Fake Samsung SSDs, Google Bard chatbot launched, Counter-Strike 2 announced and more

Bite-sized updates about tech news you might have missed in this week's Tech C Siew Dai

An image of tech giant Google's Bard logo and ChatGPT on a silhouette of a phone.
Google has finally launched their own version of the ever popular AI chatbot, all in this week's tech news. (Photo: Getty Images)

Here is a roundup of the tech news that you may have missed this week.

TikTok is revising its community guidelines

Popular social media app TikTok is revising its community guidelines in its latest efforts to provide more transparency on how the app operates.

This comes after many places such as United Kingdom and New Zealand restricted its usage on government devices.

Even Singapore has put out a reminder that only selected officials are able to install apps like TikTok on their government devices.

One of the new guidelines states that “Synthetic media or manipulated [media] that shows realistic scenes must be clearly disclosed. This can be done through the use of a sticker or caption, such as ‘synthetic,’ ‘fake,’ ‘not real,’ or ‘altered.’”

Other guidelines seem to have been tweaks to existing policies, Engadget reported.

Fake Samsung SSDs

There is a forum post on Baidu about an imitation Samsung 980 Pro SSD making its rounds in the China market.

With a sticker that resembles the real deal, it would be tough to distinguish the fake SSD from an original at first glance.

What's pretty crazy about this is that the imitation SSD's firmware could even fool Samsung's Magician software (Samsung's software for its SSDs), which detects it as an 'original SSD'.

Once you peel off the sticker, though, you start to see the everything wrong about it.

It uses an aftermarket SSD controller, which is already a telltale sign. Samsung usually uses an SSD controller that is build in-house.

The fake version also unsurprisingly performs much worse than the original product, with speeds that are about two times slower than a real Samsung 980 Pro.

The merchant that sells this counterfeit Samsung 980 Pro 2TB SSDs lists it on Xianyu, Taobao's second-hand market, for 880 yuan (S$171). It even comes in a very convincing packaging.

Be weary about counterfeits like this while purchasing your electronic products.

That said, the real 980 Pro 2TB has been going for some pretty low prices. Of course, that is likely due to the fact that some versions of the Samsung 980 Pro 2TB NVME could essentially kill themselves if not updated to new firmware, a flaw which was discovered in February.

More AI news

In the real of AI, Google has finally opened Bard, it's version of an AI chatbot, to the masses.

Similar to OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's Bing AI, Bard is Google's take to the widely popular AI chatbot programs.

With Bing AI being widely popular among Microsoft Windows users, it is only a matter of time before Bard is integrated into Google's own browser, Chrome.

If you are interested in how Bard performs as an AI, our colleagues at Engadget have had some hands on time with it.

Speaking of browsers, Opera has also introduced ChatGPT into theirs. Opera has a sidebar integration with the chatbot, and you can use the AI to do whatever your heart fancies with the information that is displayed in the browser.

Acer makes e-bike

In our recent coverage of Acer latest products, we noted that they were producing new products for the lifestyle market.

We recently took a look at their mini-vacuum cleaner, but their lineup also consists of an air purifier and a larger vacuum cleaner.

But if you thought that was already wild from the computer peripherals manufacturer, Acer is now making an electronic bike. Yes, an e-bike.

Named ebii, it is your standard electronic bike, but it is one of the lightest in the market at only 15 kilograms.

What's more, apparently its detachable battery can also be used to charge your laptop or phone, if you really need the extra power.

That said, given Singapore's laws on e-bikes, we're not sure if Acer will even bring the product into this market.

Counter-Strike 2 is a reality

Yes, as long as it is not the third game in the series, there is a high chance Valve will make it happen.

And that is exactly what we got with Counter-Strike 2.

Technically, this is probably the fifth or sixth iteration of the series (I'm really not keeping count, don't quote me on that), but the fact that Valve decided to update its legendary esports title with new graphics and mechanics 11 years after Counter Strike:Global Offensive was released is a step in the right direction.

Drowning in the sea of competitive shooters like VALORANT, this was the perfect way to revitalise the series and garner interest from the new generation of gamers that were only exposed to shooters like VALORANT and Call of Duty.

Among the changes shown off during its announcement was the update in graphics using Valve's latest Source 2 game engine.

They also showed off new networking experiences and how the game handles lag and the online environment.

Also revealed was one of the first game mechanics to be changed: the way smokes work in the Source 2 engine.

In what Valve is calling 'responsive smokes', this change allows players to shoot through the smoke to clear a line of sight.

Counter-Strike 2 is touted to be released somewhere between June to September 2023 as a free-to-play update to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy watercooling his computer parts, he does some pro wrestling.