What happened?
Twelve years!
You hit me with a cricket bat!
Ha! Twelve years!

Wednesday, September 26

Geek

Special Breaking News Stuff Bulletin For 26 September 2018

This just in: In a move of surpassing idiocy Twitter has banned calling people "bots" or "Nazis".

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Tuesday, September 25

Geek

Daily News Stuff 25 September 2018

Tech News



Social Media News

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a draft executive order to regulate social media floating around the White House.  (TechDirt)

    But it's just a draft, and officials have officially disavowed any intent to put it into action.  There's speculation that Yelp might be behind it, but I have no idea whether such speculation is any better informed than the rest of the nonsense sloshing around Washington this week.

  • If you need a laugh this absurdly stupid take on the split between the open internet and the we-will-drag-you-off-to-Siberia/Manchuria-at-3AM internet might do the trick.  (TechCrunch)


Video of the Day



Ra ra Raspucat!



Bonus Video of the Day


A pathologist reviews Cells at Work.



Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/KittiesX2.jpg?size=720x&q=95

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Monday, September 24

Geek

Daily News Stuff 24 September 2018

Tech News



Social Media News

Remember how I said on Friday that everyone on social media had gone stark raving mad?

Oh sweet innocence of youth...

I think this post sums things up pretty well:



Video of the Day

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Sunday, September 23

Geek

Daily News Stuff 23 September 2018

Tech News

  • Australia's godawful mathematics-denying encryption bill has been passed to a joint committee for review, rather than being set on fire and flushed down the toilet as is proper. (ZDNet)

  • Chrome is a google Cloud service with a browser attached.

    Particularly noteworthy:
    Chromium is apparently also affected by this.
    This extends even into the open source version. This is an extension of how I got locked out of YouTube for eight years. And of course, Google's terms of service forbid you getting around that by having multiple accounts.

  • Intel's Optane 905P is now available in useful capacities. (Serve the Home)

    More interesting, STH notes that their own server is now using an Optane drive for their databases.

  • Paul Thurrott (he's on Windows Weekly, um, weekly, on the TWiT network) takes a look at the Intel version of the HP Envy x2, another take from HP on the detachable design like the Spectre x2 I just got. (ThurrottTM)

    Paul reviewed the Arm version previously and found that it was a beautiful, elegant, functional system that completely sucked for getting anything done because the Arm CPU was painfully slow running Intel software under emulation.

    The new Envy version has a lower resolution screen than the Spectre, and a slower CPU, and less memory and storage, but has LTE support and is aimed at delivering all-day battery life.

    He also reviewed the Spectre x2 last year for those interested in a comparison.


Social Media News

  • China has banned Twitch streaming. Unexpectedly. (Tom's Hardware)

  • Ahaha! Ahahaha! Ahahahahahaha!
Ah.  Hmm.  [Looks at what operating system is running this blog.  Starts frantically buying books about OpenBSD.]

Longer discussion at lulz.com and apparently a medium-sized civil war has broken out on the kernel developers' mailing list.


Video of the Day


This fits The World God Only Knows even better than Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.


Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/VeryForeignExchange.jpg?size=720x&q=95

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Saturday, September 22

Geek

Daily News Stuff 22 September 2018

Tech News

  • HP's Spectre x2 (2017) is really good.  If you can find one at, say, a 66.25% discount, go for it.

    The screen is great, the sound is surprisingly good for a notebook, it's fast and (if you get the 1TB model) has a ton of room for stuffs.  It charges very quickly - it can fast charge to 50% capacity in half an hour.  The bezels are large by 2018 standards, but you need something to hold onto in tablet mode, so I won't ding it for that. 

    The keyboard is a remarkable creation - incredibly light but at the same time a great surface to type on.  Attaching it to the tablet part is a piece of cake - you wave it in approximately the right direction and powerful magnets pull it in and two little tabs guide it into the right place.  The back of the keyboard is some kind of woven plastic, rather than the aluminium and glass of the tablet part, which gives you a solid grip on the whole thing.

    The pen is interesting too - I didn't realise it could sense proximity and not just touch.  Hover the pen over the screen and it will register a cursor at that location.  This is why it originally did nothing at all before I discovered the tiny battery compartment in the box in the other box.

    Few minor downsides: The trackpad buttons take a little getting used to; they're rather firm.  The fan will spin up under load and make a steady hissing noise as though you'd left your pet snake in the microwave, and if you keep it under load the notebook gets quite warm.  The USB-C ports are awkwardly located in the middle of the sides of the tablet part, and a USB charging cable is bulkier than the typical power cord for a small laptop, so it's left sticking out inconveniently to the side.

    Overall initial impressions though are extremely positive, and I'm very grateful to the anonymous benefactor who bought that domain from me and funded this out-of-budget purchase.  (I'll know who it is eventually, but they don't have a website up yet.)

    Into stock and out again
    Off to HP's store I go
    Includes a keyboard and a pen
    Great for taking notes you know.

    Terabyte of SSD
    $1350 for your sins
    I have two, could make it three -
    He who dies with most toys wins.
    One other thing I've found: For some reason, CPU virtualisation (VT-x) is disabled by default in the BIOS.  A quick trip to the BIOS settings fixed that and all was well, but I thought for a moment I'd mistakenly installed the 32-bit version of VirtualBox.*

  • Lenovo has their own mini laptop out, the A285.  (AnandTech)

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/A285.jpg


    This has better specs in some respects: A Ryzen Pro CPU (up to the 2700U, so four CPU cores and 10 graphics cores), up to 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD, four USB ports, HDMI, and wired gigabit Ethernet.

    Touch screen is optional but the non-touch option is garbage - a cheap 1366x768 TN panel - and should be avoided at all costs.

    Also, it has PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys, which the Spectre x2 does not.

    No price as yet.  Lenovo's prices change daily anyway.

    Update: Found the price.  US$990 for the crap version no-one should ever buy.  Useful models start at $1140.

  • Intel is ramping up its 14nm production to offset delays in 10nm which is now three years behind schedule.  (Tom's Hardware)

  • You won't believe this one simple trick to calculate billions of digits of pi using the wrong formula.  (PDF)

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/PizzaPie.PNG?size=720x&q=95

    This formula is wrong.  But it is accurate for the first 42 billion digits.

  • An artist drew copies of some of Andy Warhol's Polaroids by hand, crumpled them up, drew copies of the crumpled versions, created t-shirts with printed copies of the drawings of the crumpled drawings of the Polaroids, and packed them for sale into replica Campbell's soup cans, and got a C&D letter and not from the Warhol estate either.  (TechDirt)

  • PyPy, the Python compiler written in Python, is a marvellous beast, delivering typically twice the performance on the same code and sometimes much more, at a cost of only the occasional horrendous memory leak that takes out your entire server not that this has ever happened to me more than, say, fifteen times in the space of a week.

    Anyway, the one goat in the ointment was that calling traditional Python C extensions from PyPy was slower than molasses in Boston in January 1919.

    This has now been fixed.

Social Media News



Video of the Day


Clearly this is the one from Flatline.



Anime Music Video of the Day


Been wasting my time posting on Twitter...



Picture of the Day

http://ai.mee.nu/images/SteamCannon.jpg?size=720x&q=95


* There is no 32-bit version of VirtualBox.**
** If VT-x is disabled (or your CPU is ancient and doesn't support it) VirtualBox will only show 32-bit options for virtual machines, because it can do that even without VT-x.  It will do the same if you are on 32-bit hardware, running 32-bit Windows, or have Hyper-V or VMWare installed on the same machine, which is kind of a pain because you don't know what is going on.

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Friday, September 21

Geek

Daily News Stuff 21 September 2018

Tech News
  • Philips' 328P6VU Professional 4K Display features a 32" VA panel, HDR 600 (not full-range HDR, but not fake HDR either), 98% DCI-P3 coverage (a very good colour gamut), and USB-C docking facilities which would be perfect for something like Index or Railgun.  (AnandTech)

    Even better, it's not wildly expensive: Expected price in the US is around $620.

  • Google and partners have invested $100 million into GitLab after Microsoft bought industry gorilla GitHub.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I like GitLab a lot.  It's not perfect, but it's free and very capable.  Good to see they have the funding to keep expanding.

  • Mathematicians are still arguing over their ABCs  (Quanta)

  • Google really fucking hates the world wide web.  (Bleeping Computer)

    They got rid of www from your URL bar, now they plan to exterminate it from search results.

Social Media News

Everyone in social media has gone stark raving mad.  Best to simply avoid all the social networks for the next week or so.



Video of the Day


Linus agrees with me on the Nvidia RTX cards.



Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/AirSurfer.jpg?size=720x&q=95

Like air guitar, only...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:13 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 189 words, total size 2 kb.

Geek

Index And Railgun Update

There were just two minor regrets I had about the HP laptops I ordered: They weren't offering the 1TB model in the sale, when I would have happily paid an extra $200 or so, and the model I ordered didn't come with the matching pen.  HP sells a couple of different pens so no big deal, but that's an extra $90, twice, and the one in the store is silver rather than charcoal grey.

Because of the stock issue, they gave me a free upgrade to the 1TB model.

The 1TB model comes with the pen.

I don't have them set up yet, but they're unpacked, and it's crazy how small and light and well-constructed they are.  These machines are works of art.

Screen is fantastic, and the speakers are surprisingly good too - based just on listening to Cortana in Windows Setup, which some might not consider a comprehensive test.

Also, it's back in stock for immediate delivery.  I could buy a third- WHACK!  NO!

Note on packaging: Inside the box there is another box.  Inside the other box, there is a tiny compartment for the pen.  Underneath the tiny compartment for the pen, there is an even tinier compartment for the battery for the pen.  You will need this.

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Thursday, September 20

Geek

Daily News Stuff 20 September 2018

Tech News

  • Nvidia's RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti are out.  (AnandTech)

    Well, not out in the sense that you can buy them, but out in the sense that you can't buy them, because (a) there aren't any and (b) the cheapest cards cost around A$1400.

    [Correction: Looks like some RTX 2080 cards are in stock, though the RTX 2080 Ti is not.]

    The 2080 performs about the same as the existing 1080 Ti but has less memory (8GB vs 11GB), and the 1080 Ti can be found for A$1000.  The 2080 Ti is the fastest gaming card around, but will likely cost around A$2000.

    The interesting part is the extra functionality added with the Turing family of chips: Dedicated ray tracing cores for more realistic light and shadows, and dedicated AI cores for more realistic...  AI.  In a year or two this will become significant, as libraries and games adopt the new features.  Right now, though, it's not, and even hardware ray tracing can't deliver playable 4K frame rates.

    Still if you're a game developer, this card is a no-brainer.  If you have a seven-figure trust fund, or you have a popular YouTube channel streaming or reviewing games, sure.   Otherwise you might as well stick with what you have until Nvidia and AMD bring their 7nm cards out next year, which will be both faster and cheaper.

    Gamers Nexus has more details than you could possibly want for each card.




  • AMD's Fireflight APU powers the less snappily-named Subor Z+.  (AnandTech)

    This, as mentioned previously, is only the fourth Zen family chip (despite a range of dozens of shipping processors).  It has four Zen cores and 24 Vega graphics cores, making it similar to Intel's Kaby Lake G parts.  In this case, it's one piece of silicon to Intel's three.

    AnandTech have got hold of one and are working on a complete review.  They just couldn't resist leaking a few snapshots.

  • Newegg had a credit card breach.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is why I refuse to store credit card details.  If Stripe or PayPal get hacked, everyone in the world will be screaming, but it won't be my job to clean it up.


Social Media News



Video of the Day



Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/BlueGirl.jpg?size=720x&q=95

Saw this on Twitter, thought it was CGI for a second.

Maybe it is.  Maybe we're all CGI.

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Wednesday, September 19

Geek

Daily News Stuff 19 September 2018

Arr, me harpies, shiver me flim-flams and belabour me scuppers, it's that time of year again!

Pirate News



Video of the Day



Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/MordorOrNot.jpg?size=720x&q=95

Not very piratey, but striking.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:47 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, September 18

Geek

They're Here!

Index and Railgun just showed up a day early.  Will likely get them unpacked and start setting them up tomorrow.

Won't do a full review since they're being discontinued anyway, but will post my impressions and any technical notes I have.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:29 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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