Is this how time normally passes? Really slowly, in the right order?

Thursday, November 16


Daily News Stuff 16 November 2023

Stochastic Garret Edition

Top Story

  • Is my toddler a stochastic carrot?  (New Yorker)

    No.  Your toddler is actually capable of learning.

    This piece of art is a better discussion of the risks, benefits, and underlying mechanisms of generative AI than I have seen coming from almost anyone in the industry.

Tech News

Disclaimer: I once saw Julienne and the Stochastic Carrots open for the Stones at the old Palladium.

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Wednesday, November 15


Daily News Stuff 15 November 2023

Pay For Your Own Damn Camp Edition

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Tech News

Disclaimer: The ugly is out there.

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Tuesday, November 14


Daily News Stuff 14 November 2023

Flying East For The Spring Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: And I'm not sure why we need those when we have so many of the regular kind.

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Monday, November 13


Daily News Stuff 13 November 2023

One Step At A Time Edition

Top Story

Tech News

To Worm or Not to Worm Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Tomorrow we discuss the Worm of Theseus.

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Sunday, November 12


Daily News Stuff 12 November 2023

Any Keyboard So Long As It Sucks Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • AMD could be looking to Samsung's 3nm process for some of the chips coming next year.  (WCCFTech)

    This would make sense, from a perspective of not putting all your eggs in one basket hanging directly over a hungry snake, and also from a perspective of not buying all your eggs from one egg shop.

    Samsung's 3nm process isn't quite as good as TSMC's, but that's like saying a Ferrari isn't quite as good as a Lamborghini, when the third option is an Edsel.

  • Monaspace is a monospace programming font superfamily from GitHub.  (GitHub)

    Good monospaced fonts used to be scarce; in the last couple of years there's been a flood of them.  This particular font provides five styles, seven weights, twenty-six widths, and twelve degrees of slant

    This has a couple of interesting features, including ten sets of ligatures - where adjacent characters are combined into a more complicated glyph - and what they are calling "texture healing".  If you have the letters imi in that sequence, in a normal monospaced font that looks ugly because the i characters are wide and the m character is squished.  Texture healing keeps everything in the monospaced grid, but lets the m fill the entire width of its cell while each i is moved to to give the m more room.

    If your application properly supports TrueType/OpenType fonts, it doesn't need to know anything about this; it uses a trick built into TrueType that us normally used to support variants of Arabic characters - in Arabic, letters can look different depending on where they are located in a word.

    You can play with it on the GitHub page and it certainly seems to work.

Disclaimer: 18 Essential Keys Should be enough for anybody.

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Saturday, November 11


Daily News Stuff 11 November 2023

Migraine Mania Edition

Top Story

  • Apple says 8GB of RAM on a Mac is equivalent to 16GB on a real computer.  But how does an 8GB Mac perform objectively on simple tasks?  Poorly.  (WCCFTech)

    If you leave your browser open with a bunch of tabs while using Lightroom, expect things to take 2.5x longer.  If you're using Final Cut Pro to edit video, up to 4x longer.

    There's absolutely no excuse for the existence of a $1600 laptop with only 8GB of RAM.  16GB of RAM is barely adequate for running any serious desktop task these days.

Tech News

  • Childhood vaccine rates are falling right across the US.  (Ars Technica)

    Some of the commenters even understand why.  Many of the childhood vaccines really are safe and effective, and we don't want a return of polio.

    But whenever the usual suspects try to blame conservatives, they run head-first into the fact that Mississippi has the highest vaccination rates in the US, and Hawaii one of the lowest.

  • Microsoft now wants to give you a quiz when you close OneDrive.  (PC World)

    There needs to be a write in option for fuck off and stay there.

  • Comments might be down for a few minutes between 2AM and 4AM Eastern tomorrow.  I'm setting up database replication on the server in preparation for some upgrades I'll be making to the blog.

Disclaimer: Good news is no news.

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Weekend Trickery

Doing a database upgrade via replication.

It'll take a while, but that doesn't matter because the site will keep running as normal throughout.  Except when one of the tables decided it didn't want to table anymore, there was that.  This upgrade should sort that kind of thing out as well.

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Friday, November 10


Daily News Stuff 10 November 2023

60% Solution Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Maybe we could find a cure. And then a vaccine.

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Thursday, November 09


Daily News Stuff 9 November 2023

Ad Astra Per Assholes Edition

Top Story

  • The second Starship test build is stacked up, ready for launch as early as next week.  (Ars Technica)

    This version should fix the issues that caused ground control to hit the self-destruct button four minutes into the first test flight.  Starship can lift more than a hundred tons into Low Earth Orbit and then land back on the ground - once they get the explosions ironed out - and has been contracted by NASA for future manned Moon missions, so I'm really keen to see this work.

    So are the commenters at Ars Technica.  As much as they're hardwired to hate Elon Musk, they are rocketry fanboys and want to see this fly.  The people getting banished from this particular thread are the ones hoping for fireworks.

  • Meanwhile the Space Force has tapped SpaceX to launch its space plane.  (Ars Technica)

    The X-37B is a robotic mini-Shuttle that has flown seven times so far - actually a pair of shuttles, just called 1 and 2 - often spending multiple years in orbit doing secret space stuff.  It usually launches on the Atlas V, but this time will go aboard the more powerful Falcon Heavy, which could be sending it into a much higher orbit.

  • Meanwhile the ESA is run by petty bureaucratic assholes.  (Ars Technica)

    All the worst qualities of all the European member states rolled together with no accountability.  What did you expect?

Tech News

Disclaimer: Though probably not.

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Wednesday, November 08


Daily News Stuff 8 November 2023

Meant To Do That Edition

Top Story

  • Optus, Australia's second largest telecommunications provider (I think), went down today.  (ABC)

    And I thought I was having a rough time when ARP updates for some of the IP addresses I needed to migrate were taking minutes to propagate rather than seconds.

    Anyway, around 4AM the entire Optus network ceased to be.  Mobile phones and internet access simply dropped dead right across the country.  Shops had to remember what cash looked like as point-of-sale terminals became useless bricks.  Melbourne's trains stopped working because, well, Melbourne.  Some remote towns with a single communications link via Optus were cut off entirely.

    I'm not sure quite how they managed this, because the national internet backbone itself was completely unaffected.  Probably DNS.  It's usually DNS.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Unless you use Optus, in which case you're screwed.

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