Farhad Manjoo | Biden Just Clobbered China’s Chip Industry – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“Semiconductors are among the most intricate tools that human beings have ever invented. They are also among the most expensive to make.

The latest chips — the sort that power supercomputers and high-end smartphones — are densely packed with transistors so small they’re measured in nanometers. Perhaps the only things more ingenious than the chips themselves are the machines that are used to build them. These devices are capable of working on almost unimaginably tiny scales, a fraction of the size of most viruses. Some of the chip-building machines take years to build and cost hundreds of millions of dollars each; the Dutch company ASML, which makes the world’s only lithography machines capable of inscribing designs for the fastest chips, has produced just 140 such devices over the past decade.”

The 3 Best Ebook Readers for 2022 | Reviews by Wirecutter

“With an ebook reader, you can carry thousands of books at a time and access a library of millions more on a device that’s smaller than a paperback, lasts for weeks on a single charge, and gives you a better reading experience than a tablet or phone. After testing every competitive ebook reader available in the US, we can say that the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids is the right choice for almost everyone (yes, even for adults).”

The Default Tech Settings You Should Turn Off Right Away – The New York Times

“With iPhones, users can open the settings app and enter the privacy menu to change how they share data about their app use and location.

  • Select Tracking and toggle off Allow Apps to Request to Track. This tells all apps to not share data with third parties for marketing purposes.

  • Select Apple Advertising and toggle off Personalized Ads so that Apple can’t use information about you to serve targeted ads on its App Store, Apple News and Stocks.

  • Select Analytics & Improvements and toggle off Share iPhone Analytics to prevent the iPhone from sending device data to Apple to improve its products.

  • Select Location Services, tap System Services and toggle off iPhone Analytics and Routing & Traffic to prevent the device from sharing geodata with Apple for improving Apple Maps.indsay

David Lindsay. I do not agree with the assumption here that you should not let the corp. have any data to improve their services. The first point is the only one that I categorically agree with. “Select Tracking and toggle off Allow Apps to Request to Track. This tells all apps to not share data with third parties for marketing purposes.”   You should not go this far.

Farah Stockman | The U.S. Is Behind in the Competition for the ‘Oil’ of the 21st Century – The New York Times

Ms. Stockman is a member of the editorial board.

“Semiconductors, the tiny computer chips that run everything from smartphones to satellites to missile defense systems, are often called the “oil” of the 21st century. Maintaining U.S. economic and military might depend on a reliable supply. Semiconductor shortages during the pandemic brought some car assembly lines to a halt and left showrooms of home appliances barren, providing a glimpse of what would happen to the American economy if those chips ever ran out.

Like energy, the semiconductor industry is so important that it factors into decisions about war and peace. About 92 percent of the world’s most advanced chips are made in Taiwan. The rest come from South Korea. Repeated warnings by President Xi Jinping of China that he is willing to use force if necessary to reassert control over Taiwan have forced U.S. policymakers to contemplate what would happen if the American military was ever cut off from the chips that it needs.

Since the Trump administration cut off certain chips from going to China, chips have become fodder for public debate. Now Americans are worrying about our own chip supply, and the need for the United States to be less dependent on chips from Asia has become one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in Washington. The CHIPS Act, which would give $39 billion to subsidize the construction of semiconductor factories in the United States, plus $11 billion for research and development initiatives into chip innovation, is the centerpiece of a bill to increase U.S. competitiveness that is expected to move forward in Congress this summer.”

Zeynep Tufekci | Digital Technology Invaded Our Lives. Now Women May Pay For It. – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

Over 130 years ago, a young lawyer saw an amazing new gadget and had a revolutionary vision — technology can threaten our privacy.

“Recent inventions and business methods call attention to the next step which must be taken for the protection of the person,” wrote the lawyer, Louis Brandeis, warning that laws needed to keep up with technology and new means of surveillance, or Americans would lose their “right to be left alone.”

Decades later the right to privacy discussed in that 1890 law review article and Brandeis’s opinions as a Supreme Court justice, especially in the context of new technology, would be cited as a foundational principle of the constitutional protections for many rights, including contraception, same-sex intimacy and abortion.

Now the Supreme Court seems poised to rule that there is no constitutional protection for the right to abortion. Surveillance made possible by minimally-regulated digital technologies could help law enforcement track down women who might seek abortions and medical providers who perform them in places where it would become criminalized. Women are urging one another to delete phone apps like period trackers that can indicate they are pregnant.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
All important stuff, well explained. Thank you Zeynep Tufekci. The Europeans are apparently passing good laws for protection, that we could copy, and then we wouldn’t be starting from scratch. InconvenientNews.net

Patrick Gelsinger is Intel’s True Believer – The New York Times

Don Clark, who has covered the chip industry for more than 30 years, first interviewed Patrick Gelsinger in 1996.

“Patrick Gelsinger was 18 years old and four months into an entry-level job at Intel when he heard a pivotal sermon at a Silicon Valley church in February 1980. There, a minister quoted Jesus from the Book of Revelation.

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” the minister said. “So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

The words jolted Mr. Gelsinger, reshaping his philosophy. He realized he had been a lukewarm believer, one who practiced his faith just once a week. He vowed never to be neither hot nor cold again.

Now, at age 60, Mr. Gelsinger is hot about one thing in particular: Revitalizing Intel, a Silicon Valley icon that lost its leading position in chip manufacturing.”

Restaurants Ditch Phone Lines, Making Employees’ Lives Easier – The New York Times

“Harley Esposito, 30, was surprised when she couldn’t find a phone number for Hotel Greene, a mini-golf, bar and restaurant space near her home in Richmond, Va. After going to Hotel Greene for a work event, she needed a copy of her receipt. Looking through Hotel Greene’s website, she saw a small note: “We do not have a phone line.”

“I Googled them and didn’t see a phone number listed, and I was like: Oh, that’s weird,” she said. “I was just surprised by it more than anything, because I’ve never seen it before. I was like: How do they expect people to get in touch with them?”

Like Hotel Greene, restaurants around the country are pulling the plug on their phone lines. Channeling all communication through emails, direct messages on social media and reservations apps might frustrate diners and deter those who are technology averse, but restaurants are finding that communicating this way frees up time for front-of-house employees, is more efficient for restaurant administrators and gives flexibility to restaurants operating with a small team or through Covid-related staffing shortages.”

How to Store Your Covid Vaccine Card or Test Results on Your Phone – The New York Times

The state of the digital Covid vaccine card — the bar code that we store on our phones and present to businesses and venues as proof of inoculation — is chaotic.

“While some states, like California and New York, accept digital records as proof of vaccination to allow entry into restaurants and other businesses, states like Alabama, Arkansas and Florida have banned their use. That means anyone who plans to travel in the United States this holiday season has to research the policies at the destination.

Yet it’s indisputable that a digital card is far more convenient than a physical record. For many, the thought of misplacing a paper record may induce great anxiety, so it’s nice to have our inoculation data on devices that we carry everywhere. And companies like Apple and Google have come up with convenient ways to store and retrieve our vaccine credentials.”