9.986 million viewers. And if we are talking about other regions, then there are also reasons to be satisfied.
This premiere marked the largest premiere of a show on HBO Max in the United States, Latin America and EMEA, leading to an unprecedented level of simulcasting on the platform. Usually, the Sunday evening audience for HBO series is only 20% – 40% of the total audience.
Just like with Game of Thrones, a lot happened in social networks as well. For 14 hours, #HouseoftheDragon was the most popular tag on Twitter. This title was also the first in Google Trends.
A huge success and there is something to be happy about. The only question is whether the next series will cause so many emotions, or was it just a spectacular beginning that would later dissapoint the expecting audience?
In Ukraine, the premiere took place even with a scandal. The fact is that the MEGOGO network showed this series with the support of the Russian Amediateka, which caused a violent reaction in social networks. Most Ukrainians did not discuss the series itself and the events in it, but the fact that the series was released with a Russian version of the dubbing. Given the war is still going on this is unacceptable, and I do not understand MEGOGO’s intentions. Yes, the contract with Amediateka, which still owns the rights to broadcast content from HBO, still exists and has not been terminated. Even if you broadcast films and series from this resource, why without Ukrainian dubbing? In addition, why not try to establish cooperation with HBO? More questions than answers. However, soon Ukrainian dubbing appeared on MEGOGO, although it was not of sufficient quality, but it did appear. I didn’t understand anything then. At first they talked about some kind of copyright that does not allow them to make the translation, but now they made it. Mystery!
Now about the series itself. I’m not a fan of Game of Thrones, but I liked the first episode of the new series, although I only watched it to write this news, so I won’t rate it. I will say one thing for sure – I will also watch the second episode and, I hope, with Ukrainian dubbing on MEGOGO.
The Webb telescope helped create magnificent photos of Jupiter
In the last days of July, the Webb telescope continued the study of Jupiter in the infrared range. Jupiter was previously studied by the Webb telescope, however, a regular observation session of the gas giant took place only on July 27, 2022 and showed that the nature of Jupiter is a continuous cosmic storm.
It should be noted that thanks to space telescopes, we have long known that Jupiter is a very beautiful planet. Due to the near-infrared capabilities of the Webb telescope, we were able to see this beauty, and in a wider perspective, even admire the rings and moons of Amalter and Adrastei.
It is extremely difficult to image the planet’s rings, because they are millions of times dimmer than the gas giant’s spectrum. In the photo below you can see a magnificent image of Jupiter. Pay attention to the glowing dots at the bottom of the frame. They probably come from such distant galaxies that only Webb can register them.
Near-infrared observations of Jupiter in July were used to capture an amazing close-up of the gas giant.
Cool colors should not mislead us. We are looking at a hell created by extreme temperatures and pressures. The photographs were taken with the NIRCam near infrared camera, which has three infrared filters. They give color and detail to the photo, since infrared light is invisible to the human eye. Simply put, the longest waves are represented in red and the shortest in blue. Jupiter’s auroras glow red, and light reflected from clouds glows blue, yellow, and green. The equatorial belt and the large persistent cyclone at the bottom of the image, the so-called Great Red Spot, are almost white because they reflect the most sunlight. This gigantic storm is large enough to swallow the entire Earth.
What’s new in Jupiter images from the telescope? ‘This image is the result of our Jupiter system exploration program, which studies the dynamics and chemistry of Jupiter itself, its rings, and the satellite system,’ scientists say, commenting on the image of Jupiter.
However, the Webb telescope was placed in space not only to confirm what we already know. The images that we can admire are the result of processing information about the brightness of light on Webb detectors. In addition to them, the July observations provided new physical and chemical data on the gas giant and its atmosphere. Although their analysis will take many months, it will certainly increase our knowledge of the origin of the solar system.
This is important because Jupiter, with its turbulent atmosphere, helps scientists understand how our planetary system formed. Therefore, the more secrets we discover, the more we know about the past of the Earth and why life could arise and survive on our planet.
Even Google is amazed by new hacker weapons
We have known for a long time that hacker tools are advanced and professional programs. Google experts are still amazed by the new software called Hyperscape. It easily accesses someone else’s Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo mailboxes.
Hyperscape was created in Iran or on behalf of some entity in Iran. It is not clear if this tool was ordered by the government or created for the needs of one of the local militants. Google, which discovered this tool and even got a copy of it, is unable to determine it. However, it is so effective that it is only a matter of time before it spreads to the western underground cyberworld.
Hyperscape is not a tool to hack into an unknown mailbox. The hacker has yet to find a way to get the credentials, so this tool is not comparable to Pegasus. However, Hyperscape requires only a cookie stolen from the browser’s cache and associated with the email service to work.
Hyperscape has its own GUI. The tool presents itself to the mail service as a very old browser. The service is then served in its simplest version as a simple dynamic HTML site. This tool is necessary because modern Gmail or Outlook email programs have a lot of scripts running in the background, which can break the tool or even cause it to be detected.
With a simplified form of the user’s mailbox at its disposal, without any scripts running in the background, the malware gets to work. So it exports each email to an .eml file. Interestingly, the tool monitors whether Microsoft, Google or Yahoo detects suspicious activity and sends a notification message. That’s when Hyperscape captures and deletes them. It also ensures that all emails stay intact and unread emails are marked as new again after being read by the tool. In other words, it erases absolutely all traces of hacking. The user has no chance of knowing that he was the victim of an attack.
Hyperscape has been known to rely on simplified HTML email applications for older browsers. Google assures that it will use the knowledge gained from the analysis of the tool to further protect Gmail. We expect Microsoft and Yahoo to do the same. However, it is worth considering that the version of Hyperscape acquired by Google comes from 2020. The tool has probably been further developed since then. It is not yet known how ordinary users can protect themselves from Hyperscape, and this can turn into a nuisance for many companies and ordinary users.
AI-guided virtual rapper fired from label for racism
I don’t know what’s funnier in this story. That the label hired a virtual rapper or had to fire him because he started recording racist songs.
Have you heard about the most popular rapper of recent years? No, this is not Lil Uzi Vert or 6ix9ine, although visually they are very similar, but FN Meka, an artificial intelligence-guided virtual singer. This is the first non-existent rapper officially hired by a professional label. Unfortunately, his career ended before it began. Capitol Records terminated the contract with him because of… racist lyrics.
FN Meka is a product created by Brandon Le and Factory New is the rightful owner. Imagine the stereotypical image of an American trapper wearing expensive jewelry and designer clothes. He enjoys showing off his collaborations with premium brands on social media and driving exclusive cars. That’s the whole FN Meka. Just watch the video below – they speak for themselves.
In fact, FN Meka was supposed to act as a creative advertising banner from the very beginning. Brands like Gucci, Xbox, and Rolls Royce have gone through his TikTok, racking up millions of views.
The virtual creator, although theoretically dependent on the label, had quite a lot of independence in the creative process. Artificial intelligence has analyzed dozens of popular rap songs and created their own songs based on them. AI participated not only in writing lyrics, but also in creating the soundtrack. We can say that FN Meka was a full-fledged artist. But his contract was unexpectedly terminated. It turned out that the computer rapper went too far with racist lines.
At first, everything went according to plan. The rapper has recorded several hits such as Internet or Moonwalking, and his TikTok profile has attracted millions of followers. However, this did not suit representatives of the black community. The label has been criticized by activists who have accused it of outright insult. FN Meka not only looks like a stereotypical collective image of black rappers, but also overuses the N-word .
The non-profit organization Industry Blackout issued an appeal to the label, which strongly criticized the character FN Meka and demanded that his work be removed from all platforms. In addition, they are also expecting a donation of funds pumped into the project as a charity event in support of black creative youth.
— Industry Blackout #IndustryBlackout (@industryblkout) August 23, 2022
Capitol Records gave in under pressure, breaking the contract with the virtual rapper. However, the company’s excuse is that a multicultural team was in charge of the project, and the voice of FN Meka himself comes from a black guy.
Large corporations prove once again that persistent attempts to be cool often end up shooting themselves in the foot. After all, the whole project was initially shameful, reminiscent of a scene from the cult comedy series 30 Rock.
Sooner or later it had to end, but, unfortunately, such companies do not learn from mistakes. The era of the Metaverse is yet to come, which means that we will hear about such incidents more than once. So get ready for a flood of similar virtual musicians looking like a Fortnite character. Because today’s youth loves it, don’t they?
Brandon Dalaly implanted himself with chips for storing data, payments and opening Tesla
Non-medical implants have been controversial for years now, with opponents not only pointing out possible health consequences, but considering it to be self-imposed “enslavement”. However, this does not convince the supporters of such solutions, their number seems to be constantly growing, and we get another example.
More and more automakers are moving away from traditional physical keys to open and start the car, opting for special programs and NFC technology. This means that the problem of keys that often disappear and hide from our eyes is solved, as we just need to have a smartphone with us. But what if it gets lost too, or if we leave itsomewhere by accident? It is definitely better to put a special implant under the skin, some have decided…
At least that’s the decision Brandon Dalaly made when he declared himself a big fan of biomodification. Some time ago, he decided to install an implant in his left arm, with which he opens his house and stores data such as portfolio, contacts, medical records. And now he has added another one – in his right hand he placed the VivoKey Apex chip, which allows you to make secure payments and install third-party programs.
Video: Tesla Owner Implants Tiny Chip Into His Hand To Unlock Vehicle – NDTV https://t.co/9beDu9ssFL
— けいた (@k1832_) August 23, 2022
Interestingly, the latest chip is still in beta phase, and our today’s hero is one of the 100 testers of this solution. However, if all goes according to plan, the implant will hit the market and be available to everyone for $300.
Dalaly claims that the ability to wirelessly install selected programs on this chip has really been a game changer, and he was the first to download Tesla software to remotely open electric car doors.
VivoKey Apex claims that the implants are completely safe as they only penetrate the skin and are coated with biocompatible substances such as biopolymer and bioglass. The process of inserting a chip, which is depicted in the video below (notice, quite drastic), is similar to chipping animals at the veterinarian, and any piercer can perform it. By the way, Brandon Dalaly paid $100 for this service.
‘This was the first app I installed after I got my Tesla. Now I use it as a key when my Bluetooth dongle fails or I don’t have a key card. In that case, I just use my hand,’ said Brandon Dalaly.
The only question is, what about the digital security of this solution? Yes, chips can be hacked, or you can make a payment by accident, but Dalaly argues that this is similar to payment cards or smartphones, which means that such a situation is unlikely, since it requires you to literally touch the device to the validator panel. Because of course this does not happen unnoticed. But Brandon did not provide any evidence. For some reason, I am sure that this idea will find its fans in the future. Perhaps, in ten years, no one will be surprised by the scene at the checkout in the supermarket, where someone will pay with an implant sewn into their arm. The world is amazing and everything is possible in it.
Can Windows 11 run better on a MacBook Air M2 than on an Intel laptop?
Now about the rather controversial, if not funny, desire of Apple fans to prove to everyone that the M2 chip is cooler than Intel or AMD processors.
This time around, fanatical Apple fan YouTuber Max Tech decided to install the latest version of Windows 11 on the MacBook Air. It should be noted that although the system cannot be installed in the traditional way, it can be used thanks to a virtual machine. That is, it is just an emulator, not a real working machine.
However, that didn’t stop YouTuber Max Tech from testing the latest virtual machine Parallels Desktop 18 offers on this year’s M2-chip MacBook Air and seeing how Windows 11 performs in Geekbench 5 benchmarks. He got the following results: the computer scored 1681 points in the single-core test and 7260 points in the multi-core test.
These results were compared to a Dell XPS Plus laptop, which is more expensive than a MacBook Air and was running Windows 11 without a virtual machine. Geekbench 5 tests showed slightly weaker results for this model – 1182 points (single-core) and 5476 points (multi-core). These tests cover the scenario when both computers are unplugged and running on batteries. Dell works better when connected to a power source. In the single-core test, this score jumped to 1548 points, and in the multi-core test it jumped to 8103 points, so the MacBook Air wins here as well.
The YouTuber’s conclusion was categorical and ambiguous. Windows 11 on a MacBook Air with M2 works better in Parallels Desktop than a laptop designed for this system. Surprisingly, tests in a virtual environment did not show a double advantage at all.
However, these types of tests should be approached with caution. Not all of them show that the MacBook Air with M2 is better than a laptop with an Intel or AMD processor. Just take a look at the Phoronix website, where there were about 200 different tests comparing the M2 with AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U and 12 Gen Intel. There are a lot of nuances and unusual work processes.
However, it seems that Apple’s proprietary processors will be subjected to all sorts of tests for a long time to come. Someone will see their advantage, someone will show that they are far from competitors. This course of competition in the processor market will be all the more interesting.
However, it is important to remember that we are still talking about a virtual machine running software provided by Parallels that allows you to install the latest version of Windows 11 thanks to the virtual TPM. Windows 11 computers require TPM version 2.0 to function properly. Parallels Desktop offers these solutions for Mac computers with Intel chips, as well as for M1 and M2. And since we’re working with Apple’s own systems, there’s simply no TPM. It is currently not possible to install Windows on them via Boot Camp Assistant.
Installing Windows 11 on Mac computers with Intel processors is quite difficult, which means you cannot do it directly. You must first install Windows 10 and then upgrade to Windows 11 using additional software that will bypass Microsoft protections associated with the TPM system. Lots of combinations, but it’s possible. In addition, a Macbook with M1 or M2 only uses virtual machines. And it must be admitted that for people using a Windows environment and having a MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Mac Studio, this solution can be much better than a dedicated laptop.
But I still don’t understand why would I buy a MacBook, iMac, Mac mini or Mac Studio, just to install Windows 11 with a whole heap of troubles.
Are we on the verge of a war between the US and Apple?
For a long time now, we have been hearing unofficial reports of antitrust lawsuits allegedly awaiting Apple in various markets around the world. Recently it became known that Apple has reason to fear trouble with the so-called market regulators. Both the European Union and the US are investigating Apple, which is taking advantage of its dominance in several market segments by not giving competitors a chance.
If there is a lawsuit, Apple will become the second tech megacorporation in history to face similar allegations. The first such lawsuit concerned Microsoft in the US and the European Union. Bill Gates’ company was even going to cease to exist as a result of the proceedings.
In 1999, the US Department of Justice found Microsoft guilty of monopolistic practices that exploited the dominance of Windows on PCs to force computer manufacturers not to use competing programs such as browsers and office suites. The result was a verdict to split the company into two new ones. One would keep Windows and the other would keep everything else. However, Microsoft won the appeals court, and all it had to do was commit itself to open the Windows APIs (interfaces for communicating between programs and the system), and never resort to such practices again.
The European Union, which also recognized Microsoft as a monopoly, eventually ordered the company to create an edition of Windows in which the Internet Explorer browser and Windows Media Player were hidden from the user, and that the system allowed the user to choose another player or browser from the first step. These editions of Windows were sold under the name Windows N. They were reportedly chosen by fewer than a few thousand European customers.
As a result, Microsoft has not experienced serious repercussions for its illegal and unethical practices. Although the company nevertheless drew conclusions and, wanting to avoid a similar situation in the future, completely changed its policy and strategy. Most of the leadership has been replaced. The situation led to Bill Gates also resigning as CEO, with Steve Ballmer taking over the role.
Can Apple also count on a similarly condescending attitude? According to information received by Politico journalists, the Ministry of Justice has been preparing to consider the case since 2019. Initially, as is known from unofficial information circulating in the media, investigators’ attention was focused on the App Store. After all, this is the only available place to buy software and services for Apple mobile devices, and the company uses this to charge a fee for every transaction made through the App Store. However, the list of accusations is even more extended. After all, Apple has been making it harder for app developers to access the relevant APIs on the iPhone since the release of Apple AirTags, and it’s also making it harder for gaming streaming providers to get paid for their services.
Apparently, the list is longer, but journalists do not yet know all the charges. The Department itself has not yet decided on the date of completion of the collection of evidence, therefore, has not made a decision on the formal start of the trial. However, this is perhaps only a matter of time.
It’s impossible to predict what this will mean for Apple and iPhone users. It is quite possible that the latter will not even notice any changes, because Apple, like Microsoft, can avoid consequences, and it may even turn out that the company did not violate any law. However, it is possible that Apple could also be split or that the court will force the company to change its policy. And this means that some changes will occur with the iPhone itself, but it is impossible to guess which ones. I’m sure this is just the beginning.
The past week has been such an interesting and quite eventful event in the world of technology. Of course, I have not covered all the events, but you can view these and other news on our website.