HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022

Hardcore Games wants to wish everyone a very happy new year. While COVID-19 is still a problem there is hope that 2022 will see a gradual recovery as new immunization products come to the market. Omicron is driving the demand for N95 masks which are more efficient at blocking transmission. N95 masks are made up of 4 layers to prevent transmission. At present supplies of N95 seems to be adequate.

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Most saw 2021 as a train wreck for want of a better description. All the disruptions from delta and now omicron are making everyone scared that COVID-19 may not every go away. Ongoing COVID-19 problems suggest that 2022 will be a year of remote work again. Many jobs can be done at home now with modern telephone systems and internet. Some bumps in the road for 2022 is the expectation that interest rates will begin to slowly cycle up towards 2H2022.

In the EU widespread protests over restrictions mostly are coming from those who are not immunized in the first place. The protestors are not even bothering to wear masks suggesting they are indifferent to being infected.

When showing off China’s economic achievements and using them to denigrate democracy, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) often has claimed that “Democracy cannot be eaten.” Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently portrayed China’s political system under his rule as a “whole process people’s democracy” — more democratic, the CCP asserted, than any other democracy in the world. But many in China, perhaps including Xi himself, have come to realize that Xi’s whole process people’s democracy cannot be eaten, either. Politics does not put rice in the bowl, farming does. Politics does not put fruit in the bowel, farming does.

The Central Economic Work Conference thus revealed at least three things. First, Xi’s policies have not focused on economic development in recent years; second, China’s economic situation is severe; third, Xi Jinping is striving for economic stability and prosperity next year. About 10 years ago, China’s economic growth rate began to decline. After 30 years of rapid development, a slowdown is normal, but the overlap with Xi’s governance may indicate that the decline in economic growth is related to Xi’s policies. Especially in recent years — whether it was anti-corruption, building a personality cult, tightening the control of ideology and speech, strengthening the party’s control over the economy and society, or suppressing capital — they all may have come at the expense of economic growth. The recent Central Economic Work Conference acknowledged that China’s economy faces three pressures: demand contraction, supply shock, and weakening expectations. 

Locally the snow has persisted with the cold weather but eventually it will warm up. This year a lot of storms from Alaska came down the coast which is what caused the show. Most of the time rain comes in off the mid pacific from the jet stream. The jet stream is still the the south where it is causing problems galore for Americans.

Hanging over the crypto space is the threat of more regulation and frankly, with a new coin coming out every week which is ‘the next big thing’ and driven by speculation and not blockchain. This reality is why even Bitcoin is down in trading with little price support. Bitcoin seems to be losing support suggesting the strike prices may drift lower.

This year groceries are likely to go up until the fed stops refunding assets. Potatoes are now $5.00 for a 10 pound bag which is far more than it was only 5 years ago when potatoes were $3.50 a bag. Rice prices have been more stable. Changes in the food space are seeing service companies galore now getting into delivery services. Here in Canada, stores are each severing their respective customers.

The US 10 year treasuries moved to 1.5% in expectation of a rate hike in mid 2022. The bond market closed at 2:00 p.m. ET on Friday for the New Year’s Eve holiday. Treasury yields have moved throughout the year amid concerns about inflation and as the Federal Reserve eases off its pandemic-era easy monetary policy. Many market strategists expect Treasury yields to creep higher in 2022. Higher rates will hurt corporate profits and this could result in a correction as 2022 unfolds.

The semiconductor picture is not likely to see much improvement in 2022. This is why few new product launches are seen in the PC market. It may well be 18 months yet before adequate supplies of hardware are available.

One notion I debunked this year: the idea that there was going to be a flash-disk cost crossover with the $/TB of flash matching or even becoming lower than that of disk. Instead it is now pretty widely recognised that SSDs and HDDs will co-exist for the next decade, with each technology lowering its cost/TB more or less at the same rate. The next doubling of PCIe speed to gen 5 started with a Marvell controller in June, and a Kioxia SSD in November suggest SSD offerings will be faster late in 2022.

After several hard resets of the machine, the Corsair Commander now is back in operation. This suggests the machine was seriously out of whack when the Radeon card failed. Now the Corsair iCue shows all the hardware in the dashboard and in the home screen allowing me to monitor the machine for thermal problems. One conclusion I have reached in that I am not going to buy any graphics card with more than 250W of power to prevent baking the system. Radeon cards are way too hot for the machine and RTX Ampere cards are still expensive. Next generation cards will likely to be expensive as miners grab them all. The problem is that most miners do not liquidate the old cards.

Two Seagate 8TB disks are not being recognized. Once a new motherboard is procured the disks can then be tested to see how many more disks I need to procure.

WordPress 5.9 is expected to be released in January some time which will make it more compatible with PHP 8.1 which is now the main standard. WordPress has been used by the studio for many years now.