Why did you say six months?
He's coming.
This matters. This is important. Why did you say six months?
Why did you say five minutes?

Monday, May 08


Daily News Stuff 8 May 2023

Two By Two, Laptops Of Blue Edition

Top Story

  • The Gateway 14.1 Ultra Slim Notebook is $279 from Walmart.  (The Verge)

    Yes, Cowputers is still around though now it's a Walmart house brand.

    Anyway, this model has the 11th generation i5-1135G7 - only a little slower than the laptop I used all last year while moving house, a 1080p IPS display, 16GB of RAM, and a 500GB SSD.  (The RAM is soldered to the motherboard, though nothing says that anywhere.)

    And the Four Essential Keys.

    The 2022 update dropped the four essential keys, and is also significantly more expensive, so don't buy that one.

    The screen isn't high-end and the trackpad is a bit finicky, but it's $279.

    And it's blue.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Retains speed when full would be a good name for a rock band.  Well, not really.

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Sunday, May 07


Daily News Stuff 7 May 2023

Irreverent And Fracked Edition

Top Story

  • Those monthly unique reader numbers from the story on Vice's demise yesterday were thousands.  I thought they had to be, but it didn't say so.

    So those sites are dying but not actually dead.  Not yet.

  • Same goes for OpenAI: Google and OpenAI are Walmarts besieged by fruit stands.   (Tech Crunch)
    GPT-4 is like a Walmart. No one actually wants to go there, so the company makes damn sure there’s no other option.

    But customers are starting to wonder, why am I walking through 50 aisles of junk to buy a few apples? Why am I hiring the services of the largest and most general-purpose AI model ever created if all I want to do is exert some intelligence in matching the language of this contract against a couple hundred other ones? At the risk of torturing the metaphor (to say nothing of the reader), if GPT-4 is the Walmart you go to for apples, what happens when a fruit stand opens in the parking lot?

    And the fruit stand's apples are free.  And they don't call you a racist.

    OpenAI had its chance.  It's done.

Tech News

  • OpenAI's regulatory woes are just beginning.  (The Verge)

    This story has it exactly wrong, of course.  OpenAI's only hope for fending off smaller and less retarded commercial rivals is to have the industry regulated within an inch of its life with layer upon layer of incomprehensible and infeasibly expensive red tape.

    Good plan, except that it's not the commercial rivals that are eating OpenAI's lunch, it's open source software.

  • That article was about the EU's efforts, but the Biden Administration is all-in on regulatory capture too.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Though like everything else they do, it will fail utterly.

  • RedisRaft is a strongly consistent Redis cluster.  (GitHub)

    Redis has had replication for a long time, but this is a full-on clustering solution.  Once an update is confirmed, the data won't be lost unless more than half of the nodes in the cluster die at the same time.

    There are a few Redis commands that aren't supported, but the bulk of the functionality works just as with a single Redis node.

Can a Ten Year Old CPU With a Five Year Old Graphics Card Play the Latest Games Video of the Day

Spoiler: Yes.

Disclaimer: Spoilmaker, spoilmaker, make me a spoil, leak me a leak, make my mind whirl...

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Saturday, May 06


Daily News Stuff 6 May 2023

Irrelevant And Fucked Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: And not in the good way, where at least there's twenty bucks on the nightstand afterwards.

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Friday, May 05


Daily News Stuff 5 May 2023

Both Is Good Edition

Top Story

  • OpenAI is both irrrelevant and fucked.  (SemiAnalysis)

    This is allegedly a leaked document from Google, but whether that's true or not the analysis is accurate.  It explains in detail how OpenAI went in a matter of weeks from a tech darling - a purveyor of complete crap, yes, but that doesn't matter to the investors - to utterly irrelevant.

    Free software that you can not only run, but train, on consumer-level hardware is now nearly as capable as ChatGPT and free of the biases OpenAI cripples its own software with.

    This is exactly what befell OpenAI's Dall-E image generation AI.  In two years it went from being the market leader to not even being thought about, mostly because of OpenAI's mishandling.

Tech News

Disclaimer: An integer overflow walks into a bar...

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Thursday, May 04


Daily News Stuff 4 May 2023

Always Two There Are Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.

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Wednesday, May 03


Daily News Stuff 3 May 2023

His Excellency Regrets Edition


Top Story

  • AMD's consumer chip sales are down even more than Intel's - by a massive 65%. (Tom's Hardware)

    Unlike Intel, though, AMD's other divisions - servers, gaming, and embedded - saw pretty solid performance, with gaming down slightly and embedded up by 163% thanks mostly to the Xilinx acquisition.

    They still lost money for the quarter, but $140 million compared to Intel's $2.8 billion in red ink.

    Strongest economy ever.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Lmao, even.

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Tuesday, May 02


Daily News Stuff 2 May 2023

From Out Of The Silent Woodwork Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: (A)bort, (R)etry, (D)isclaim?

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Monday, May 01


Daily News Stuff 1 May 2023

Idiots Among Us Edition

Top Story

  • We interviewed the quote engineer unquote Google fired for saying its AI had come to life.  (Futurism)

    Blake Lemoine, the "engineer" in question, was fired for violating NDA.

    Being a gibbering imbecile is just icing on the cake.

  • OpenAI CTO Mira Murati on shepherding her own gibbering imbecile.  (Security Week)

    I think the people who really stand to lose their jobs here are the ones who write about AI, who could all be replace by a TRS-80 Model 1 Level 1.
    We’re far from the point of having a safe, reliable, aligned AGI system. Our path to getting there has a couple of important vectors. From a research standpoint, we’re trying to build systems that have a robust understanding of the world similarly to how we do as humans. Systems like GPT-3 initially were trained only on text data, but our world is not only made of text, so we have images as well and then we started introducing other modalities. The other angle has been scaling these systems to increase their generality. With GPT-4, we’re dealing with a much more capable system, specifically from the angle of reasoning about things. This capability is key. If the model is smart enough to understand an ambiguous direction or a high-level direction, then you can figure out how to make it follow this direction. But if it doesn’t even understand that high-level goal or high-level direction, it’s much harder to align it. It’s not enough to build this technology in a vacuum in a lab. We really need this contact with reality, with the real world, to see where are the weaknesses, where are the breakage points, and try to do so in a way that’s controlled and low risk and get as much feedback as possible.
    The vapidity is astonishing.

Tech News

  • A quick look inside the Asus Flashstor 6.  (Serve the Home)

    You can install the drives without even a screwdriver, and it looks like the CPU is just fast enough to handle 10Gb Ethernet rates from a RAID-5 array.  This model doesn't have 10GbE so it maxes out at about 50% CPU load.

  • A quick look at the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (2023).  (Notebook Check)

    The is a great laptop except of course it lacks the Four Essential Keys.  I was looking at the model with 4060 graphics before settling for a much cheaper HP that had those keys.  The version reviewed here, though, has an RTX 4090 which some might consider overkill for a 14" laptop.

  • Maybe you should store passwords in plaintext.  (Qword)

    I mean, no, you shouldn't, and if anyone seriously suggests that you should set them on fire, but what this article is actually discussing is the nature of incentives for technology workers, and why all large organisations suck.

Disclaimer: ENODISCLAIMER /dev/disclaimer could not be opened for reading.

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Sunday, April 30


Daily News Stuff 30 April 2023

Road To Nowhere Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Microsoft has been quietly - very quietly - supporting right-to-repair legislation.  (Grist)

    Apple is the Wicked Witch here.  Microsoft has actually made small improvements, like user-replaceable storage in many of its Surface tablets.  Apple meanwhile is at war with its own authorised repair centers, requiring them to sign NDAs forbidding them from even mentioning the existence of the NDA.

  • AMD's Radeon 7800 graphics cards will have 16GB of RAM.  (WCCFTech)

    There's been a lot of fuss recently over the fact that 8GB of VRAM - as found on the previous generation's 3070 Ti - is no longer enough to run some new games at full resolution.  Performance isn't just a little bit slower; in some cases the 3070 Ti is slower than the much cheaper 3060 because that card has 12GB of VRAM.

    So AMD is making a fuss about its high-mid-range cards having 16GB, as much VRAM as Nvidia's 4080 at half the price.

    The Radeon 7700 will have 12GB of VRAM like the 6700 - the article doesn't mention this but knowing AMD's RDNA3 cache design, 48MB of cache means 12GB of VRAM.  12GB is probably fine for a low-mid-range card like this.

Disclaimer: Ow.  Thumped in the basket by a biscuit.

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Saturday, April 29


Daily News Stuff 29 April 2023

Almost Exactly Except Not Edition

Top Story

  • The AOKZOE A1 Pro has AMD's latest Ryzen 7840U and up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD.  (Liliputing)

    That should make it close to twice as fast on the CPU side as my new laptop and more than twice as fast on the GPU side.  Memory isn't upgradeable but since the entry model has 32GB and 64GB is available as an option, that's not a problem.

    Confusingly, it also has a 1920x1200 8" screen covering 100% of sRGB and the other four essential keys - the A, B, X, and Y buttons from an Xbox controller.

    Because it's a handheld gaming device and not a tablet or a laptop.  It's like they've been reading all my complaints and did their best to produce the perfect device but spilled coffee on the plans at some point.

    The Asus ROG Ally has similar specs but is limited to 16GB of RAM and uses a smaller 7" 1920x1080 display.  It also nominally uses the AMD Z1 Extreme CPU, but that's just a rebranded 7840U.

    Same thing for the Aya Neo Air Plus, Neo 2S, Neo Geek 1S, and the forthcoming Neo Slide.

    The Neo Slide being a little different because it actually has a keyboard.  Would have been a very useful thing to have when I travelled more - full laptop power that fits in a coat pocket.

Tech News


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