TWIT 848: Rippling Chaos

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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Very nice to hear Evan Brown again!

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How does the iPhone 13 screen blocking FaceID if it is swapped out, unless it is, done by an Apple approved repair centre, work in conjunction with EU requirements for Apple to provide parts and tools to independent repairers for a minimum of 5 years?


Excellent question. I hope the EU pursues it.


I suspect this is a purely generational matter and perhaps simply my personal idiosyncrasy. When contributors to TWiT (and any other forum) scatter the word ‘like’ throughout their speech it acts as a barrier to understanding for me. There is something about this verbal tic that affects me more, and more adversely, than most other similar habits, for example ‘you know’, ‘I mean’, or ‘err’. It is clearly not a matter of intelligence: all TWiT contributors are highly intelligent and articulate. My own children do this from time to time and I just have to grin and bear it!
Endorse the welcome to Evan Brown.

I read something yesterday suggesting the chip on the screen that’s paired with the secure enclave (which is why a new screen won’t work without registering it at an approved repair place) was possibly there for an under-screen fingerprint detector in future iPhones.

I wonder if other phones with such a sensor (Samsung, OnePlus etc.) have the same issue? Or are less secure as they allow a sensor swap?

I guess the issue is with a device that is secured by biometrics, that has modules built into the screen, is it OK to allow any repair shop to swap that out and bypass the security where proof of ownership might not be checked?

A friend of mine runs a repair business on the side. He doesn’t have any problems with replacing screens on Samsung devices, for instance.

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‘To get the fingerprint working, there needs to be a calibration that only authorized repair channels or Samsung on their own can do.’

New Pixel too. So not really an Apple-specific issue, although perhaps the tools needed to get it working are more widely available with other manufacturers.


Interesting, Apple to stop blocking FaceID on devices repaired by third parties…

Today Apple said it will address this situation in an iOS update at some unspecific point, allowing replacement screens to keep Face ID enabled without any chip transfers.

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Not sure about the MBW panel suggesting this might be a bug. Looks like a policy climbdown to me.

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I can see the logic in not letting users repair stuff themselves in case things go horribly wrong and you blane the company, but I agree that you should have the right to repair a device costing several hundred pounds. Perhaps a mandatory training programme for those wishing to fix their own stuff?
Having one single timezone would be great but I’m not sure what it solves and whose timezone do we use? If we made the entire world UTC then some places would jump forward and some would jump back. If putting your clocks forward ONE hour causes problems, then imagine what putting your clocks forward by EIGHT hours would do (given that PT in UTC - 8 then, by my calculation, you’d jump forward 8 hours to go to UTC).

The chip shortage is starting to grind me down. It’s become a lengthy game of whack-a-mole. We started having shortages pop up around a year ago and it has been continuous since then. My company makes a variety of niche circuit boards in modest volumes - maybe 250 a month.

None of the chip manufacturers or wholesalers have a real good handle on when things might be available. There’s a Texas Instruments power management chip I was looking at yesterday. One of my wholesalers says they can get it to me in July 2022. Another says February 2023. That’s a huge difference, but both make our planned builds for Q1’22 and Q2’22 challenging.

It depends on home far up the food chain your suppliers are, as to how soon they get parts and how far up the food chain you are with each of those suppliers.

It isn’t just chips, it is pretty much everything. We’ve had supply problems with some chemicals we need in our manufacturing (we are macro-molecular chemical supplier, we supply additives for everything from paper to cosmetics and medication).

Our purchasing team started ordering in bulk in 2020, as soon as this all started, we had more raw materials on site than usual, but some are still hard to get hold of and some products have 2 to 3 month delays and the prices are bouncing around all over the place.


I wish Leo would stop dominating the conversation and let guests talk.

Like you know, like I enjoy like Louise Matsakis’ like conversations…

Exactly right!! If someone manufactures it, there are issues with supply

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Produce as well. Potatoes had a poor harvest in Germany, due to the extreme weather this year, plus a lack of itinerant workers to harvest them. This latter problem was also there last year.

The UK has been even worse, with absolutely no itinerant workers since Brexit and few local unemployed wanting to actually do real work in the fields.

Christmas turkeys are also a problem in the UK, they used to have European workers come over for the seasonal work (qualified butchers, in this case), just for the few weeks in the run up to Christmas. Due to Brexit they can’t come over and aren’t welcome, plus COVID.

The same for truck drivers. Too few and Brexit threw several 10s of thousands of European drivers out of the country. Now they are trying to get them back for 2 months, after which they will be kicked out again, not surprisingly, most are not interested and have taken jobs in Europe, which itself also has a shortfall of drivers at the moment,

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Canada has a program for what we call “migrant workers” that come in seasonally, usually for produce harvesting, among other things. The producers all say they need these workers because Canadians don’t want to do these jobs. I don’t think that is the truth at all… it’s more like the discussion on TWiT about people quitting sh*tty jobs. The producers don’t want to pay a decent wage, so the only people they can get to work the jobs are people who are in such dire need of the work they’ll do it for next to nothing. The solution, as ever, is to pay a decent wage, to offer decent benefits, and to stop treating employees like interchangeable cogs in a machine. I’m looking at you two, too, Walmart and Amazon.

Not true, at least in the UK. The pay is a damned sight more than unemployment benefit, yet the millions of unemployed weren’t flocking to the fields to pick produce at minimum wage (a lot more than benefit in the UK).

In Germany, they did manage to animate some people during lockdown last year to go out into the fields - some employed, but stuck at home and some unemployed - and rescue the vegetables, before they rotted. But it is hard work and most people don’t want to do it, it is also seasonal, so if you have a “proper” job (all year round), you are unlikely to want to give it up and go out into the fields for a few weeks. The itinerant or migrant workers travel throughout Europe often following the harvest across the continent. They are usually from the former Eastern Block countries, where minimum wage + board & lodgings in Western Europe is still a lot more than what they could earn at home. It isn’t a good life, especially for somebody brought up on unemployment benefit in Western Europe, it means leaving the house and doing a hard days work and living in barracks on the farms.

There are some unscrupulous farmers that try and employ them illegally and just put them in the barn on hay bails, but that is being clamped down upon.

Likewise, in the meat processing industry, it has been the case for years that the discounters want cheap meat, which is uneconomical to produce, so the slaughter houses and meat processors pull in workers from the Eastern Block, put a dozen or so in 1 or 2 room apartments, and pay them minimum wage - and charge them for the flats! This has been known for years, but was a silent problem, as long as people could get the 5€/Kg pork from the discounters.

With Corona, these conditions were suddenly a hotbed for infections and it caused a scandal in Germany and new laws introduced to try and get the meat barons to treat their employees fairly - usually they used the same trick as Amazon, the workers never worked for them, they were all subcontracted and they turned a blind-eye to the actual wages and conditions the workers had to put up with.

The owner of the second largest slaughterhouse chain in Europe was also the chairman of a football club and he was forced to step down from the club over the scandal.

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You’re making my point. The job doesn’t make sense at minimum wage. Pay more, a LOT more, and give bonuses for those who exceed the average. Make the jobs so desirable that people will fight to win them. Or else find a way to keep them paid year round so they have work for more than a week or two. I don’t know the precise prescription for the problem in an industry I don’t work in, but I do know that if you treat people like trash (and pay them poorly) then they will treat your job like trash and leave you high and dry when you need them the most.

The problem is, where does that money come from? You aren’t going to be able to triple the price of French fries and other potato products to cover that scheme.

The way to keep them employed year round, or at least for a great proportion of the year, is to move them from region to region as the changing seasons roll across the continent, have them in the East when the thaw comes and get them in the fields harvesting the winter crops, they then move west, then bring them back East and start with the summer crops and work West, then bring them back East and have them start on the Fall crops…

It just isn’t attractive to a modern society, but if you are still living on the land in impoverished conditions with no running water, for example, then even minimum wage and warm housing with running water is a luxury and the pay is good…

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