Tuesday, December 18


Daily News Stuff 18 December 2018

Tech News

  • The HBM spec has been updated to support 2.4Gbps and 24GB stacks.  (PC Perspective)

    HBM - high bandwidth memory - is only moderately fast but very, very wide.  Where a desktop or laptop memory chip might run at 3.2GHz and be 16 bits wide, and a graphics memory chip might run at 8GHz and be 32 bits wide, HBM runs at 2GHz but is 1024 bits wide.

    The new standard bumps the speed up by 20%, and also allows for 16Gb dies (from the current 8Gb) and up to 12 dies in a package, making for 24GB in a stack.  AMD's Vega graphics cards currently use two 4GB stacks for 8GB of RAM, so this would allow for quite a significant increase there.

  • Finland is building a 200,000 core supercomputer based on AMD's new Rome parts.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Actually, it's just for heating; the CPU power is a bonus.

Social Media News

  • Why nobody cares about the Nate Silver / Nassim Taleb Twitter war and you shouldn't either.  (Towards Data Science)

    What if we held a Twitter war and no-one came?

  • Patreon has apparently decided that it is their assigned task to police speech - any speech, anywhere - that may offend neo-Nazis.

    Many people have applauded Patreon for their stance on this issue.  Those people are idiots.

  • I clicked like on a Tweet about that news story banned in Australia which I can't talk about so forget I mentioned it and Twitter told me the tweet had been deleted.  So they got to you too, Twitter?

    Turns out, no.  It was just a glitch.  True enough, Twitter is run by far-left censorious hacks, but it's also buggy as hell.

Video of the Day

An irascible Romanian discusses the Patreon / Sargon brouhaha.  (Though he doesn't understand - as many don't - what the term protected class means in US law, so he gets a bit derailed at that point.)

Also, apparently Patreon has been slowly removing all NSFW content.  That's likely much bigger than the political / free speech mess they've created for themselves.  And they simply delete accounts and all related content without any prior notice.

What all this shows is not so much that Patreon leans left - we knew that from the beginning - but that there are no adults at the company at all.  No-one is saying maybe we should communicate this better let alone maybe we should reverse this decision.  It's shrieking idiot children all the way down.

Picture of the Day

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Monday, December 17


Daily News Stuff 17 December 2018

Tech News

  • Every country's government has its own flavour of idiocy. South Korea has made paying someone to help you increase your rank in video games a criminal offence. (Tech Dirt)

  • The Qualcomm vs. Apple mess is... Well, it's a mess. (Fudzilla)

    One of those situations where you wish for a way that both sides could lose.

  • Huawei's Nova 4 has an eyehole rather than a notch. (WCCFTech)

    Just the one. Probably a pirate.

  • Pampy is pattern matching for Python.

    Nothing to do with regular expressions, though it can use regular expressions. This can answer questions like, if we have sequence 1, 2, 3, and a second sequence 1, 2, x, what is x?

    Okay, that seems simple and obvious, but the point is, you don't need to tell the computer what you mean or how to do it. You just say, here are two sequences of, well, anything - numbers, words, dates, other sequences - find the missing term.

  • Pampy.js is pattern matching for Python for JavaScript.

    It's 258 lines of code with no dependencies. In the JavaScript world that deserves the Nobel Prizes for both Literature and Peace.

  • A roundup of details of Intel's next platform, Sunny Cove. (The Next Platform)

    These new chips increase the size of physically addressable RAM to 128PB. It's 64TB on current chips, and that's actually getting to be a problem.

    Of more interest to most people is the new GPU architecture, which will increase the total number of EUs (European Unions) from 48 to 64 (actually 72, but it looks like only 64 will be enabled).

    Most current Intel chips only have 24 EUs (or even just 12); only the Iris Plus and Iris Pro parts have 48, and they only come in a limited range of configurations. The 2017 Spectre X2 I have, for example, has dual core i7 with Iris Plus, while the 2018 Elite X2 has a quad core i7 with regular UHD graphics - 24 EUs.

    It's expected that the higher EU count parts will be more common in the next generation, though possibly without the L4 cache found in Iris Plus (64MB) and Pro (128MB).

  • Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen of Axios are morons.

Social Media News

  • A story in two screenshots and an unfortunate tweet:

  • A story in two tweets and an unfortunate screenshot:

Video of the Day

This nit called it.

Picture of the Day

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Doctor Who Series 11 Viewing Order

Here's my recommendation.

Watch episode 1, The Woman Who Fell to Earth, and 2, The Ghost Monument.  These aren't bad and establish the new characters.

Then skip episode 3 unless you are deeply into badly-scripted 50s period drama, and go to episode 4, Arachnids in the UK.  It's a decently done Classic Who episode, like The Green Death, but a little more subtle.

Then skip episodes 5 and 6; they suck.

Then watch episode 7, Kerblam!, which is a good Russell T Davies-style episode which has the gumption to kill the characters who need to die to drive the story forward.

Then skip episode 8.  The script for this one isn't the problem; it's the directing.

Then watch episode 9, It Takes You Away.

Then skip episode 10.

Basically it's a five-episode season, like Series 4b or when they split Series 7 in the middle.  If you cut away the bad half, it's elevated to merely disappointing.

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Sunday, December 16


Daily News Stuff 16 November 2018

Tech News

  • LG's 32QK500-W delivers 2560x1440 at 75Hz with Freesync for $300.  (AnandTech)

    Personally I prefer 4K for productivity and dropping back to 1080p for games, but if you want a big, high resolution display that doesn't need a 2080 Ti to run at decent frame rates, this looks like a solid choice.

    IPS, two DisplayPort and two HDMI.

  • Gigabyte's Z390 Aorus Xtreme Waterforce Deathstalkr Pro X 2 motherboard has everything.  (PC Perspective)

    WiFi 5 (802.11ac), 1GbE and 10GbE, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, HDMI, 7.1 sound, three PCIe 3.0 x 16 slots, three M.2 slots, and a bundled water cooling block.

    Problem is, all of that (except the water cooling) is driven by a standard socket 1151 Intel CPU with just 16 PCIe lanes.  It needs about four times that many to enable all those features at once.

  • Remember that Intel demo of a 5GHz 28 core CPU?  The one with a massive 1HP external water chiller?  Well, now you can buy it!  (Tom's Hardware)

    Sort of. The part being offered is 28 cores on an LGA 3547 socket, the same as the demo, but it tops out at "only" 4.3GHz.  255W TDP. 

    Price TBA, but possibly around $4000, which would make it twice the price of AMD's 32 core 2990WX.

    Oh, and even if you have a current year high-end Intel desktop motherboard, you'll need to replace it, because this uses a different socket.

  • Those Bitcoin scammers aren't threatening to blow people up any more.  Now they're just going to throw acid at you.  (ZDNet)

    A huge improvement, we can all agree.  Apparently their bomb threats raised $1 and the interest of the FBI.

  • That tea has been in Boston Harbor for 245 years now.  I think it might be ready.  We just need eleven billion gallons of milk and a sugar cube the size of Devils Tower.

    Sip.  Blerrrgh.

  • Asking the important questions: What exactly is the evolutionary status of bon-kyu-bon?  (Psychology Today)

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Patreon, PayPal, and Stripe may just destroy your business, and the businesses of everyone around you, if someone you never met used a bad word on someone else's YouTube channel in reference to neo-Nazis.

This is not a good thing.

Picture of the Day

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Saturday, December 15


Daily News Stuff 15 December 2018

Tech News

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Gamers Nexus's worst and even more worst of 2018.

Picture of the Day

I think I've been there.  To that exact island.  Years ago.

Bonus Picture of the Day

That stuff that looks like milk is actually milk.  The photographer used a high-speed camera while the model stood in a big bucket and an assistant threw milk at her, then hundreds of individual photos were digitally merged to produce the results.

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Friday, December 14


Daily News Stuff 14 December 2018

Tech News

  • If you edit video, you can do a lot worse than picking up the Humble Vegas Pro Even More Creative Freedom Bundle

    Terrible name, but for $1 you get Fastcut Plus (entry level), and for $25 you also get Sound Forge Audio Studio 12, Vegas Movie Studio 15 (both current versions of their mid-range tools), and Vegas Pro 15 Edit and Vegas DVD Architect, the previous versions of their high-end tools, normally priced at...  Well, right now you can get Vegas Pro 16 for $299.  Which is more than $25.

    Not included in the bundle is Acid, which is my favourite of the Sonic Foundry/Sony Creative Software/Magix range.

    Also, if you're quick, they're giving away Lego The Hobbit free right now.

  • If you need site monitoring with SMS alerts, like, for example, you run a blog platform that has a memory leak that pops up from time to time, StatusCake is offering 25% off paid plans right now.  They also have a pretty good free plan if you don't need SMS alerts, but that's not 25% off.

  • Gigabyte's R161 is a liquid-cooled overclocked server based on Intel's high-end desktop CPUs.  (AnandTech)

    Two questions: First, why?  And second, at least it's not called the R101.  Yes, I realise that's not a question.

  • This 65" monitor is 10" larger than existing 55" monitors.  (AnandTech)

  • ADATA announced the XPG Gammix S11 Pro SM2262EN.  (AnandTech)

    A cat?  Maybe a dog?

  • AMD's new video drivers deliver up to 39% better performance in Battlefield V.  (PC Perspective)

    If the frame rate improves 39% in a game that nobody plays, does it make a sound?

  • The first Ryzen 3000 family benchmarks have leaked.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Except that these aren't the big new 7nm desktop Ryzen 3000 parts, these are the 12nm Ryzen laptop refresh parts.  (There were no first-generation laptop parts, so the numbers are a bit screwy.)

  • Etsy's internal documentation is carved in stone.  (Code As Craft)

    Tiny, adorable, organic stone, lovingly individualised just for you and smelling faintly of lavender.

  • The latest Bitcoin email scam comes packaged with its own little bomb threat.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I suspect the FBI will be taking this one a bit more seriously than the average "we hacked your laptop camera" spam.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

The thing Chris Chibnall missed entirely in the current season (just ended) is that Doctor Who isn't about politics but about smiling psychopaths committing exocide.

Picture of the Day

In the grim dark future there is only 1950s Burger King.  There's one like that on the way from Sydney to Melbourne.  Or was, haven't done that road trip for a while.

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Thursday, December 13



I found that great live performance of the Nuku Nuku opening song by Megumi Hayashibara from last year and it's gone already.

Whoever is doing that needs to be launched into orbit via steam catapult.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:46 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Daily News Stuff 13 December 2018

Tech News

  • Intel had their 2018 architecture day where they discussed their new lineup of cornices and finials.  (AnandTech)


    • They have finally run out of lakes, so the next architecture on the roadmap is called Sunny Cove - or maybe not, since Ice Lake will have Sunny Coves in it, though apparently a bit chilly this late in the year.

    • A major focus of Intel's CPU designers going forward is cheating on benchmarks (though the term they use is special purpose performance increases).  To be fair, when you have billions of transistors to play with, and you find a common workload that you can speed up 10x at the cost of 50 million transistors, it would be foolish not to consider it.

    • Integrated graphics will suck less.

    • There will be chips with both Core and Atom CPUs in them, similar to what Arm has been doing with their mobile chips for approximately three hundred years now.

  • How does Battlefield V run on integrated graphics?  (Tom's Hardware)

    Trick question.  No-one is playing Battlefield V.  On Intel integrated graphics it doesn't run at all, but no-one cares, so Intel has that going for them.

  • Shady torrent sites are using fake DMCA notices to shut down competing, slightly less shady torrent sites.  (TechDirt)

    The problem with DMCA - one of the problems with DMCA - is that while filing a false takedown notice is technically perjury, the Act defines no penalties.  One of our servers got shut down twice last month due to false DMCA notices by a company which was getting penalised for comment spam that they themselves posted.

  • I haven't been following Nvidia lately, but ouch.  (Tech Crunch)

    They've lost half their market valuation in the last six weeks, despite largely having a lock on high-end laptop, desktop, and workstation graphics cards and a major share of server AI accelerators.  I think they were overvalued before and this is just reality catching up with overheated investors; the company's technical fundamentals are solid, and no-one else even has a competitor to the RTX 2080 on their roadmap.

  • Water may not have memory - well, water does have memory, but it only lasts for about a femtosecond, like when you go into the kitchen late at night - but ant colonies do.  (Smithsonian Magazine)

  • MacOS Mojave poops on Nvidia.  (Forbes)

    I updated to Mojave without major breakage, but my Mac has AMD graphics.  I don't know what the last Mac model was that came with Nvidia graphics.  One of the Macbook Pro models, probably, the one where half the graphics chips failed and Apple swore off Nvidia for all of this eternity and half of the next.

  • Grafana Loki is like Prometheus, but for logs.

    If your reaction is Well, I know what logs are, rest assured that you are not alone.

    Apparently it is particularly well suited for storing Kubernetes Pod logs, just in case you happen to have those cluttering up your living room.

  • It is illegal in the United States to trade futures in onions.

  • The tax numbers of 120 million bajillion people were exposed online due to an oops.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Wait, that's 120 million Brazilian people.  Still rather a lot.

  • Smart fish or dumb test?  (Quanta)

    Is the cleaner wrasse a red herring, or is it truly smarter than an Ivy League sociology major?

  • MediaTek's Helio P90 features two A75 and six A55 cores, a PowerVR GM 9446 graphics thing, a dual-core AI coprocessor, and a three-core image coprocessor.  (Android Central)

    MediaTek is well-known for producing cheap, low-end mobile chips, like all those eight-core 1.3GHz A53 parts, but this is a very capable midrange part.

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai argues that Google could fail at any moment.  (Axios)

    Because Google is finally getting the anti-trust attention they've been begging for all year.

    Also, Google Chrome marks Google's CEO's name as a spelling error.

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day

First the birds, now the bees.  Educational poster by Bangzheng Du.

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Wednesday, December 12


Daily News Stuff 12 December 2018

Tech News
  • The Nokia 8.1 is a phone.  (AnandTech)

    In fact, it's probably the Nokia X7 with a different label and a software update.  It has a headphone jack.  And a mid-range but pretty decent Snapdragon 710 (2 xx A75, 6 x A55).

    Only three cameras, which is almost none these days.

  • AMD's Ryzen rumours rounded up.  (Tom's Hardware)

  • These peanuts make my HDMI connection glitch.

  • Will you still feed Firefox now it's 64?

  • DigitalOcean has launched its Kubernetes service.  (Tech Crunch)

    What does this do?  I have no fucking idea.  Something about getting all your servers compromised at once, automatically.

  • Intel has offered a sneak peak of its SunnyCove server platform.  (Reddit)

    It runs faster on 7-Zip.  7-Zip, the zip that refreshes!

  • Australia is doomed.  (The Next Web)

  • Amusingly, Australia's new internet insecurity law violates the GDPR.  (

  • Odroid's XU4 gets reviewed.  (Phoronix)

    It's twice as fast as the Raspberry Pi 3, sometimes three times as fast, four times on Python, but it does have a fan rather than a passive heatsink for cooling, so it might not be useful for every application.

  • The Odroid H2 is very very out of stock but will be back in three months or so.  That got a review as well.

  • Animal, vegetable, mineral, fungi, protozoan, or hemimastigote?  (Quanta)

    Look, just stop it, okay?  Stop finding new things.

  • China may be behind the Starwood hack.  (New York Times)
    Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, denied any knowledge of the Marriott hacking. "China firmly opposes all forms of cyberattack and cracks down on it in accordance with the law,” he said. "If offered evidence, the relevant Chinese departments will carry out investigations according to the law.”
    He almost made it through the speech with a straight face, too.

  • Axios examines the positive impact of low unemployment without ever once mentioning the T-word.

  • Now that the useful idiots in Labor have voted for the Asinine Internet Insecurity Act (AIIA) the useless idiots in the Liberal Party are telling them where to shove their amendments.  (ZDNet)

  • In slightly less pathetically stupid news, the Australian Space Agency will be setting up shop in Adelaide.  (ZDNet)

    I wonder if they'll reopen Woomera for launches.  Woomera, though a shadow of its original self, is still bigger than Ohio.  (When first established, it was the size of Colorado).

  • Supermicro has completed an external security audit that found no signs of the backdoor chips alleged by that stupid Bloomberg report.  (ZDNet)

    Bloomberg still has offered no hard evidence, or even documentation, supporting its assertions.

    The next step is a multi-trillion-dollar lawsuit.  I hope.

Picture of the Day

The latest in the educational series by Bangzheng Du.

Video of the Day

Other Linus called up some PC assemblers without telling them who he was and let them sell him some computers.  Now he unboxes them all!  What will he find?

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Tuesday, December 11


Some People Have All The Leak

That memory leak came back and took the site down again.

Why didn't the monitoring system send me an email....  Oh, it did?  Like, an hour ago?  Ugh.  Never mind.

I've increased the server size to 16GB (way more than it really needs, once I track down the leak) and added a daily restart of the application, which will take about three seconds.  Three years of that will equal what just happened, so that's a reasonable tradeoff.  Actually, I think with 16GB of RAM it might not be possible for it to run out; even with the leak it should only ever reach 12GB.

We'll should be moving over to the new server at Christmas, which won't do this.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:11 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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