Fact checkers get it wrong
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Fact checkers get it wrong

Fact checkers get it wrong

First off, I have some follow-up news on an earlier story. The Australian fact checking group I mentioned being paid by Meta has been suspended for providing a series of "false" fact checks that turned out to be actually true. As I pointed out, many of the so-called fact checkers don't have any experience in the field they are apparently providing the check for. This will be particularly true in any politically charged area.

- I hadn't heard of What Three Words until recently. It is a website that will translate a map co-ordinate to a set of three words. These three words can be used to communicate a location that is then fed back into the website to provide the co-ordinates for, say, an emergency response. The location is a 3m-by-3m grid. So, if I wanted to send someone to the Fun Cafe in Bangkok, I could click on the location and tell them Sharpen Runs Cascade. They enter this into the website and a map will appear with the location for them.

- Enter a computer scientist at the University of Exeter in the UK with a paper on how confusion can arise from the geocoding algorithm and so questioned its fitness for directing emergency services to incident locations. Problems like words that sound the same, with different spelling like arrows and arose. My response to this, and one supported by the paper, would be all forms of communication can be misunderstood, so instead of just saying the words, spell them out if necessary. Three words are a lot easier to remember than geo co-ordinates to six decimal places. Then there are the plus and minus signs in front of them. Even a digit out in the middle of the sequence will send someone to a completely different location. I looked it up, at the equator the third decimal place is 111m.

- I recently had an issue with an external drive. I'm using a USB device that lets you plug in two drives. I made the mistake of leaving it on for a day or so after using it and the next time I tried Windows, I could not access it. After trying a few approaches, I gave it to a friend who has helped me with this kind of issue before. He also found himself locked out. Luckily the data I had there was backed up elsewhere which brings me to an important reminder. Make sure your important information is backed up on multiple devices. The drive could be reformatted and was found to have no structural errors.

- If the latest announcement from Samsung is any indication, the memory world is about to change. The first is a 32GB DDR5 DRAM die announcement. No prices as yet and Samsung only started mass producing the 16GB versions in May of this year. They hinted at a 1TB capacity in the future which is good news for those hoping to have their own AI system on their home devices.

- In the tech world right now, if you even hint at supporting AI your company stock may see an immediate rise. Samsung and Dell are the latest to benefit from AI speculation with share prices up by 6% each. For Dell, it is AI-optimised servers and these account for 20% of their revenue. They have also been successful with their consumer PCs. According to the Dell: "Artificial intelligence is a strong tailwind for all things data and compute." The company added that AI is "expanding the TAM [total addressable market] for technology spending and is projected to grow at 19% for the next couple of years to approximately US$90 billion, including hardware and services".

- For Samsung it is their promise of those advanced memory chips mentioned earlier and their supply to Nvidia. Nvidia's high-end graphics units are used for AI processing. It would appear that anyone supplying components used for AI are benefitting from this current trend.

- Are you still using the Google Chrome browser? I am, but I use Brave as my primary one. The reason I ask is because Google is gradually rolling out their Chrome Enhanced Ad Privacy; you may have seen some pop-ups around this. Unless you specifically turn it off, this is the technology that lets websites target you with adverts tuned to your online activities and interests based on your browser histories. Go to Settings, the three dots in the top area, then Privacy and Security, Ad Privacy and then Ad Topics, to turn this off. If you are happy with Google data mining your browsing history then you can leave it as is. Google also plans to drop third party cookies, the ones that store data for ad companies to use. Instead, they will need to use Google's new API, which it says will have no privacy consequences. Right.

James Hein is an IT professional with over 30 years' standing. You can contact him at jclhein@gmail.com.

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