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Tech Roundup – (N)ot (F)hought (T)hat through!

Hello and welcome to the Geeky Brummie Tech Round-Up!

Each week I’ll be deep diving into the world of technology. Bringing back some new pearls from Birmingham and beyond! If you want to send any local tech articles over, feel free to reach out to me at ryan@geekybrummie.com.


Hello All!

This week, we look at Overpriced book purchases, Battery Gigafactories, the end of Halo multiplayer on the Xbox 360, and the death of DRM-free comics from Comixology.


Du(ne) / Du(mb)?

In what seems to be a spectacular case of what’s soon to be buyers remorse, a group of crypto enthusiasts known as The Spice DAO have bought a book. Yes, it’s a nice book, and a quite rare one, usually worth about €25,000 / £21,000 at auction, nice little earner.

Well The Spice DAO have spent €2.66m / £2.22m on said book. Why have the paid 100 times the asking price. We they’ve assumed (wrongly by all accounts) that they know own the copyright to it. This is equivalent to buying a Mars Bar and then thinking you own the recipe.

If you’ve not heard of Jodorowsky’s ill fated Dune project, there’s a great documentary covering it at the bottom of this story. It was made in 2013, and no, The Spice DAO don’t own that either.

The Spice DAO are trying to monetize their purchase through making the book publicly available (it’s already on Google Books btw), creating a limited animated series (I’m sure the not at all litigious Warner Brothers / Legendary Pictures wont mind) and derivative products (read NFTs, of course).

Considering:

  • The art in the book belongs to Jean Giraud’s estate (aka Moebius), Chris Foss and H.R. Giger’s estate.
  • Dune itself belongs to Frank Herbert’s estate (The Herbert Limited Partnership).
  • Jodorowsky owns his own script treatment.
  • Warner Bros and Legendary control the movie/TV rights, it seems they’ve spent a lot of money on, well, a very nice book.

It seems to be a massive case of Schadenfreude for those who have looked on the NFT and Crypto space with mirth previously. Then there’s the book burning to up the NFT values, perhaps they should have stuck to reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 instead.

Further Reading:

https://www.jodorowskysdune.com/

https://www.iflscience.com/technology/nft-group-buys-copy-of-dune-for-266-million-believing-it-gives-them-copyright/

Jodorowsky’s Dune Book Scans on Google Photos


Coventry Battery Gigafactory gets closer

A new gigafactory to replace Coventry Airport has been given approval by Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council. First mulled in February last year, the joint venture between Coventry City Council & Coventry Airport Ltd, would create up to 6,000 jobs across its 5.7 million sq ft (yikes) plant. Lets hope there’s enough bathrooms.

They hope it to be operation by 2025 and at full capacity, production will run to 60GWh – enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles per year.

The factory will be powered by 100% green energy, and will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones, according to the plans.

It still need private funding to the tune of £2Bn, but as the UK is soon to ban petrol and diesel car sales by 2030, it makes sense for a midlands based site, especially as local manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover is one of the few volume vehicle producers in the UK.

Coventry is also already home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (I only learnt that today too!). It’s a “national battery manufacturing development facility helping to scale-up battery manufacturing and facilitate upskilling in the battery sector.” So having a gigafactory as a close neighbour also makes sense.

Now they just need to solve the horrors of lithium and rare minerals mining

Further Reading:

https://www.ukgigafactory.com/

https://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/13/invest_in_coventry/3923/proposals_for_the_uk_s_first_gigafactory_on_the_site_of_coventry_airport

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-56071246

https://www.ukbic.co.uk/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jun/14/electric-cost-lithium-mining-decarbonasation-salt-flats-chile

Press F on your chatpad to pay respects…

(Yes I owned one, yes it was terrible, apart from being able to type “GG EZ”)

On the 13th January 2022, The online services for Halo 3Halo 3 ODSTHalo ReachHalo 4Halo: Combat Evolved AnniversaryHalo War for the Xbox 360 were ‘sunsetted’. Ostensibly this is so the Microsoft Team could point the resources used towards The Master Chief Collection and Halo: Infinite.

It also brings up a good point about the lifespan of online services, is nearly 15 years (in the case of Halo 3) of support, for a console discontinued nearly 6 years ago reasonable?

Other recent examples with the servers being switched off, are LittleBigPlanet on the PlayStation3 last year, and Titanfall being functionally abandoned by Respawn and EA after a DDOS exploit (scheduled to be removed from subscription services on March 1, 2022).

Both were mostly multiplayer experiences at their core and it’s sad that the experience of these games on their original hardware will be consigned to re-watching others play on archived footage.

The good news for Halo fans is you can still play via the Master Chief Collection via PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S through purchase or Xbox Game Pass.

As someone who was there back in the day it still brings a little tear to my eye, remembering those heady days of little commitments, couch co-op sessions and fragging newbs. Onwards to Valhalla 360 Multiplayer, obviously not the map though, because, yeah…

Also, whilst you’re here, Leigh does games stuff on Fridays and Mat does Esports stuff on Mondays, check ’em out below if youre interested:

https://geekybrummie.com/category/gaming/

https://geekybrummie.com/category/esports/

Further Reading:

https://www.windowscentral.com/halo-xbox-360-servers-have-been-shut-down

https://gamerant.com/halo-game-servers-shut-down-xbox-360-january-2022/

https://twitter.com/HaloSupport/status/1470453470733889544

https://twitter.com/Respawn/status/1466097260836519938


Comixology loses DRM-Free

Reported on by Hamish Hector at TechRadar, is a reminder that Amazon will soon be shutting the gates on DRM free downloads for Comixology users.

Announced (very quietly) in an update on their support website a few months back. Amazon will soon be transitioning ComiXology into tighter integration with the Amazon ecosphere in ‘Early 2022’

A number of changes will happen: You’ll have to have an Amazon account to continue using ComiXology, if you don’t already use an Amazon account to log-in. ComiXology will also redirect to a revamped digital comics shopping experience on Amazon.

When asked back in September about the upcoming changes, ComiXology told a user on Twitter “Your previous ComiXology purchases will still allow for DRM-free backups if the publisher allowed for them at the time of purchase.” but “New purchases on Amazon will not support DRM-free downloads”

So basically, if you want to keep purchasing your comics through ComiXology, you’ll have to enjoy them via the ComiXology app and that’ll be that, quick buy more drones, Jeff needs another (not quite) space-ship!

Alternately you can always find where to support your local independent comic store locations and the best new releases in Keith’s weekly pull list over at https://geekybrummie.com/category/comics/. Nice

Further Reading:

https://support.comixology.com/hc/en-us/articles/4407002667415

https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/friendly-reminder-soon-new-comixology-purchases-will-not-be-drm-free

https://fuentitech.com/friendly-reminder-soon-new-purchases-of-comixology-will-no-longer-be-drm-free/465053/


That’s it for this round of tech. And again If you want to send any local tech articles over, feel free to reach out to me at ryan@geekybrummie.com.


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