Roundup #2: Perseverance pays off

Weekly roundup of stuff

by Justin Choo

We’re seriously on our way to figuring out what life was like on Mars. All we needed was Perseverance. If perseverance can’t come soon enough to fix your live stream woes, Canon’s one-stop rental solution might. And speaking of stop, Nvidia’s trying to stop cryptocurrency miners from hogging all the gaming graphic cards. In the meantime, hackers gamed the system perfectly, making off with a database of Singtel customers by exploiting its vendors. You too can take advantage of your database of health metrics with FitBit’s new dashboard. And for those who bought 2020’s Samsung phones, say hello to your new control panel once you’ve updated to the new One UI…

NASA Perseverance pays off

NASA Perseverance’s first images on Mars

Perseverance’s first images on Mars. Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Perhaps in a bid to live up to its name, NASA’s rover, the aptly-named Perseverance, spent an agonising seven minutes negotiating a tricky plunge towards the surface of the planet. It was an operation that was wholly dependent on the craft’s execution of pre-programmed instructions, as an 11-minute delay in communications meant that there was no way for its operators on earth to intervene in the event of an emergency.

Perseverance is on a mission to study the Jezero Crater for signs of past life, which NASA believes to be once a river delta. They also believe that the rover should be able to uncover rocks as old as 3.6 billion years.

Sauce: NASA via The Verge

Singtel’s vendor suffers a data breach

One of Singtel’s vendors – software provider Accellion was compromised – resulting in the theft of information from approximately 129,000 Singtel customers as well as enterprise clients. Singtel is offering to “provide identity monitoring services at no cost to affected customers to help them manage potential risks.” Even if you were not affected, this is a timely reminder that so long as our details exist on the internet, there’s always a risk somewhere down the line. So the moral of the story: always be prepared for the worst and always keep track of your accounts and passwords. Always be ready to terminate accounts and cards and replace them swiftly if it happens, and always monitor your credit card and electronic payment transactions.

Sauce: Singtel via CNA

Canon’s one-stop live-stream package

Canon’s leveraging its equipment to create an attractive proposition.

Canon’s leveraging its equipment to create an attractive proposition. Image: Canon

Imaging giants Canon are now offering live-streaming rental services that may be helpful for small and medium enterprises that need to conduct ad hoc live streams and webinars without having to invest a considerable amount of money just to get started.

Prices start from $360 for a 2-hour rental, which includes three EOS R cameras with a choice of lenses, along with a host of equipment necessary to put together a professional stream. Canon is also able to provide a professional crew and additional equipment to manage the stream. Prices start from $1,040 for a two-hour session.

Nvidia releases Crypto-only card

NVIDIA’s new Cryptocurrency Mining Processor.

NVIDIA’s new Cryptocurrency Mining Processor. Image: NVIDIA

It’s well known amongst gamers that it has been quite a pain to find new GeForce cards and Nvidia says that they are taking action by limiting the mining efficiency of their top-tier cards. Whether you’re convinced is another matter, but the fact is when the RTX 3060 drops on February 25th, the drivers will spot cryptocurrency mining algorithms that will halve the hash rate.

The plan, according to Nvidia, was to put miners off the cards so that more gamers can buy them. Nvidia will be introducing the CMP (Cryptocurrency Mining Processor) to service the needs of the miners instead. These cards will not have display outputs and will have a lower peak core voltage and frequency to improve power efficiency. Let’s just wait and see then.

Sauce: Nvidia via [Hardware Zone](http://Hardware Zone)

Fitbit opens up free weekly trends data to more watches

Fitbit’s Health Metrics Dashboard.

Fitbit’s Health Metrics Dashboard. Image: Fitbit

Following its introduction to Sense and Versa 3 users , Fitbit has made it possible for Versa 2, Inspire 2 and Charge 4 users to view 7-day trends for free (the premium service offers a 30-day view). The Health Metrics Dashboard lets you track metrics like heart rate variability, breathing rate, oxygen saturation (SpO2), and skin temperature variation. Just add it as a new tile on your dashboard.

While not a diagnostic tool, abnormal patterns can be helpful indicators, preempting you to seek medical help early.

More Samsung phones get a UI Update

Samsung’s One UI is now available on last year’s flagships.

Samsung’s One UI is now available on last year’s flagships. Image: Samsung

Samsung owners from generation 2020 need not FOMO over the new UI updates because the <strong>One UI 3.1 update</strong> has been made available on the Galaxy S20 series, Galaxy Note 20 series, Galaxy Z Fold2 and the Galaxy Z Flip series. The progressive rollout is expected to complete by the end of March.

The key features are as follows:

  • Single Take: camera gives you the option of a variety of still and video formats with every snap
  • Object Eraser: edit out unwanted elements and objects by tapping on them
  • Touch autofocus and autoexposure controller: swipe to control exposure to taste
  • Multi Mic Recording: record from onboard microphone and Bluetooth microphone simultaneously
  • Eye Comfort Shield: adjusts blue light automatically
  • Private Share: control access to content shared
  • Auto Switch: audio follows you even when you switch devices