The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.

Saturday, April 20


Daily News Stuff 20 April 2024

Still Life With Anteater Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: I am a very strange loop.

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Friday, April 19


Daily News Stuff 19 April 2024

End of the World Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Grok keeps making up news stories.  (Ars Technica)

    So does the entire mainstream media - and the tech media including Ars Technica - but nobody mentions that.

    That said, they're not wrong.  I've pointed this out on Twitter myself.  In one case it decided six victims in a murder spree weren't enough and added another nine.

  • Testing Intel's Core i5-14400 low-mid-range CPU.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Personally I'd spend the extra few dollars to move up to the 14500 - which has four extra E cores - but for many people it won't make any difference and you might as well save the money.

    It's, well, it's fine.  And it runs fine with cheaper DDR4 memory, not just with DDR5.  And when I say fine, I mean spectacularly fast compared to anything even a few years old no matter how expensive.

    If you're aiming at gaming performance (and don't already have an Intel motherboard) it's worth paying another $20 for AMD's Ryzen 5700X3D.  It also uses cheaper DDR4 RAM and the performance boost is around 30%.

  • What would happen if a USB cable company built a NAS?  (Kickstarter)

    In the case of the UGREEN NASync, the answer is...  It's really good.

    The software (a fork of Debian) is still in development, but if you just want your NAS to be a NAS, it just works.

    You can install your own operating system, but it's currently not easy.  And you might need one of the higher end models that have a separate - removable - SSD for the operating system.

Disclaimer: The distance from Agano station to Ikebukuro is 58.9km.  Agano Station itself is the terminus for the Seibu Ikebukuro line and the Seibu Chichibu extension line.  The distance from Agano Station to Higashi-Agano, the next station inwards on the line towards Ikebukuro, is 5.1km and can be walked in about an hour.

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Thursday, April 18


Daily News Stuff 18 April 2024

Mostly Dead Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Train to the End of the World

I'm not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't this.

End of episode one, and the gang is off to Iscandar Ikebukuro to save the world uh, no, that part was correct.

Some gorgeous animation, great music, strong voice acting, and I somehow think someone on the production staff likes trains.

Disclaimer: Google, Google, you can't hide!
You're accused of genocide!
Google, Google, you can't fire us!
No-one else would ever hire us!

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Wednesday, April 17


Daily News Stuff 17 April 2024

Ship Shipping Ships Edition

Top Story

  • The modern world depends on a handful of ships.  (The Verge)

    Specifically, the 22 ships designed and dedicated to repairing the undersea cables that make the internet inter.

    It's a good article, and it covers the whole history of undersea cables and cable repair:
    Field fared no better. Twelve years after he began, he had endured severed cables, near sinkings, and had one "success”: a cable laid in 1858 that prompted celebrations so enthusiastic that revelers set fire to New York City Hall. The cable failed weeks later.
    We need more of this.

    The only problem is that as you scroll through it, every so often it hits an image gallery and scrolls sideways.

    I'm impressed they found something worse than the experimental UI over at YouTube.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Rubber ducky, joy of joys; when I squeeze you, you make noise.

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Tuesday, April 16


Daily News Stuff 16 April 2024

Bonfire of the Bathroom Vanities Edition

Top Story

Tech News

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Monday, April 15


Daily News Stuff 15 April 2024

Mineflation Edition

Top Story

  • Axios sees artificial intelligence coming, and is shifting its strategy. (Seattle Times) (archive site)
    In the view of Jim VandeHei, CEO of Axios, artificial intelligence will "eviscerate the weak, the ordinary, the unprepared in media."
    Which is all of them. Yes, obviously Axios, but who is there in that industry that doesn't fit at least two out of three of those categories?
    VandeHei says the only way for media companies to survive is to focus on delivering journalistic expertise, trusted content and in-person human connection.
    Stop laughing, this is serious.
    "Fast forward five to 10 years from now and we’re living in this AI-dominated virtual world - who are the couple of players in the media space offering smart, sane content who are thriving?" he added. "It damn well better be us."
    Axios is a money-bleeding garbage mill, and always has been. As competition for stochastic garbage heats up and AI delivers for pennies a year what takes a six-figure salary for pompous overeducated leftists, we can only hope to see the evisceration VandeHei envisages.

    I wonder if bidding has opened on the hotdog concession.
    The company has also introduced a $1,000-a-year membership program around some of its journalists that will offer exclusive reporting, events and networking.

    "We're not prostitutes," said VandeHei. "Or if we are, we're the kind that expects you to shower first."

Tech News

  • The purpose of a system is what it does: Maria Cantwell ran for the Senate promising privacy legislation. She has spent the 24 years since then blocking all efforts towards it. (Washington Post) (archive site)

    If you deliver what you promised, they don't need you anymore.

  • Is that 368TB portable SSD just not the same as it was yesterday? Here's a 30,000TB tape library. (Tom's Hardware)

    That used to be a lot.

    The article says 75,000TB, but that includes compression, and I don't know who exactly has 75,000TB of data that isn't already compressed in some manner.

  • Minecraft modpack update: The squirrels in Luminous are animated better than the ones in Zoo Architect.

    Since both are working I'm not fussed.  Also the ones in Luminous come in four colour variants, which fits the theme of the mod.  There are new variants for almost all the common mobs - sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, cats, and wolves - plus new zombies, skeletons, creepers, endermen, golems, and spiders.

    No crashes in the latest test world.  It loads and runs - just - in 4GB of heap.  Looking pretty good at this point.

    I put Blue Skies and The Undergarden back in, along with Aether Redux; I'd previously taken them out due to their size but it seems okay now.  That took the base heap size from 3.3GB to 3.6GB; I'm running with a heap limit of 6GB.

Disclaimer: Slow news is good news, at least when you're a sysadmin and you don't get to sleep when something "exciting" is happening in the tech world.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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