They are my oldest and deadliest enemy. You cannot trust them.
If Hitler invaded Hell, I would give a favourable reference to the Devil.

Tuesday, January 15

Geek

Daily News Stuff 15 January 2019

Tech News
  • Micron has bought Intel's share of their flash memory joint venture.  (AnandTech)

    That's still big news, though something that has been in the works for over a year.  The IMFT joint venture is the manufacturer for Intel's Optane chips, and now Micron will own it.

  • How is Intel going to respond to AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 series?  With the Core i9-9990XE, a 14 core 255W part with a base clock of 4.0GHz and a boost clock of 5.0GHz.  (AnandTech)

    About that power draw:
    Motherboard vendors will have to support 420 amps on the power delivery for the chip (which at 1.3 volts would be 546 watts), and up to 30 amps per core. It will be for the socket 2066 X299 motherboards already on the market, and perhaps importantly, there is no warranty from Intel.
    Oh, and the price?  There is no price.  It will be sold only to approved system vendors by private auction.

  • The Opteron whichwhat?  The Opteron X3421 is...  Oh, that's Excavator, isn't it?  (Serve the Home)

    Yes, Excavator.  Meh.

  • Apple says Qualcomm refused to sell them modems for the latest iPhones.  (Thurrott.com)

    Qualcomm says Apple already owes them thirty-seven trillion dollars, so of course they didn't sell them any more chips.

  • Why is my keyboard connected to the cloud?  (ZDNet)

    Good question, I'll ask Google.

    Hmm, the answer appears to be It is safe and secure.  Please remain calm and stay in your current location.

  • Xapiand is a search engine designed to compete with Elasticsearch but written in nice clean C++ and not icky Java.

    (Or is that the other way around?)

    Anyway, it's clearly written around the Xapian search library, which I have used extensively and works well.  I haven't looked at it for about four years so I'm not sure if it's entirely kept up, but even at the state it was in then it's a solid foundation.

    Xapiand specifically is in a pre-release state and needs some love, most obviously in the documentation.  But it's all on GitHub and it's MIT licensed, so it's open to anyone who wants to help out.

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Monday, January 14

Geek

Daily News Stuff 14 January 2019

Tech News
  • I really need to get that autosave feature working.

  • Wacom's Cintiq 16 is their least expensive Cintiq yet at $649.  (PC Perspective)

    The display is cut down significantly - from 4K on the Cintiq 16 Pro to 1080p - but the pen function is all there.

  • Intel's new GPU-free CPUs save you exactly nothing.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Yes, the price is exactly the same as the version with the iGPU, because Intel.

  • Tech Crunch frets that Trump is driving dream unicorns to extinction.

    The Bay Area is another planet.

  • Porting Cowgol to the Z80.

    Cowgol is just a hobby project but is better designed than 98% of progamming languages in the industry.

  • Correction: The Radeon VII doesn't support double precision.  (TechGage)

    Even without DP support it still has faster DP than Nvidia's RTX, but only by a factor of two, not sixteen, so there's little reason for anybody to buy Radeon VII at all.

    Oh well.  The card was interesting for nearly a day.

    I suspect that AMD isn't planning to sell any of these but needed something to show at CES because Navi is delayed a few months.  I don't have any direct evidence of this, but only a couple of months ago, AMD was saying it would not release a consumer version of 7nm Vega.

  • Way back in 2010, someone stole a bunch of Bitcoin with an overflow attack.  (Hackernoon)

    The bug was promptly fixed and the blockchain was forked to orphan those coins, but if that hadn't happened those coins would be worth $650 trillion at today's prices.  Well, in reality Bitcoin would have died and the coins would be worth exactly zero, but that's less interesting.  Maybe better for the world, but less interesting.

  • How Kubernetes solves the persistent storage problem.

    1. Make it so unnecessarily complicated and downright painful that you are forced to hire someone to manage just that one function.

    2. Now it's their problem.

  • NTT DoCoMo and NEC used 5G to stream 8K video of steam trains.  (ZDNet)

    Priorities.

  • Apple Death Watch: Prices of iPhone XR and iPhone 8 slashed by up to 20% - in China.  (ZDNet)

    Doooom.

  • Google has discovered that it makes something called Chromecast Audio that is cheap and well-received by users and killed it.  (Thurrott.com)

  • There was a security bug in systemd.  My servers all automatically patched themselves.  And that set off all their watchdogs that check for modifications to critical files, and they felt that they absolutely had to tell me about this.  It's like having thirty babies that all start screaming at the exact same moment.

  • Why do Nvidia's cards only have 12GB of RAM?  (Actually 11GB mostly, but anyway.)



    Because wiring.  Further on in the video he really dumps on Nvidia, but he doesn't say he'd buy this card either.

  • The manufacturers' TDP figures for AMD's Athlon 200GE and Intel's Pentium Gold G5400 do not present an accurate picture.  (AnandTech)

    The AMD part is rated at 35W, but under full load it actually uses...  A little over 18W.   The Intel chip is rated at a higher 58W, but the truth of the matter is that it will uses as much as, um, 24W.

    Well, that was anticlimactic.


Video of the Day



Chris Hadfield on the highs and lows of outer space.



Bonus Video of the Day


The complete Batman Window Cameos.


Picture of the Day

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

Alright early birds, time to go out there and get that worm.


Disclaimer: Buggrit!  Buggrem! Millennium hand and shrimp!

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Sunday, January 13

Geek

Daily News Stuff 13 January 2019

Tech News
  • AMD released benchmarks of Radeon VII across 25 different games showing performance gains of up to 68% over Vega 64.  (EuroGamer)

    Only problem, the one game that got that level of increase was Fallout 76, which doesn't exist.

    Also, it seems that the Radeon VII has the full compute capacity of the MI50, 6.9 TFLOPS of double precision.  If you are in the market for an affordable double precision compute card with plenty of RAM, that puts it so far ahead of Nvidia that they might as well not exist: The Nvidia Titan RTX has a peak double precision throughput of just 0.5 TFLOPS.  For single precision Nvidia is more competitive.

    An evenly optimised chip would deliver around 1/4 the single precision performance when calculating double precision.  The Radeon VII delivers 1/2 performance, which means it's designed for double precision at the expense of single precision.  The RTX series delivers just 1/32, because it's designed for single precision - games - with no consideration for double precision compute at all.

  • Asus' ProArt PA32UCK has 1000 lighting zones with brightness ranging from 0.003 to 1200 nits.  (AnandTech)

    That's a lot of nits.

    Oh, and it's 4k, HDR, 10 bit, 98% DCI-P3, with DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, and HDMI inputs.  Price is expected to be in "Pro" territory.

  • Don't host your site with GoDaddy.

    (Only applies to their shared hosting, not to other services.)

  • Download your open source nuclear reactor today.

  • The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 has a 48 megapixel camera and starts at $150.  (Thurrott.com)

    Only one camera?  What is the world coming to?


Video of the Day


Other Linus shows off the Nubia X, with its 160% screen-to-body ratio.

He also got his hands on a foldable phone - not the Samsung one, which is still in development, but something called the FlexPai.




Disclaimer: This machine remains property of the Gas, Coal, and Gravity Co. 117A Threadneedle St London.

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Saturday, January 12

Geek

Daily News Stuff 12 January 2018

Tech News

  • Correction to an earlier post: It looks like the Radeon VII will still have 64 ROPs, like Vega 64.  (ExtremeTech)

    This makes sense given that it's a graphics version of the MI50 compute card which doesn't particularly need huge ROP throughput, but is disappointing nonetheless.  The card will only be an incremental improvement over Vega 64 after all.  When a high-end Navi card will appear is anyone's guess, but low-end Navi is still on track for 2019.  (PC Perspective)

  •  AMD says no chiplet APU version of Matisse.  (AnandTech)

    Matisse is the codename of the interesting version of Ryzen 3000, the one that will go up to 12 or 16 cores.  There is space for a second CPU chiplet on the package, and AMD has confirmed that will happen.  But there won't be a version where the second chiplet is a GPU, at least not in the Ryzen 3000 family.

    Given that the Ryzen 3000 APUs have already been announced, that could simply mean that Ryzen 4000 APUs will show up early.  Or it could mean there won't be any high-end APUs until DDR5 arrives next year to provide the necessary bandwidth.

    The AnandTech article also notes that Ryzen 3000 will have the same TDP range as Ryzen 2000, but AMD seems to have said Ryzen 3000 will have the same TDP envelope as Ryzen 2000, which is a bit more vague.  Don't be surprised if they do nudge it up another ten or twenty watts on the high-end parts.

  • Is your 11.6" notebook weighing you down?  The GPD Micro PC might be more your speed.  (Tom's Hardware)

    6" 1280x720 display, Celeron N4100 CPU (Atom, but the good Atom), 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 13 ounces. (395g)  HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port (which is used for charging), wired Ethernet, and a good old fashioned serial port for people who still use good old fashioned serial ports.

    Take that, Macbook.

  • Bungie has pulled the cord and is separating from Activision to seek its own destiny.  (WCCFTech)

    That's a joke, because....  Never mind.

  • How to redecentralise the web.

    Step One: Fix the speed of light.  Because as this plan is described, it will work great for people who live in San Francisco, and be a complete fucking disaster for everyone else.

  • US carriers promise to stop selling customer location data after being caught selling customer location data.  (Bleeping Computer)

    As they did in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (twice), 2017, and 2018.

    Guys, at least raise the price.  Seriously, $12.95?

    The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has asked the FCC to provide an emergency briefing.  (ZDNet)

    A spokesman said the FCC is currently hibernating and won't be back until March.



Social Media News

  • Cory Doctorow flips scooter company the bird.  (TechDirt)

    Bird sent Doctorow a notice that his reporting about other companies' kits to refit Bird's scooters was a violation of the DMCA's anti-circumvention section.  The factual reporting of the existence of such kits.

    Doctorow and the EFF fired back and didn't mince words.

    Also, Bird's Senior Corporate Counsel is named Linda Kwak.

  • GoFundMe is in the process of pulling that build-the-wall campaign and will be issuing refunds.  (Tech Crunch)

    That article contains several inaccuracies, but the central fact is that if existing donors do not reaffirm their pledge in the next 90 days, their donation will be refunded.

    This seems to have been prompted by assertions from the organiser that the US Government would not be in a position to accept the funds "any time soon" and a complete change in how the funds would be spent.  Which is odd, because the US Government absolutely will take your money at any time.  Just send a cheque to the IRS.

  • Disney CEO Bob Iger's Twitter account disappeared, reappeared with no followers, and disappeared again and no-one is saying anything.  (Laughing Place)


Video of the Day

Jim from AdoredTV, the guy who reported on the chiplets leak, comes to the same conclusion I did: What AMD showed off at CES was a low-mid-range 65W Ryzen 5 matching the performance of Intel's 9900K.



The big question is, since AMD clearly can produce 12 and 16 core parts any time they want, how will Intel respond?

Intel has 10 core CPUs that they could perhaps repackage to Socket 1151, but those have no iGPU.  That may not be such a barrier as I had thought, because Intel this week announced a whole family of Socket 1151 processors without iGPUs.  (TechPowerup)

So they could drop a 10 core part with little delay.  Their next step up, though, is a much larger die - more than 60% bigger - that may not be suitable for the Socket 1151 package.

And even then, AMD is matching Intel's 125W part (95W on paper, but not really) with a 75W part (65W on paper).  To counter Ryzen 3000, Intel needs a working 10nm process - a good 10nm process - and a 12 core part.  It took them two years to catch up with Ryzen the first time around, and I expect that to be true this time as well.


Bonus Video of the Day


All automated.  I'm not sure if they even had a direct link to the lander at the time.


Picture of the Day

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

Julie Newmar, pre-Catwoman.


Bonus Picture of the Day

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

Julie Newmar, pre-Catwoman, and Tina Louise, pre-Ginger, backstage during a Broadway performance of Lil' Abner.



Disclaimer: Try, or try not.  It's worth four points and a goal is only worth one.

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Friday, January 11

Geek

Daily News Stuff 11 January 2019

Tech News

  • Lenovo's thin-and-light X1 Yoga is an X1 Carbon with more yoga and less carbon.  (AnandTech)

    It's the same hardware as the X1 Carbon but in an aluminium frame rather than carbon fibre.  That makes it a little heavier but has the advantage of being made of aluminium.

    Not sure why that's an advantage, actually.

  • The HyperX QuadCast microphone doubles as a hurricane lamp.  (PC Perspective)

    Well, maybe not technically.

  • With AMD's announcement of PCIe 4.0 support on Ryzen 3000 (non-boring edition) I was wondering when we'd start to see PCIe 4.0 SSDs, since we're already hitting the limits of PCIe 3.0 x4.

    Phison are on it.  (Tom's Hardware)

    They're one of the few (only?) remaining independent SSD controller designers, and their engineering sample currently delivers 4GBps and 900,000 IOPS.  That will improve with faster flash, something that wasn't needed previously because existing flash could fill the PCIe 3.0 interface anyway.

    Which is good news because 900,000 IOPS, pfft.  Those are rookie numbers.

  • Unity (which I have heard of) just nuked Improbable (which has raised $600 million in funding but which I have never heard of) over license violations relating to game streaming.  (Tech Crunch)

    Developers got angry with Unity, but it seems that Unity had previously informed Improbable that they were in violation of the standard license and needed to negotiate a tailored license for their use case....  Over a year ago.

  • Amazon is now providing DocumentDB, a service compatible with the MongoDB 3.6 API.  (Tech Crunch)

    Not the API to MongoDB 4.0, which has multi-document transactions but has a much more restrictive license.  Whether that's due to the license (does it apply to the API or just the software?) or due to Amazon's particular implementation I don't know.

    MongoDB and Amazon are currently engaged in hissing at each other like two cats stuck inside due to bad weather.

  • SWAGGINZZZ won Nethack.

    I don't think I have ever won a recent version of Nethack, though I've won at Rogue, the original Hack, and Larn.  SWAGGINZZZ cheats just a tiny bit, however - it uses a cluster of AWS servers to reverse-engineer the seed of pseudo-random number generator based on the observable dungeon and then predict the rest of the dungeon.

  • It would seem that US carriers are selling your location data to anyone with the cash.  (Motherboard)

    And it's not even very much cash.  Via four intermediaries, anyone with $12.95 and your cell phone number can track you down in real time.

    Guys, if you don't want to see your industry stomped by overbearing European-style privacy regulation, stop that nonsense right now.

  • ZFS doesn't work on the Linux 5.0 kernel due to changes in floating point support. (Phoronix)

    The response so far appears to be DONTCARE/WONTFIX.  This does not fill me with joy.

Social Media News

  • LinkedIn blocked a user's content from being visible in China.  (TechDirt)

    This isn't a huge story, except for the slightly surprising fact that LinkedIn is visible inside China at all.  The total number of content removal requests reported by LinkedIn, worldwide, is 15.

  • Google says Section 230 for me, but not for thee.  (TechDirt)

    Google is involved in a slow motion slap fight with TechDirt over the latter's report on the difficulty of properly moderating user-generated content.  Google's actions just keep proving TechDirt correct, but the irony is lost on them.

  • The EU's execrable Article 13 is on the fast track to disaster.  (Julia Reda)

    In short, it makes all online platforms liable for user-generated content.  Platforms don't have to filter content, says the legislation, but are required to filter content.

    Yes, that's really what it says.

    How much filtering you are required to do depends.  On...  Stuff.

    Oh, and you're not allowed to block content that doesn't infringe.  And you have to be able to detect parodies and other fair use.

Picture of the Day

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

You know it makes sense.


Bonus Picture of the Day

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

The test rocket for the SpaceX Starship, assembled at the launch site.  Robert Heinlein would be proud.


Disclaimer: Double-insulated.  Do not earth.

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Thursday, January 10

Geek

Daily News Stuff 10 January 2019

Tech News

  • AMD showed off the interesting Ryzen 3000 after officially launching the boring Ryzen 3000 a few days ago. (AnandTech)

    More thoughts here, but short take is that it looks like a mid-range Ryzen 3000 will compete evenly with Intel's fastest mainstream desktop parts at much lower power and probably much lower price.

    Ian Cutress of AnandTech is writing up the Q&A session with AMD CEO Lisa Su that followed the keynote, but it won't be published for a day or two. (Twitter)

    Meanwhile:

  • AMD also announced the Radeon VII which is the graphics card version of the Radeon Instinct MI50 accelerator card released last year. (AnandTech)

    60 CUs, 16GB HBM, 1TB/s bandwidth, $699.

    As well as twice the bandwidth and memory of Vega 64, it also has twice the ROPs (raster output pipelines) so where Vega 64 was ROP limited, this certainly won't be. Later reports say it is still limited to 64 ROPs, so performance will still be limited likewise.  That's less than ideal for AMD.  It will be up to detailed reviews to show how much difference this makes in the real world and whether this is a genuine competitor for the RTX 2080.

    Meanwhile the rest of use are still waiting for Navi for realistically-priced cards.  Speculation is that Navi test chips came back in September but needed another round of revisions that will push the launch back three months, so Radeon VII is just a stopgap.  None of that is confirmed, but it's from AdoredTV, the same guy who had the details of Ryzen 3 exactly right, so only a medium-sized grain of salt.

  • We found the missing galaxies. Only problem is, we keep finding them. (Quanta)

    Computer models disagreed with observations on how many dwarf galaxies like the Magellanic Clouds should orbit the Milky Way, predicting far more than we could actually find. Now updated models and better observations have flipped the picture, with more galaxies being found than there should be.

    This is not currently expected to destroy the Universe and kill all life everywhere, but please check back regularly for updates.

  • Thermaltake showed off water-cooled RGB-lit RAM for... I don't know who for. (AnandTech)

    Seriously?

  • FSP showed off water-cooled power supplies just in case things weren't hazardous enough. (AnandTech)

    I think CES is winding down.

  • Apple Death Watch: iPhone production has been cut by another 10 percent, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. (Thurrott.com)

    Across all the current models, including the XR which is reportedly selling relatively well. Unit sales are apparently down 20% since the same time a year ago. So to all those in the tame Apple press who offered excuses when Apple stopped reporting unit sales - surprise.

  • Lenovo's Yoga S490 is another 13.9" notebook with no dedicated pgup/pgdn/home/end keys dammit. (Thurrott.com)

    What it does have is a camera array that would shame the Hubble Space Telescope that can detect when shady characters are trying to peek at your computer and shoot them with a 90,000 volt military-grade taser. (Optional extra.)

  • Lexar has a 1TB SD card.  (AnandTech)

    Full size, not micro SD.  $499.99.  For which price you can get a 2TB Samsung 970 Evo, which is about 30 times faster but probably won't fit in your DSLR.


Social Media News

  • Facebook blocked the trailer for the game Gris by Devolver Digital. (TechDirt)

    Okay, no big deal, rogue bot. Just appeal.

    They did.

    Facebook upheld the ban, saying they don't allow nudity on their site.

    There is nothing even resembling nudity in the trailer. It's kind of weird, yes, but there's no nudity.

    This is stupid.



  • There's a teeny bug in Google search that lets people inject nonsense into search links. (Tech Crunch)

    That is, searching by yourself works fine, but if someone gives you a link that does a Google search, they can attach parameters that look like the normal stupid link-tracking crap but actually change the results. Like this:

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/MarsNeedsChips.PNG?size=640x&q=95

    Try it yourself.


Video of the Day



That looks like a Commodore PET.  Seriously.


Picture of the Day

http://ai.mee.nu/images/wl-op-44s.jpg?size=720x&q=95



Disclaimer: I told you butter wouldn't suit the works.

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Geek

Chiplets! Chiplets! Chiplets!

AMD showed off Ryzen 3000 (the interesting one) at CES today.

Key points:
  • Chiplets!  Confirmed exactly as per the earlier leaks, it has an I/O die built on Global Foundries' 14nm process, a smaller version of the one on the new EPYC processors, and one of the standard 8 core CPU chiplets built on TSMC's 7nm process.

  • Cores!  The chip used in the demo had one CPU chiplet and thus 8 cores, but it very clearly has room reserved for a second chiplet - CPU or GPU.  AnandTech got a good photo of the package showing that it's obviously designed for two chiplets.

  • I/O!  PCIe 4.0 is confirmed.  It might even work on existing motherboards, at least for the primary PCI slot.  (Tom's Hardware)  PCIe 4.0 needs a buffer chip for board traces longer than 7 inches, but the first slot will always be well within that.

    The 500 generation chipsets will be PCIe 4.0 as well, so you could get 8 lanes of PCIe 3.0 off the chipset, all running at full speed.

  • Speed!  On stage and off-stage, it scored within 1% of a power-unrestricted Core i9 9900K on Cinebench R15 multi-core.

  • Efficiency!  It tied for performance with the 9900K while using about 40% less power.  System power was shown as around 130W vs. 180W for the 9900K, on systems matched as closely as possible.

    That means that the chip itself was running at 75W vs. 125W for the Intel chip.  The 9900K is rated at 95W TDP but most motherboards don't enforce that as a limit, and it runs noticeably hotter by default.

AMD didn't confirm clock speeds, just saying that they weren't final, and didn't mention the elephant in the room of the space reserved for that second chiplet.

But what they showed off, when compared against the leaks, looks like a Ryzen 5 mid-range part that exactly matches Intel's fastest 8 core CPU.

The leaked Ryzen 5 3600X is an 8 core 95W part, similar to the 9900K.  But if that's what they showed, it's running at 20W below TDP, where Intel is running at 30W above TDP, for identical performance.  If they showed what is to be the Ryzen 5 3600 (non-X), a 65W part, then it would be running a little above TDP - but that would put a low-mid-range AMD part head-to-head with Intel's best.

It's just one benchmark, but it's not a benchmark AMD can really cheat at.  We know that the Zen 2 floating point hardware matches the 9900K (Zen 1 and Zen+ had half the vector units), so there's no specific magic possible there.

If they got the same performance as Intel at significantly lower power - and it sure looks like it - that means great things for their 2019 product lineup, no matter whether they achieved that through IPC or clock speed or magic smoke.


Disclaimer: They've got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses.

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Wednesday, January 09

Geek

Daily News Stuff 9 January 2019

Tech News
  • AMD's CES keynote is at 4AM for me, the worst time in the world.  Can't stay up that late, can't get up that early.

  • Toshiba announced their BG4 NVME SSD.  (AnandTech)

    With speeds of 2250MB/s read, 1700MB/s write (about 50% faster than the BG3), it's a middle-of-the-pack contender.  Its secret is that it packs up to 1TB of fast storage into just 16x20 mm (about half a square inch).

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/ToshibaBG4.png

  • Zotac's MEK Mini is eye-wateringly ugly.  (AnandTech)

    It's all but non-Euclidean.  Not shown because it might break the blog.

    Their Magnus E is a normal-looking mini PC with the latest Nvidia RTX mobile graphics, so here's a picture of that instead.

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

  • Samsung's Notebook 9 Pro is a fairly nice business laptop, though it doesn't have dedicated pgup/pgdn/home/end keys.  Does have a pen.  Only 1080p display.

    The low-end Notebook Flash looks like a second more talented team of designers was shown a picture of the Notebook 9 Pro and told to make the same thing, only entirely out of recycled milk crates.

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/SamsungNotebookFlash.jpg?size=640x&q=95

  • Asus' TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY laptops are powered by AMD Ryzen.  (PC Perspective)

    Apparently there's a shortage of Intel laptop parts, so first-tier manufacturers (Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo) get their pick and everyone else (Acer, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI) gets to wait.

    These models have the new Ryzen 5 3350H - a 35W part - and Radeon RX 560X graphics.  They dynamically switch from the integrated graphics to dedicated graphics when you start up a game.  It's the same driver so hopefully that will be smoother than on some pervious attempts.

  • ASRock announced the DeskMini A300 including the world's first STX format AM4 motherboard.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is a big deal because STX doesn't have room for a graphics card, so AMD's superior integrated graphics make for a much more useful mini system.  These are smaller than a Mac Mini, though not quite as tiny as a NUC.  And a barebones system will cost just $119.

    Connectivity is a bit limited - only one Ethernet port, one HDMI, and one DisplayPort, but understandable at the price.

  • Intel's Optane caching solutions for hard drives were dead in the water with the recent fall in price of SSDs, so they've come up with something new.  The Optane Memory H10 has up to 1TB of QLC flash and up to 32GB of Optane cache.  (Tom's Hardware)

    There's one giant fly in the ointment, though: It's not actually a device.  It's a single M.2 card with a x4 connector, but the Optane and QLC storage are presented as two separate x2 drives that are then managed by Intel's RST software.

    So it requires an Intel processor and chipset, and a motherboard and BIOS supporting PCIe channel bifurcation.  Or you could just use regular QLC flash with its much larger pseudo-SLC cache and have a proper x4 SSD that works with anything.

  • Alienware's Area 51m supports a socketed CPU and GPU so in theory you can swap them out when better parts arrive.  (WCCFTech)

    At least the GPU.  Maybe.  CPU sockets change often enough that you're likely to end up stuck with whatever you got.

  • Lenovo's Yoga A940 is a Surface Studioesque desktop system.  (ZDNet)

    A hinged mount can bring the 27" 4K screen forward and down to a 28° angle for drawing or design, and it has a dial for twiddling.  Core i7-8700 CPU, Radeon RX 560 graphics (so you certainly won't be gaming at 4K), four speakers, a couple of cameras, multiple microphones, pen, mouse, wireless charging pad, convenient keyboard tray, carry handle, and, mirroring the original Surface Studio, a ludicrous 1TB hard disk.

    As for the design...  Um.  It's not ugly, as such, but it sure is awkward.

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/LenovoA940cropped.pnghttps://ai.mee.nu/images/LenovoA940Bcropped.png

  • Continental is planning to deliver packages to your door with a driverless miniature bus full of robot dogs.  (Tech Crunch)

    No, really.

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

    I for one welcome our new robotic underdogs.

  • Wait, Google is at CES?  Everything Google announced at CES.  (Tech Crunch)

    Basically all just marketing for Google Assistant.  No new products or even new features, which is why I didn't notice they were even present.

  • Dell showed off a 55" 4K 120Hz HDR OLED Freesync gaming monitor.  (Engadget)

    Pricing not yet announced, and it won't ship until the second half of the year, but a single screen that ticks so many boxes isn't likely to be cheap.

  • Dell also, after years of everyone in the world telling them they are terrible people and deserve to Burn in Heck, moved the camera on the XPS 13 back up to the top bezel.  (HotHardware)

    It even has dedicated pgup/pgdn/home/end keys.  Not in my ideal layout, unfortunately, but they are there, and not combined with F11 and F12 or any such nonsense.

Video of the Day


Good boy!  <clunk>  Sigh.


Disclaimer: Cargo not wanted on voyage.

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Tuesday, January 08

Geek

Daily News Stuff 8 January 2019

Tech News


Social Media News

  • LinkedIn is scanning your browser for extensions.

    For a reason, though: They've shut off access to their API, so the only way to find out what's going on inside LinkedIn is by screen-scraping, and these extensions do exactly that.  Of course, the data isn't actually private, or LinkedIn itself couldn't function.  The point is that LinkedIn owns your data, not you.

    This is security through being a pain in the bum.

    I do social network stuff in my day job, and we occasionally still get requests filtering down asking if we can retrieve certain data from LinkedIn for some project or other.  As soon as the name "LinkedIn" is mentioned we pass the request back with a one-word answer.


Disclaimer: Go ahead, punk.  Taunt happy fun ball.

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Monday, January 07

Geek

Daily News Stuff 7 January 2019

And let the floodalanche commence!

Tech News

  • AMD has announced the Ryzen 3000 mobile family.  (AnandTech)

    Points of interest:

    • These are the 12nm second-generation parts, not the exciting 7nm third-generation parts we're all waiting for.  (There were no Ryzen 1000 mobile parts.)

    • But AMD announced this as just an oh-by-the-way, not even counting it as worth mentioning in their big keynote address on Wednesday.

    • There are now both U-series 15W parts and H-series 35W parts.  The specs are basically the same; the H series just has much more thermal headroom and actually achieves the peak clocks rather than throttling.

    • Two new 6W parts.... Oh, they're Excavator, not Zen.  Never mind.

  • Nvidia announced the RTX 2060, launching on January 15 for $349.  (AnandTech)

    It delivers GTX 1070 performance for GTX 1070 prices.  It has more memory bandwidth but less memory.  It's decidedly unexciting given that it competes on a level footing on price and performance with a 2016 card, but Nvidia are clearly thinking "What are you going to do, buy AMD?  Wait, come back!"

  • Nvidia also announced RTX Mobile providing lower-power versions of the 2060, 2070, and 2080.  (PC Perspective)

    First products expected by the end of this month.

  • Speaking of Nvidia, they just adopted Freesync.  (AnandTech)

    Cheap wins every time.  One of the reasons behind this is that game consoles and televisions have adopted Freesync.  There's no market for the added cost of G-Sync in the living room, but Freesync has basically no unit cost, just a design cost, so why not?  If Nvidia want to sell into that market, Freesync is the only option.

    Intel have also announced their upcoming GPUs will support Freesync.

  • HP's Spectre x360 15 has an AMOLED display.  (AnandTech)

    100% DCI-P3 colour space and 100,000:1 contrast, but what about the panel life?

    Like all the Spectre range, it's quite pretty in an angular way.  I prefer the ash grey and copper accents of 2017 over the newer midnight blue and gold, but it's still a work of art.

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/SpectreBlueAndGold.jpg?size=640x&q=95

  • HP's Omen 15 has a 240Hz display and GTX 1070 graphics and looks like a...  (AnandTech)

    Okay, it's not awful.  But for comparison:

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/OpenBlackAndRed.jpg?size=640x&q=95

  • Acer's 2019 Swift 7 is 92% screen and weighs under 2 pounds.  (AnandTech)

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/AcerSwift72019.jpg?size=640x&q=95

    But only 1080p, Y-series CPU, and no home/end keys.  And expensive at $1699.  But it's fanless, and there are limits to what you can do if you want that and don't want an extra pound of heatsink.

  • Acer also announced some rather larger laptops with Nvidia GPUs and 15" or 17" screens.  (AnandTech)

    These start at a hefty 4.6 pounds and $1799, but at least the 17" model has an interesting flippy hinge thing.

    https://ai.mee.nu/images/AcerPredatorTriton.JPG?size=640x&q=95

  • Seagate announced new BarraCude and FireCuda SSDs.  (AnandTech)

    They're almost the same, with the BarraCuda coming in 256MB and 512MB and the FireCuda at 1TB and 2TB.  The larger models have better performance and endurance, but even the smallest model can deliver 3.4GB/s, effectively maxing out a PCIe 3.0 x4 link.

    The IronWolf range meanwhile are SATA drives for NAS use.  (AnandTech)

    Since two SATA SSDs can already fill a 10GbE connection, there's no real need for NVMe in the NAS market.

  • Asus' ZenBook S13 has bezels so small that it has a notch.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Fortunately in the name of sanity it's not really a notch, but a notch-shaped extension that goes the other way, a little lip to the top bezel.

    Full U-series CPU on this one, 13.9" screen so it's really a 14" model, claimed 97% screen-to-body ratio, up to 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD.

    No dedicated home/end though, not even dedicated pgup/pgdn from what I can see.

  • Alienware announced their "thin" and "light" m17 which DON'T SHAPE THE SCREEN LIKE THAT IT LOOKS LIKE IT ESCAPED FROM 1976 AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY.  (Tom's Hardware)

  • Asus launched their Mothership a sort of 17" 10 pounds Surface Pro for gaming.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Well, they didn't launch it - it will be out later in Q1 - but I had to say that.

    Other Linus got his hands on a pre-release model.



  • Razer's Blade 15 is getting RTZ graphics - your choice of 2060, 2070, or 2080.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I thought the Blade 15 was ligher than that - the article lists it at 4.7 pounds.

  • Samsung showed off a 219" LED TV and also a smaller 75" model.  (WCCFTech)

    These are "microLED" panels using more conventional inorganic components (WCCFTech) and according to Samsung are much less prone to burn-in than OLED / AMOLED displays.

    The price, however, is in "if you have to ask" territory.

  • Huawei announced their most powerful Arm CPU yet, the Kunpeng 920.  (ZDNet)

    Kirin was a good name.  It's in the Monster Manual.  Kunpeng is less good.

    Anyway, it's a 64 core server CPU running at 2.6GHz, with 8 channel memory and dual 100GbE ports.  Huawei has also announced servers based on the new chips, which no-one outside China will touch with a barge pole.

  • Apple Death Watch: Don't worry Apple, we haven't forgotten you!

    The Phone That's Failing Apple: iPhone XR  (Wall Street Journal)

    It's the best selling of the new models.  It's just not best-selling enough.

  • Apple Death Watch: You need to go on a diet.  (ZDNet)

    A good argument that Apple needs a new low-end device rather than simply continuing to sell outdated models at reduced prices.

  • Original Linus has announced Linux 5.0.  (Phoronix)

    Basically Original Linus sometimes just wakes up and says "we're going to change the major version number".  This was called 4.21 up until Saturday.  Which doesn't mean that there isn't a ton of new stuff, just that there's always a ton of new stuff.

  • Samsung is now iTunes and AirPlay compatible for people stuck with orphaned Apple devices now that that company is doomed.  (Six Colors)

    Doomed, I say.

  • Speaking of doomed, Apple are describing noticeably crooked devices costing  thousands of dollars as having "subtle deviations in flatness".  (ZDNet)

    Like Florida.

  • Finland says Microsoft should pay the costs for fucking up people's computers with forced upgrades.  (ZDNet)

    I had to re-install Skype this morning after updating to 1809.  That's $3.70 you owe me for my time, Microsoft!


Social Media News

  • A former Grindr user is suing the platform over what seems to be a straightforward case of criminal harassment by another Grindr user, not really involving the company at all.  (NBC)

    The case has already been thrown out once, but the claimant is appealing that decision.

  • A photographer licensed a photo to a stock photo company and was shocked to find out that someone used it.  (TechDirt)
    Walmart is selling my picture without my permission throughout all New Brunswick...
    (Actually, they're not.)

Video of the Day



Other Linus maintains some positivity about the RTX 2060.

Oh, I missed that it has VirtualLink.  That's something.  Would still like to see Thunderbolt outputs on video cards, but there are issues with that.


Picture of the Day

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


Disclaimer: I hope you brought enough for everybody!

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