The Cyber Curtain Has Fallen

– Please, sir, I want some more. – [Riley] Some, some more, wait, some more what? – Tech news. – [Riley] Oh. – In case you’re still thinking that the actions being taken by governments and companies to punish Russia for invading Ukraine aren’t really that big of a deal, let me tell ya.

We are now dealing with no less than a digital iron curtain separating Russia from the rest of the world.

In response to basically every Western global corporation halting the Russian operations, Russia has now completely blocked Facebook and they blocked Twitter, some major news outlets, they blocked major app stores and demanded that Google block ads that misinform the Russian public about the situation in Ukraine. In response, Google just suspended all ads in Russia. – [Riley] Yeah. – They don’t need that Russia money.

Russia also blocked the BBC’s website, so the network has begun broadcasting using that classic wartime technology, shortwave radio. – Hmm. – FM, baby. It’s a brave thing to continue broadcasting at all given that Putin just signed a law that will punish journalists with up to 15 years in prison for publishing what the government calls a fake news. But at least the cyber curtain won’t extend to the foundations of the internet with ICANN, the association that maintains web domain protocols, refusing Ukraine’s request to cut Russia off from the rest of the internet.

If that happened, how would Putin ever see all of the great Hitler memes on Reddit? – [Riley] They’re gonna be good.

– Or those portraits, those faces made of dicks? – [Riley] (laughs) I haven’t seen those. – Yeah, you haven’t lived.

– [Riley] Wow. – PC integrator, Artesian Builds, suffered from a scandal of its own making this week when they hosted a free PC giveaway for the company’s brand ambassadors but then withheld the prize because the company’s CEO decided live on stream that the ambassador that was chosen, Kiapiaa, Kiapiaa didn’t have enough subscribers. – Here is Noah belittling her social media. – All followers combined, still under 5k even across multiple socials. I was trying to be generous.

Mm, that’s a tough one. – And then here is Noah happily re-rolling the giveaway winner. – And there’s the re-roll. – This led to severe backlash from the streaming community, with some creators finding evidence that Artesian may be guilty of tax evasion and throttling its PCs due to inadequate cooling.

Those are equally transgressive transgressions.

Whoopsies! You can’t just change the rules mid-contest. Artesian tried to do damage control and offered Kiapiaa a free PC, but she declined and JayzTwoCents went and built her a PC anyway ’cause he’s a gentleman and a scholar. – [Riley] Love that guy. – The lesson from all of this, live streaming can be dangerous if you’re a butt hole.

Speaking of holes of the butt variety, it appears Nintendo is behind a wave of takedowns targeting YouTube videos that showcase the Steam Deck’s ability to emulate Switch and Wii games because despite being a video game company, Nintendo kind of seems to hate fun.

– [Riley] You can have fun, but only in this way. – Only in your childhood. – [Riley] Hmm. – It’s one thing to crack down on websites that host ROMs, those are Nintendo’s intellectual property and Nintendo does have a legal right to restrict their distribution but running an emulator doesn’t infringe on Nintendo’s rights, it just makes Nintendo look bad because emulators are the only accessible way to play many Nintendo games when the company removes them from sale.

Piracy is bad. Sorry, I just had to stick that in there, – [Riley] Just make sure, – for reasons. – [Riley] don’t, don’t do it. – Now it’s time for the Quick Bits brought to you by MANSCAPED and their ultra-premium collection, the UPC, as I call it. The all in one skin and hair care kit for the everyday man and, guess what?

It covers every body part; the butt, the balls, the body, which is part of the body. That’s right, the ultra-premium kit has shampoo, body wash, hydrating spray, and deodorant to make man maintenance easier than ever. And in case you thought men couldn’t care about negative impacts on the world, these products are cruelty-free, paraben-free, and vegan. So go to and use promo code TECH for 20% off your order plus free international shipping except to Russia.

– [Riley] Oh. (laughs) – Just joking, I have no idea if they shipped through it, they might. We don’t even mean to have Quick Bits in these videos. They just, they just waltz in – [Riley] So rude. – unannounced.

– [Riley] Get outta here. – Give us a call. Samsung was accused earlier this week of throttling the performance of over 10,000 Android apps including nongaming apps using the game optimizing service pre-installed on their phones. Benchmarking apps were missing from the lists and Samsung really cares about letting you know how fast its phones can go in unrealistic situations that you’ll never encounter because every other app is throttled.

– [Riley] Thanks, Samsung.

– The company has responded, saying it will issue a patch allowing users to control the performance of games but it didn’t address the fact that non-game apps are affected too. And also, wait, you’re just gonna turn the throttling off because we found out about it? You’re just sorry you got caught. You’re not sorry. – [Riley] System is working.

– Okie. Electric truck maker “maker” Rivian has thrown itself into reverse after massive backlash over its sudden price hike for pre-orders placed before March 1st. What? New pre-orders will be subject to the increased price.

A change the company said it made in response to inflationary pressure and higher component costs.

They got us again. To be fair, they had no way of knowing this was kind of a shady thing to do until after half their customers threatened to cancel their orders. – [Riley] Yeah, are we supposed to- – They had no idea. Another vehicle news, Sony’s vision concept vehicles loves rolling out at CES may actually roll out in the real world thanks to tires to thanks to new partnership with Honda.

– [Riley] And we’ll have tires because of that.

– The carmaker has made a deal to produce a Sony designed electric car by 2025 under a new company jointly managed by the two companies. What’s it called? Sonda Honey. – Nope. That was close.

– Uh, no? The new company is currently called New Company, so they gotta work on branding a bit, but I’m sure the car will be great. Swappable plates? – [Riley] dbrand, what’s up? – After various motherboard manufacturers found a way around Intel’s firmware blocking support for the AVX-512 instruction set, the company has confirmed it will literally destroy a fuse in upcoming Alder Lake processors to prevent AVX-512 from ever being used.

It’s that dangerous. – Like a flamethrower. – They’re protecting you. – [Riley] Oh, yeah. – To be fair, Intel does have valid reasons for not supporting the technology, which is only used in rare instances anyway but intentionally kneecapping your own chip is just cruel and that is the tea.

– [Riley] Hmm, tell ’em. – And veteran tech journalists, Dieter Bohn, is leaving The Verge to work on Google’s platforms and ecosystems team, which oversees Android and Chrome. Gators is the latest example of prominent tech journalists being hired by tech giants so I guess that’s the official food chain now. It’s only a matter of time before we’ll be bought out by Apple. – [Riley] Hey.

– I mean, that’s been my dream since day one.

– [Riley] It’s the whole point. I’d love to. – But it’s day five of this week which means this episode is over. Come back on Monday for more tech news unless you wanna see us all get picked off one by one.

– [Riley] I’m going to Microsoft. – You want Microsoft? – I’m going to Tesla. – Setga, take me..

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