WW 757: Windows Weekly's Best of 2021

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

Paul’s assertion that the folks at CES are “idiots” is completely incorrect and frankly offending. I don’t name call, but I believe the folks that cancelled out of the conference are the ones that made the wrong decision.

Maybe “idiots” was a bit harsh, but…

I wouldn’t go, if it was Germany (around new 60,000 infections yesterday), but with the infection rate of nearly 1,000,000 on 3rd January in the USA, I would say it would be ill-advised to attend CES in person, this year, especially if you are having to travel internationally.

I don’t care about infections because I am vaccinated, boosted, and I know cases of Omicron will not be anything serious.

I’m vaccinated & boosted as well, but I’d still rather not have even a mild case of COVID, let alone a heavy or lethal bout or end up with long-COVID symptoms.

We will agree to disagree. The odds of getting a serious case of COVID after vaccination and boost is small. The folks that are following science are at CES.

[Moderator edit to spoiler blur one person’s opinion, which is not actually what most governments or health agencies are recommending. The explosive rate of transmission of the omicron variant has most advice recommending avoiding social situations unless necessary. How to Protect Yourself & Others | CDC ]

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Once again this year, nothing of consequence came out of CES. Sure there were announcements, but they would have been made anyway. AMD pre-announced their next CPU and the hinted at the next one after that. They promised an over-priced GPU that will be impossible to actually acquire at twice the MSRP. Intel is supposedly going to bring out their discrete GPUs, except they changed their website to remove the release time-frame. Nvidia spent seconds discussing their new unobtanium GPUs while wasting most of their time name dropping their customers. A bunch of TV “innovations” were discovered to be logical advancements that anyone could have predicted. A bunch of car companies said “we’re going to make EVs, eventually” just like last year. CES has become irrelevant, just like most in person get togethers… and it has little to do with the pandemic, and more to do with companies realizing that CES doesn’t bring any value they can’t replace with a press-release and YouTube video or two.

Then again, I feel like Paul is using the term rather loosely. I seem to recall the occasional “people are idiots” and “I am an idiot”. I can understand you’re offended, but I feel he did not really mean much with it. If Omicron is not too offensive to you, surely the opinion of a tech journalist on a podcast will leave you perfectly unharmed. (I have to tell that to myself sometimes, too.)

That said, I see what you are saying. I teach university courses every once in a while. We have figured out how to do remote teaching, but last year, people were eager to get back into the classroom. So there we were, just before Christmas, 55 people in the lecture hall and me feeling right on the edge of “is this a good idea?”, fearing it cannot be. Then again, everyone was vaccinated and tested and we have to find ways to be with each other again and not just retreat into our little shells. If we believe in systematic and carefully developed processes to mitigate risks, we should implement and trust them. If they turn out too weak, we should learn and adapt. If we don’t, we technically need to stop teaching people to try and manage systems since we don’t really believe in the solutions we can create.

Sure, CES is not a 55 people classroom and the crowds might be of different levels of responsibility, but… can we design safe ways of meeting personally with ample efforts and responsibility? If yes, then let’s not be depressively underconfident. If done right, it’s the opposite of idiotic - it’s smart risk mitigation. Smarter than simply staying at home - that’s evading the problem. Which was great in early 2020, when we did not know what was going on. Two years later, we must have adapted at least to some degree. If we’re not “idiots”, in the older, literal, and noncombattive sense - a “person [that] cannot guard themself against common physical dangers.”

Getting my booster tomorrow - yay! Wait, today - YAY! :slight_smile:

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The issue is that ANY spread, even if it doesn’t lead to hospitalization is still a chance for a further mutation of the virus. The only hope we have to control mutation is to prevent infections on any kind… and that probably means more isolation than most people would enjoy until the community spread is curtailed.

I get what you are saying and I’m the last person who wants to roll mutation dice with Covid, but a) mutation has gotten us to the milder Omicron variant and b) Covid can jump species (remember the culling of the Danish mink?) - it seems unlikely we’ll get rid of it altogether.

John Campbell discussed a medical paper to this effect a few days ago: Omicron from mice - YouTube which seems to illustrate a plausible link between Omicron and mutation in / reinfection from mice.

I am the last person to advocate being reckless - to the contrary - but I doubt we’ll get past this without going through it.