The Silicon Weekly: May 10-16, 2021

China becomes the second nation to land on Mars

China’s Tianwen-1 lander sets foot on Mars on the 15th of May. This makes China the only country, behind the United States, to do so. This lander was carrying the Zhurong rover that is expected to be released from the lander by the start of next week. CGTN says that the mission is expected to last for a minimum of 90 days. The rover is looking to explore an area of the planet that is once thought to have been covered by an ocean. This probe could potentially aid in further Mars missions for China.

Xiaomi officially removed from USA’s blacklist

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has been removed from the USA’s trade blacklist following former President Donald Trump put restrictions on the company as he felt that they were a “Communist Chinese military company.” Xiaomi filed a lawsuit back when the company was blacklisted claiming that the ban was “unconstitutional” and “factually incorrect.” Although Xiaomi and the Biden administration have buried the hatchet does not guarantee anything for the other Chinese telecommunications manufacturer Huawei. They are still under the purview of the US government.

Ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline leads to US gas shortage

Darkside-an unidentified ransomware group attacked one of the major oil lines on the east coast of USA, leading many parts of the country to enter a state of panic. Several businesses and consumers started stocking fuel which led to a shortage of fuel, leading to price hikes.

The group behind this attack put out a statement saying that this was not a politically fired attack and was made for purely financial gain. The company that was hacked, Colonial Pipeline, is the largest oil distributor in the country. A reported $5 million ransom was paid by the company to hasten the release of the pipeline. Experts say that this vicious cycle of paying a ransom is what is fueling the growth of ransomware attacks.

Tesla drops Bitcoin as a payment method, leads to massive fall in value

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Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, decided to drop Bitcoin as a payment method for purchasing their vehicles on Wednesday. This led to a massive drop in the value of Bitcoin. This decision was made due to the excessive usage of fossil fuel required to produce the electricity to mine Bitcoin. Musk who has been in the news recently for the ways in which his tweets are affecting Dogecoin, now sees his actions affect the largest cryptocurrency on the planet. Experts are critical of the volatility of cryptocurrency and how certain social actions are affecting currencies.

Intel launches new 11th generation laptop processors

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Codenamed Tiger Lake-H, the 11th Gen H series processors, made for laptops was unveiled on May 11. The flagship Core i9-11980HK has a clock speed of 5.0Ghz making it the fastest processor offered by Intel for laptops. With this, it brings in new support for Thunderbolt 4.0 with up to 40Gbps transfer speeds and up to 44 PCIe lanes out of which there are 20 PCIe Gen 4 lanes. They also launched the new Xeon W-11000 series mobile workstation processors targeted at business and machine learning purposes.

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