You're Amelia!
You're late!
Amelia Pond! You're the little girl!
I'm Amelia, and you're late.

Sunday, April 14


Daily News Stuff 14 April 2024

Dynamicising Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Scientists think they have found a way to double the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries.  (Science Daily)

    Lithium-ion batteries wear out a little each time they are recharged (and have another flaw that if you keep them on the charger full-time they can swell up and destroy your expensive gadget entirely).

    In testing the effects of different charging patterns, researchers found that charging with high-frequency AC power caused half as much wear as regular DC power.

    It should be cheap and simple to implement as well.

  • Yes, Virginia, the CPI is bullshit.  (Forbes)

    Ace might have covered this previously - the Forbes article is undated, but the research paper came out in February.

    Calculating the CPI using the same approach used up until 1982, annualised inflation in the US peaked at 18% in 2022, more than double the official number, and worse than the  darkest days of the Carter Era.

    So no, you're not imagining it.  Anyone who has been inside a grocery store in the past five years knows that, but some economists now also know it.

  • Apple executives have defended the company's practice of selling expensive laptops with just 8GB of RAM and no possibility of ever upgrading that unless you learn surface-mount resoldering techniques and probably not even then.  (WCCFTech)

    I looked up the cost of the chips themselves, and the 8GB RAM upgrade that Apple charges you $200 for - only at the time you order the machine, since it can never be upgraded afterwards - appears to cost the company less than $5.

    Apple's markup on memory upgrades is between 2000% and 4000%, depending on the model.

    That's why they won't let you add memory yourself.

    Their markup on storage is tame by comparison - about 600% over retail SSD pricing, likely 1000% on wholesale prices.

  • Modpack status: Functional but overweight, with 368 mods and no crashes.

    I am deliberately testing on a less-than-ideal system: A laptop with 16GB of RAM, loaded up with background apps that use most of that RAM by the time Windows has booted, with Intel integrated graphics and a high-resolution (2880x1800) display.

    I was getting around 60 fps previously, but with the latest additions and changes it's become slower and has noticeably more frame rate hitches.

    It also takes a good while to load.

    I hope to test it on my new laptop this week.  That probably won't be any faster, but since it has 40GB of RAM it will determine whether that is the limiting factor; if it loads and run smoothly that will be a good sign.

    I've set ModernFix to dynamic mode which has let me add Every Compat back in (adding 25,000 new wooden items) without the Java heap exploding - with static allocation, Every Compat would use up 2.5GB of RAM all by itself - but the modpack is still pretty memory hungry.

    I've also seen a squirrel and a silk cocoon in the latest test world, which means Zoo Architect and Critters and Companions are working.  And the villagers were shooting back at the nearby pillagers, so Guard Villagers is working too.

  • Update 2: Caverns and Chasms has a known incompatibility with Friends and Foes.  They're both open source and the developers have communicated, but there's currently no fix.

    That's what was causing those crashes.

    I think I want F&F more than C&C, so if there are no other incompatibilities I'll leave C&C disabled.

  • Update 3: Slimming it back down now.  One camel, eight penguins, no crashes.

Disclaimer: Up with which I will not put.

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Saturday, April 13


Daily News Stuff 13 April 2024

Magical Splat Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Not squirrel.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:51 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Friday, April 12


Daily News Stuff 12 April 2024

Squirrel Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Minecraft Modpack Update

  • Haven't had a lot of time to work on it the past few days, but I moved back from 1.20 to 1.19 so that I could get three animal mods in: Critters and Companions, Creatures and Beasts, and Zoo Architect

    Unlike Untamed Wilds which tries to kill me every time I spin up a test world, or Naturalist which just has herds of elephants nesting in trees everywhere I look, these three mods - made by the same team - have the spawn rate dialed down far enough that I wasn't sure they were working with all the other mods in place.

    But, well, squirrel. Yes, they're working.

    Also I found another must-have mod called ModernFix which significantly improves load times. I can't run the complete modpack (323 mods total) on my 16GB laptop while I have all my work stuff running and expect a good gaming experience, but it runs fine if I shut a few things down. Without ModernFix it would really grind even if I killed every app in sight.

    Quick list of major mods in this version:

    General Utility and Building

    Chisels and Bits
    Ferrite Core

    Technology and Magic

    Applied Energistics
    Ars Nouveau
    Immersive Aircraft
    Iron's Spellbooks
    Small Ships
    Thermal Series
    Valkyrien Skies


    Blue Skies
    Twilight Forest

    World Generation and Biomes

    Caverns and Chasms
    Deeper and Darker
    Frozen Up
    Immersive Weathering
    Regions Unexplored
    Serene Seasons


    Bugs Aplenty
    Buzzier Bees
    Cane's Wonderful Spiders
    Creatures and Beasts
    Creeper Overhaul
    Critters and Companions
    Endergetic Expansion
    Enderman Overhaul
    Exotic Birds
    Friends and Foes
    Grimoire of Gaia
    Insects Recrafted
    Plenty of Golems
    Pocket Pets
    Productive Bees
    Tameable Beasts
    Unusual Fish
    Upgrade Aquatic
    Zoo Architect

    Plants, Food, Cooking

    All of them

    It's amazing that it works.  Hat off to all the mod developers.

    Update: Splat.

Touch Tone Telephone Music Video of the Day

New and talented vtuber.

And when I say "new" she's been struggling to get noticed for four years before creating a separate account to rant about things - and then that account is the one that finally took off.

That happens a lot.

Also, just noting, Midas sounds like Calli's little sister.  If Calli has a little sister, which she might.

Disclaimer: Squirrel!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:47 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, April 11


Daily News Stuff 11 April 2024

Pocket Sized Rain Shaman Edition

Top Story

  • The SEC is planning to sue crypto exchange Uniswap because.  (CoinDesk)

    Because, basically, the SEC can't decide what to do about cryptocurrencies so it is planning to sue every company that doesn't steal all its customers' money and disappear.

    The SEC took no action against FTX until after the meltdown, so now they're making up for lost time by taking action against, basically, everyone.

Tech News

  • Kobo has announced two new colour e-readers: The 7" $220 Colour Libra and the 6" $150 Colour Clara.  (The Verge)

    These offer a resolution of 300 dpi in black and white and 150 dpi in colour - fairly washed-out colour.  But they're e-ink screens, so they'll last a month or more on a single charge.

    The more expensive model also supports the Kobo Stylus, and the combination of colour, long battery life, and note-taking make it an interesting option.

  • CrystalRuby lets you embed Crystal in Ruby.  (GitHub)

    Those are programming languages.

    This is kind of neat.

  • A record number of books are targeted for bans in the US.  (Sherwood)

    The number has increased from one in 2023 to, well, still one.

    I'll try to find the title, but as far as I know there only one edition of one book banned in the US, and that was because it contained classified information.  It somehow made it to print before anyone caught on, and was pulled from the shelves and pulped.

    It's hard to find the title because every article you see talking about banned books is lying.

  • Microsoft is the QNAP of Elasticsearches.  (Tech Crunch)
    The researchers notified Microsoft of the security lapse on February 6, and Microsoft secured the spilling files on March 5.
    Good work, lads.

Disclaimer: Not really.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:37 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, April 10


Daily News Stuff 10 April 2024

Double Plus Slow News Day Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Which is also still up.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:18 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, April 09


Daily News Stuff 9 April 2024

Meet for the Lating Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: It does not support either 3.5" floppies or 2.5" SSDs though.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:24 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Monday, April 08


Daily News Stuff 8 April 2024

Late For The Meeting Edition

Top Story

  • All AIs are racist, but some are more racist than others.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Microsoft's Copilot gives you racial stereotypes in cartoons, which...  They're cartoons, people.  Though the Jewish boss with the bagel hat is certainly something.

    Anyway, it gives you racial stereotypes if you specify a race when you're generating a cartoon, so maybe that's your problem.

    Midjourney presents us not so much with racial stereotypes as temporal ones; I don't think it's been outside since 1952.

    ChatGPT just says fuck you and rewrites your request with a bunch of WASPs plus a token Asian chick.

    Meta AI actually does okay with this.  It pushes too hard on the diversity-at-any-cost side, but it also produced a sample image of a Jewish woman that is 100% believable without a single specific marker.  (The picture actually looks like someone I know.)

Tech News

  • AMD's Zen 5 mobile chips are coming this year maybe.  (WCCFTech)

    These will feature a mix of full-size Zen 5 and the smaller Zen 5c cores.

    Where Intel's smaller efficiency cores are a completely different design to their performance cores, Zen 5c is functionally identical to Zen 5, but squashed down and running at lower clock speeds.  At a given clock speed they perform identically, but Zen 5c is smaller and uses less power.

    Replacing mainstream chips with eight Zen 4 cores we can expect four Zen 5 cores plus eight Zen 5c.  Zen 5c could deliver close to the performance of existing Zen 4, so these should be deliver great performance and good battery life.

  • Spotify has demonetised all tracks that have been played less than 1000 times.  (DJ Mag)

    Spotify says that affects only 0.5% of tracks on the platform, which seems unlikely because (a) power laws don't work like that and (b) if that were the case they wouldn't bother.

    The UMAW puts the number at 86% which seems far more plausible.

  • The Opera browser now supports running AI locally on your computer.  (Opera)

    I don't know if I would trust Opera in its current incarnation.  It used to be good, but then the company was bought by Chinese interests and the entire development team walked out to set up Vivaldi.

Disclaimer: Squirrel!

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Sunday, April 07


Daily News Stuff 7 April 2024

Tonstant Weader Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: There's a breeding colony of Tasmanian devils in New South Wales now, established from individuals cleared of the disease.  So they're probably safe.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:57 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, April 06


Daily News Stuff 6 April 2024

The Pain Edition

Top Story

  • To nobody's surprise the FCC has declined to intervene on California's plans to implement net neutrality.  (Ars Technica)

    The problem I always had with the FCC's push for net neutrality - which is back on the table for a vote later this month - is that the claim that the FCC even had the power to vote on such a rule is based on assumptions that would grant the agency massive control over all forms of communication in the US.

    If an individual state legislature wants to fuck up internet access for their own voters, on the other hand, they can do so, subject to the First Amendment.

    I'll have to read up on what California is proposing to do; it's probably bad, but probably legal.

Tech News

  • I've been trying to get the latest Hyte / Hololive limited edition PC cases for months without any luck.  There's only one Hyte distributor in Australia and they can't get them.

    I even looked into freight forwarding, but that worked out to cost as much as the cases themselves, and these are expensive cases.

    Now Hyte offers freight forwarding itself, and if I order both the cases it only costs 50% of the cost of the cases.  Which is still insane, but so am I.

    Then the cases will sit there for months because having spent that much money I won't have much to spare for new parts to fill them with.

    I did want to buy the new Lenovo Legion Tab, but Lenovo is assisting me with my budget because that is still not available anywhere.

  • NASA has found the exact problem with Voyager 1 and expects to have it fixed...  Eventually.  (Ars Technica)

    Yeah, I know that feeling, and I'm not even working with 46 year old hardware billions of miles away designed and built by people who have long since retired and aren't returning my emails.

  • Do not buy the Samsung Galaxy Book4 Pro 360.  (Hot Hardware)

    It has a very nice 120Hz 2880x1800 OLED display, but it costs $1900, and you can get an Asus Vivobook with an almost identical OLED display for half of that.

    And the Asus has upgradeable memory, while the Samsung has 16GB soldered in place.

    Which if you're running Windows 11 will be fully used by the time you've booted the system and started a browser.

  • Speaking of the Asus Vivobook and it's beautiful OLED display...  Yeah, it's still in its box.

  • The Maven is a $2000 e-bike -  (Ars Technica)

    Let me stop you there.

    First thought: $2000 for a bicycle?  So your only question is not if it gets stolen, but if it gets stolen before you get crushed by an SUV.

    Second thought: I mean, if you happened to live in a quiet country town with little traffic and lots of hills, it might be kind of nice.

    Third thought: And, it turns out, illegal where I live.  It has a 750W motor and the rules here set the limit at 500W.

  • Apple is laying off 700 workers, including the entire team working on the Apple Car, which Apple still denies ever working on.  (9to5Mac)

    What exactly do you put on you resume when you worked for a decade on a project that was never officially acknowledged and never produced any real-world results?

  • Testing out my modpack under 1.19.2.

    That enables several mods I wanted (Creatures and Beasts, Critters and Companions, Zoo Architect, and Oh the Biomes You'll Go) at the cost of a couple of smaller ones (Let's Do Brewery, Dye Depot, and Elytra Trims).

    I do also lose the 1.20 updates...  Which were kind of underwhelming.  I'll need find a mod that adds back the cherry tree biome; I've already reinstated camels and the bamboo upgrades.

Disclaimer: Which would be less damaging to my career prospects, putting down a decade in a Turkish prison or at the DMV?

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Friday, April 05


Daily News Stuff 5 April 2024

Frog Blink Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • The benchmark numbers being quoted by Qualcomm for its new laptop chips are actually...  Pretty accurate.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Looks like it should comfortably beat Intel and not embarrass itself against Apple and AMD.  That's a huge improvement against earlier attempts which were just about capable of running Notepad.

  • How we saved 98% in cloud costs by writing our own database.  (Hivekit)

    Turns out you can make databases run much, much faster if you don't care about the data.

    In this specific case, Hivekit can lose a second of data and not worry about it too much.  Conventional databases have to assume you want every single record to be saved, which is complicated and (relatively) slow.

    It's like...  If you don't care if the eggs arrive intact, you can speed up delivery by a lot.

  • The new Razer Blade 18 has everything you could want in a laptop except the Four Essential Keys and an affordable price tag.  (Notebook Check)

    Though to be precise you could probably afford to buy the price tag, just not the laptop.

    A 24 core Intel 14900HX, an RTX 4090 (laptop version, so basically an RTX 4080), up to 64GB of RAM (probably upgradeable to 96GB), 4TB of storage in two M.2 slots, a 3840x2400 200Hz screen, a Thunderbolt 5 port - the brand new 80Gbps version, four 10Gbps USB ports, HDMI, a full size SD card reader, a headphone jack, and a 2.5Gb Ethernet port.  

    Fully configured it's just $4800.

    Which is a lot of money, yes, but that's a lot of laptop.

Disclaimer: Looks like we're gonna need a bigger lap.

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