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Lining up overnight along Memorial Drive because of a shortage that has nothing to do with Covid-19

People sleeping outside the Cambridge Micro Center

Shortly before 8 a.m., Carol Beggy spotted at least 60 people - and one dog - lined up outside the Cambridge Micro Center, waiting so they could rush in and snap up $600 graphics cards.

Can you tell me why I need a $600 graphics card? And sleep outside, along the shores of the Charles River for one?

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Comments

Even better question is, why does a dog need a $600 graphics card?

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Voting closed 35

Because it couldn't afford the more expensive ones.

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the biggest thing is that at the start of the pandemic all of the big semiconductor companies cut their manufacturing targets and investments back hugely because of falling demand and then they got caught flatfooted when things recovered faster than expected.

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Voting closed 34

Cyber security forces should stop in and chat with people in this line. Geeks that build their own computers are the types of people who can be trained to program security into older vulnerable systems like those being attacked right now. Offer them high salaries and all the motherboards for their gaming towers that they want and get them on the job! We have a critical shortage of cyber security programmers protecting our online infrastructure.

I think we take this sort of thing seriously at the national level. We don't treat our weak points outside of the Federal Government seriously at all.

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Voting closed 23

The federal government took cyber security seriously. We are a nation of soft targets and easy prey for foreign cyber terrorism and scams. North Korea funds a significant share of its economy just ripping off Americans.

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The Cyber Security forces should be talking to the CEOs who chose to cheap out on security, because they knew they wouldn't be left holding the bag. You should be talking to your legislator about making corporations and their investors feel the pain when they take security lightly. Right now it's in their interest to cheap out and let society foot the bill for the cleanup.

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Voting closed 32

... and I am a software engineer and I am highly unqualified to do real security work.

I don't know that stats exactly, but from my layman's interest in network and information security, I don't think the problem is a shortage of security specialists, but rather a shortage of interest in hiring them. There are some companies that take it seriously, but most do very little and focus that little amount of effort on things that will cover there ass legally, but not actually provide significant security.

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Voting closed 59

I clicked on that story to read about the weirdos camping on Mem Drive. And I accidentally learn a bit about computers and global economics. Thanks, U-Hub!

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Yesterday I learned that polish triangle existed! This weekend I’m going to get some real kolatchkes and polish rye bread.

:) :)

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Voting closed 29

And I would not have known about the existence of Dr. Shiva were it not for UHub. Which makes me a much better storyteller at parties. Thank you Adam! <3

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Voting closed 23

It was all about tulip bulbs

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Hey girls, I see husband material.

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Now there's a sexist remark. You never met a female coder?

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She could be husband material.

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these guys are going to buy as many as the store will allow and use them for bitcoin mining. A huge waste of energy (search youtube for "bitcoin mining farm") and why Elon has been low on bitcoin. Its making climate change worse!

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Is Bitcoin anything other than a bubble?

I fail to see how it economically justifies such a huge waste of resources for something that provides basically zero actual value.

Could someone design a graphics card that is unusable for Bitcoin mining?

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Voting closed 30

All monetary systems are bubbles, some just haven't burst yet.

The resource issue is a significant one, and one that has been discussed a lot recently. Some cryptocurrency (eg Ethereum) is moving to Proof of Stake from Proof of Work which should reduce some of the power consumption.

I don't want to downplay the seriousness of this issue, but it would be interesting to see a comparison of energy consumption if US dollars stopped being used and crypto were the standard currency. No armed vehicles transporting cash, no paper printing, etc. Obviously, that's only academic at this point. Paper currency isn't going anywhere in the near future, but if that is the trend, it might actually work out to a net benefit... I don't know. I could be wrong.

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Voting closed 28

It is one video card a month.

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I think most buyers will resell the cards on eBay to people who will mine various coins (other than Bitcoin, which is past GPU mining).

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is a crummy place to mine bitcoin since we pay some of the highest rates per KWh in the nation. EIA 2019 data has us behind Hawaii, Alaska, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

The real pros set up server farms in places with cheap hydroelectric power.

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a high powered computer can mine Bitcoin have long passed. And the fact people are waiting on line to buy graphics cards is a sad commentary on the state of our society.

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I can't speak to their individual motivations, but if you want a product that has limited stock, is available only in select retailers and is expected to sell out on the day it becomes available for purchase, waiting in a line to buy one seems to be a very reasonable thing to do.

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Voting closed 23

Microcenter limits people to buy one video card a month. Yes, this is an issue.

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Voting closed 29

- GPUs have been useless for mining Bitcoin since, uhh, some time around 2017 when FPGAs came out. Minor quip, I know, as GPUs are still used to mine other crypto like Ethereum and smaller 'altcoins'
- these days nVidia actually makes dedicated hardware for mining crypto, it's neither great nor cheap and doesn't have much resale value
- no, just because these people play videogames (or build their own computers) doesn't mean they would be qualified to do software or security work. It's like saying "you drive a car and maybe occasionally change your own tires, come be a traffic engineer!"

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Voting closed 30

I thought this was the line for Metallica tickets.

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