Mind Dump, Tech And Life Blog
written by Ivan Alenko
published under license CC4-BY
posted in category Technology & Dystopia / Technologies
posted at 30. Apr '23
last updated at 02. May '23

Small Overview of What Happened in Technology 2022-Apr 2023

This article is a summary of what happened in tech sector. Sorry for typos, errors, ugly typography and grammar and talking shit.

The introduction of PCI Express 5 in AMD AM5 era and Intel 13th gen means even more components on a motherboard need to be surface mounted. This time RAM and PCI Express slots. PCIe 5 has even worse problems with signal integrity than PCIe 4, on typical PC ATX board only the first slot is gen 5, other slots cannot do it without some kind of signal repeater. Also it seems we need to forget about cheap 6 layer PCBs.

With PCIe 5, DDR5 was also introduced. Now a module has its own power regulator and internally it behaves like 2xDDR4 module. There are even more advanced algorithms to synchronize clock:

Every single time the MB boots, it does some memory training. The first time you enable XMP, its like 2-3 minutes, every time after that is 30~ seconds. I did notice a option to disable the memory extra memory training, but it did some wacky stuff to perf. Also I see you have dual-rank memory. Those take even longer to boot I’ve noticed. I spend a lot of time watching the codes haha. https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/long-am5-post-times.300869/post-4877596.

I have mixed feelings.

SODIMM is condemned in laptops, may survive in single board computers. Dell introduced a new flat form factor which can handle signal integrity of DDR5. But it is ugly, but hey are trying to make it a standard at least.

SSDs are getting worse in a sense of good deals. Cheap QLC with shitty controllers are a joke with writing speed of 50MB/s (after SLC cache). There is a massive hype for PCIe5 SSD with blazing speeds and even active coolers exists for them. I still use mostly SATA SSDs and one gen 3 NVMe and I am satisfied. My motherboard has only two m.2 slots, but 6 SATA slots. All my PCIe slots are occupied. Fuck m.2 hype, 2.5” SATA FTW.

I upgraded in Jan 2022 from Ryzen 2700X to 5900X and my computer also boots significantly longer, around 30s, from around 15s. Not pleasant, but I can live with that.

ATX 3.0 + ATX12VO came and….did not overtake anything yet.

PCIe 5.0 12VHPWR is a fail. Somebody does not like 8-pin connectors and early 12 pin connectors on RTX 4090 were prone to burning. Really shitty design of a connector to not have any feedback when connecting it and those angles…

Graphic cards got very large, 4 slots. But at least they are silent.

PCs got much more expensive. Playstation 5 cost 600 euros, Xbox S X? S S? (fix your fucking naming Microsoft) similar. High end graphic cards cost around 1500 euros and more. Frankly for video games I would just buy a console. If it wasn’t me. I use gamepad, but only for platformers like Devil May Cry. My strategy is just not upgrade my computer anymore. I spent a lot, every year bought a new component and now I have enough computing power to play all I want and also to do other activities (like writing long articles). The graphics cards are the most expensive component to get - and also sucks nVidia just dont’t want to release low end with the latest tech. AMD just does weird shit in low end. I miss the times of HD 5450 or HD 7790. Anyways currently I have two nVidia cards and I won’t upgrade for a couple of years I hope (until nVidia obsoletes them).

Intel introduced dedicated graphic cards which looks interesting. At first the price wasn’t so good and the idle power consumption was quite horrible, 40W. Also issues with driver. Most of that was fixed, but idle power consumption is still kind of bad. And the worst was it came late, too late. I bought nVidia card, because I wanted to play in 4k and couldn’t get anything else. I don’t like nVidia and their proprietary shit…and prices.

Latest Intel processors 13th gen with TDP like 120W can draw 260W under load. They have a good performance, but I’m not sure what to think about power requirements that high. What’s the point anyway?

Also Chinese companies announced graphic cards - using tech from Imagination Tech PowerVR which was bought by Chinese private equity fund owned by Chinese government. And second one uses tech from VIA and S3. We will see if they just talk shit and do bogus presentations or they really have something which works well. I saw one test and it could handle only DirectX 9 with some problems - could run Counter Strike 1.6 with glitches.

Chinese companies started to add patches for their processors and graphics cards to GCC, ffmpeg and Mesa. This is a big deal to mainline the support and the question is why it took so long. Tired of maintaining hopelessly outdated forks? Or they understood the insane complexity of the software? They already mirror almost all open source code, they don’t have to be afraid to be cut off abruptly by a country starting with U and lose their effort.

Also Chinese learned all evil methods used by West how to gain power in the world and are using it pretty efficiently. Global patents, lawsuits, buying off foreign competitors, small investments (5%, from Tencent and others) to many many technology and game companies. In some they have much more (Epic Games). I think 5% gives them right to see what is happening inside of a (private) company, so it can be used for espionage. Public companies have to share a lot, but still a lot is secret.

In general Chinese government seems to have lots of free money to spend and if they want, they can overtake any Chinese corporation very fast.

The Internet is still a global network so in theory you can reach any IP address from any place in the world.

IPv6 is still not everywhere ;-( I can be wrong, but it seems hardware acceleration for IPv6 networks are still not there and also all behavior is not implemented in network appliances and causes issues.

The censorship of content on the internet is on the rise everywhere - even in the western democracies. China has its own Great Firewall and Chinese people cannot really communicate outside of their country and inside there is pretty advanced censorship. Russia blocks many western sites or mark them as a terrorrist companies (I no longer question the sanity or the terms of used by Russia). In general they try to remove all inconvenient content and internal censorship seems to be much stronger. In the Western world, Britain is considered to have the craziest Internet control with all opaque blacklists (not public), now they are proposing to verify the age of all users (Online Safety Bill, what the fuck?). In Germany you can’t browse or buy adult games. Or write on a Facebook a comment to a politician that he is a stupid person, otherwise SWAT team will raid you. Australia has also pretty strong censorship mostly against 18+ games (mostly violence) and have weird blacklist which blocked competitors of some politicians. USA is a clusterfuck, while free, they are not free at all. Twitter used to be a liberal stronghold, now Musk bought it and is more neutral platform (he unbanned right wings). I guess they shouldn’t have banned Trump. In general you have to at least signal neoliberal values to keep you payment processors, banks, and people happy and not die from lack of resources. In some cases you can be religious Christian republican fanatic and survive just enough to meddle with other’s people lives as much as you can. India does not like criticism of Modi, their prime minister and will crack down pretty hard. They even went after BBC. African countries turn off internet when there are civil unrests or school exams. In CZ/SK, fight against disinformations is happening which basically means classic communist “just shut up and walk”, “we will protect you against imperialist enemies”. Media sector is split between mainstream media which are pretty heavily controlled by politicians though flow of money and power over certain people - that means some topics are omitted. And “conspiracy” sites which are amalgamation of topics - (they question decisions in intelligent, stupid or manipulative way) - about society, opression, corporations, governments, and foreign propaganda. True conspiracy sites writing about UFO, old civilizations and mysteries are not called conspiracy anymore. The current strategy of people in power is to talk shit about conspiracy sites and to stop the flow of money to them to kill them off. There was an attempt to ban some of them after Putin attacked Ukraine, but fortunately it was reverted. Frankly I’m curious how a country should handle foreign (Russia) propaganda or even allied propaganda (USA, EU) to not look like stupid fuck (dance to their tune and lose all respect from them).

EU tries to implement Chat Control laws - the competency of people behind it is very low since some of they think they can peek and scan for bad content in end to end encryption. What a joke. As with Britain and their Child whatever act they are using children as a reason to scan all private chats. I would agree in some situation, but seeing Epstein case, I have no faith in elites and politicians here.

Microsoft tries to buy Activision-Blizzard for 69 bilion dollars. My personal opinion is it would make things worse in gaming sector in the long run, but I think they will success. Frankly I like Xbox and gaming division of MS, but they are not as competent as used to be last couple of years. When they bought lots of studios couple of years ago I thought they will release games already…..or at least something. On the other hand Blizzard is pretty much fucked up and while Diablo 4 looks reasonable well, it is not breathtaking.

Saudis are investing heavily into esports. They bought whole ESL and FACEIT. And are investing even more https://savvygames.com/his-royal-highness-the-crown-prince-announces-savvy-games-group-strategy/. i guess it makes sense. On the other hand there is a downscaling going on in less profitable games (my beloved Starcraft 2).

Many people are predicting some kind of apocalypse in gaming sector, but masses seem to like to play repetitive, free to play, shitty mobile, pay to win or average console games or pc ports of average console games. I find current games not great, not terrible and I kind of wait for something new and good and not recycled. At least there is indie scene with at least a bit interesting games. Some publishers are not happy even with 2 milions of sold copies. Which is weird.

Tech sector is laying off people, around 170k in 2023. Kind of big deal.

Investments in tech sector are at 1/4 of previous years. Or maybe more - so is the decade of “pour as much money and capture as much market as you can. don’t worry about losses” investment going to end? As money dries up, some sites (YouTube) or companies (Uber) will have a hard time.

Somebody in government noticed Amazon’s anticompetitive shit. Also Amazon is having shortage of people who want to slave off in their warehouses. Amazon restructured and cancelled dpreview.com and Book Depository. Now I have to buy books from Amazon with its shitty search and browsing.

Under sanctions Apple removed applications of Russian banks from Apple store. Russian banks try to sneak in applications posing at something else under shell entities in tax heavens. Sucks not to be able to side load anything in Apple devices. And children, that’s why you should have your own technologies or at least have them under control and have means to do plan B. Personally I don’t even agree with removing banking apps from stores (also from Android store). It is not professional and breaks trust and unwritten rules. Of course the contract was written they could do it without any consequences. It sucks to choose an easy way to use tech of West and then get cut off it because of bad behavior.

Hardware/chip sales are down around 50%, because of bad economic situation and inventory. Also cheap second hand hardware from crypto operations (in some countries). I personally bought lots of hardware in 2020-2022. Lots means I have two PCs, Raspberry Pi 400, and 4 other SBCs, storage and a new sound system. I’m not planning to buy much from now on. I just need hardware to live though hard times and to have something to play with. I don’t need shiny new things without a purpose.

Peoples Republic of China still has plan to overtake and integrate Taiwan into their territory. Which sucks not only for their people, but also because 90% of high end chips are manufactured there.

USA is waging a technology war against China, they are trying to cut them off from the latest chip manufacturing technologies, high end server graphic cards (to limit AI learning) - nVidia prepared cards with lower computing power to get around, limit sale of any products to sanctioned entities like Huawei - Seagate Handed $300 Million US Government Fine, Accused of Breaking Rules With HDD Exports to Huawei. Poor Huawei cannot even buy a harddisk anymore and store the results of nuclear explosions, killer robo bee cats or whatever.

Of course China retaliates slowly, by banning western components if they can. Well, it is their plan anyway, to manufacture all technologies domestically by 2025.

I don’t like pathetic attempt of Microsoft to retire all computers older than 2018 with Windows 11. My parents still run PC from 2011 without any problems. Phenom X4 has plenty of power for office work and web browsing. I bought 2x8G DDR3 memory, SSD, replaced fan on Gelid Tranquillo and all is good.

Many people say one should buy new stuff to save electricity and I don’t agree with it. Yes, electricity got much more expensive. But to manufacture components a lot of electricity and other chemicals are used too. It makes sense to upgrade in datacenters where you will see the difference in cost. But to spend 300W of electricity per day instead of 500W….does it makes a difference? Especially during spring, fall or winter? No. The cost difference is max 0.5 euro per day which is max 15 euro per month. Also to throw away stuff without any issues is kind of sacrilege.

I feel we still don’t have very good tools to write software.

Innovation in hardware is quite low and everything takes very long. Software integration is, for the lack of the word, bad.

In general corporations don’t want to support open source project they use. Apparently they don’t have processes to pay them.

From my point of view ARM boards are still a letdown. Too little IO, no UEFI or something like that and most important - fucking drivers in mainline kernel and mesa. It gets slowly better I guess, but x86 board is on another level for general use. I like they don’t really need a big cooler.

RISC-V architecture and boards are getting off the ground, but the process is quite chaotic. The culture of this architecture is more less every man for himself.

Rust programming language is still hyped, it is hyped for like 5 years. GCC support is still far from complete though. Mrustc is….not good.

2022 was about Web3 and blockchain shit, 2023 is about AI, ChatGPT, midjourney. Many artists don’t like AI can imitate their style and use small segments of their work. I’m not sure what to think about learning AI on data taken kind of illegaly from various places. Some people seems only doom in AI. I’ll write an article about it, because it wil be much longer. We all will be replaced by AI! Or not..

Ericsson bribed people in Djibouti, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kuwait and also bribed Islamic State in Iraq and ISIL to sell, protect or do not destroy their equipment. Who were they competing against? Huawei or Nokia? Maybe Samsung, ZTE and NEC? There aren’t many other manufacturers.

Frankly 5G is kind of fail even in 2023. In USA carriers fake signal strength and show fake 5G badges in telephones. They spent so much money on marketing on 5G and now they have to do riddiculous shit like that instead of building base stations, right? In reality the speed is shitty, goes fast for a few megabytes and then it is throttled to 40-150kB/s. In New York? I’m really curious how it will look like in less dense cities. 5G was supposed to bring thousands of clients per BTS with wonderful speeds. Frankly I don’t expect 5G to replace 4G soon. Telecom operators are greedy as always and IoT won’t pay for itself. A support for IoT (thousands of client) is the main advantage of 5G in comparison with 4G. A massage for subscriptions in things like cars is just getting stared.

China sold base stations to some US carriers for real cheap, so they could eavesdrop on military bases (by vision from electromagnetic waves). Well, good solution for a problem. In general in USA they try to get rid of Chinese base stations, but it is not that easy since they allowed telecoms to buy them for years, not cheap to replace (although they are supposed to get the price back…..maybe) and now it became very political topic with all the dances around. Alternatives from Ericsson or Nokia are for sure much expensive. They also are trying to ban TikTok. Don’t worry, China already have dossiers for all your people. Does it make sense to ban it? In general addictive algorithms are not good for certain percentage of population. Some say TikTok in China (Doujin) propagates topics like education, nationalism and shit and in the West stupid shit like dances and useless challenges and trends (let’s say entertainment). Dunno, who cares. I already saw Jesus will save you adverts on YouTube. Government with good intentions would propagate shit like that. Even people in the West are slaves to the system and entertainment is used to take some pressure off to not go crazy.

The price of advert on YouTube is $1.5 per 1000 views. On Twitch it is $6 per 1000 views. You have to have lots of views or watchers to earn reasonable amount. Also that explains why do I see lots of advertisements on YouTube without any ad blockers. Facebook earns $40 bilion per quarter, mostly from advertising.

USB-C dongles are still mostly shit. There are like two chips to choose from, most designs are of poor quality. My Akasa dongle - HDMI does not work always, it gets hot, SD reader can read only 30MB/s (wtf?). Ethernet works ok. Also most don’t have more than one USB-C port and power only which sucks, because I do have also USB-C devices, but not enough ports. And in addition Anker went rogue and are not trustworthy company anymore - really questionable marketing and lies, but have (had?) the best dongles and chargers. Don’t buy their security cameras from their subbrand.

I still don’t like Qualcomm, they have their shit everywhere, but are not really open to sublicense their technologies like various Apt. All devices which supports it seems to also have QC chipset - in smartphone or bluetooth headphones.

And that’s all - I would have much more intertesting, ridiculous or weird stuff, but I removed lots of bookmarks without writing anything, because I had long creative crisis.

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