It was a bad day. A lot of bad stuff happened. And I'd love to forget it all. But I don't. Not ever. Because this is what I do. Every time, every day, every second, this: On five, we're bringing down the government.

Monday, September 04


Daily News Stuff 4 September 2023

Blackjack And Hookers Edition

Top Story

  • Having destroyed the original city, tech billionaires are planning to build their own San Francisco, with blackjack, and hookers.  (Associated Press)

    They've bought up 78 square miles of land between Travis AFB and Rio Vista in Solano County, about sixty miles northeast of San Francisco and safely out of shitting range.
    But Princess Washington, mayor pro tempore of Suisun City, said residents deliberately decided to protect open space and keep the area around Travis Air Force Base free of encroachment given its significance.
    I included that quote solely because of the mayor's name.
    She’s suspicious that the group’s real purpose is "to create a city for the elite” under the guise of more housing.
    Well, yes.
    "Economic blight is everywhere. So why do you need to spend upwards of a billion dollars to create a brand new city when you have all these other things that can be achieved throughout the Bay Area?” she said.
    I would assume this is because Solano County (a) is cheaper - though with median house prices around $600k, not cheap - and (b) has less crime, drugs, and human excrement, though again this is California so I might be incorrect there.

    Unfortunately for the project, while buying up all the land, the planners appear to have forgotten to buy the residents or the politicians:
    "You big wealthy Silicon Valley billionaires, you’re party to all of this. This is the kind of people you are? This is how you want to operate?” he said. "What they’ve managed to do is to totally poison the well.”
    In order: Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Tech News

Holotori Dance Music Video of the Day

It's Subaru - definitely not a duck - and the rest of the birds from Hololive.

Kiara (a chicken phoenix), Mumei (a towl owl), Reine (a turkey peafowl), and Lui (a flamingo hawk).

Only missing are Kaela (definitely not a penguin) and new girl Nerissa (technically not a raven).

Don't Call Them Gen 7 Music Video of the Day

Cry into your pillow, Kay Yu.  They're debuting talents faster than you can add them to the game.

Disclaimer: Holocanids next!

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Sunday, September 03


Daily News Stuff 3 September 2023

Daily News Stuff Edition

Top Story

  • A maker of "smart" chastity belts left users' details - including names and delivery addresses - exposed on the internet.  (Tech Crunch)

    The company's website itself was also exposed to hackers, so the researcher who discovered this, on getting no response from the company, edited the sight to add a warning.

    The company removed the warning, but did nothing to fix the vulnerabilities.
    The company sells a chastity cage for people with a penis that can be linked to an Android app (there is no iPhone app). Using the app, a partner — who could be anywhere in the world — can follow their partners’ movements, given that the device transmits precise GPS coordinates down to a few meters.
    Normally I'd mock the insanely woke "people with a penis" line, but in this one case it is apropos.

Tech News

  • PyPI is Tensorflow and noise.  (PyCode)

    PyPI is the Python Package Index, a central repository of freely available Python code.

    TensorFlow is a popular general-purpose machine learning library for Python.  Not just generative AI, but actual useful stuff too.

    TensorFlow is not just one of the largest libraries on PyPI; it is four of the five largest libraries on PyPI, totaling 8.8TB all by itself.  The other entry in the top five is LALSuite, a library for gravitational wave analysis, a relative lightweight at a mere 1.1TB.

    Which used to be a lot.  

    In total, PyPI contains over 200 billion lines of code, which still is a lot.

    And about 10,000 assorted API keys that aren't supposed to be there at all.

  • The Burning Man site has been cut off by rain.  (Reno Gazette Journal)

    Oh no.

    The original headline said something to the effect of roads being closed in both directions, which was a wonderful snark magnet, but sadly they fixed it.

  • AMD's 8000-series model numbers will be even more annoying.  (Guru3D)

    The 8040 range will be rebadged current 7040 models.  We don't yet know if there will be 8035, 8030, or 8020 models to muddy the waters as well.

    The 8050 family will be new Zen 5 chips with up to 12 CPU cores and 16 RDNA3.5 graphics cores.  Since Zen 5 is expected to be a major upgrade, these could be twice as fast for multi-threaded apps as current 7040 mainstream laptop chips.

    The 8055 family will replace the 7045 range - desktop chips fitted into a smaller socket and with reduced power envelopes, with 16 Zen 5 cores replacing 16 Zen 4 cores, and likely still just two graphics cores.

    And then there's Sarlak, which doesn't have a number because they're out of numbers.  This is the monster chip with 16 Zen 5 cores and 40 RDNA3.5 graphics cores.  

    To give you an idea of how that will cope with games, the PlayStation 5 has 36 older RDNA2 graphics cores - and just 8 Zen 2 CPU cores.

    No prices or dates yet, these are all 2024 products.

  • If you need to pack eight E1.S form factor server SSDs into your desktop PC, well, now you can.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The card from Highpoint costs $1500, but might still be the most cost-effective way to add 120TB of solid-state storage to your windows desktop, since E1.S drives seem to be surprisingly inexpensive.

Disclaimer: You could even store TensorFlow on it.

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Saturday, September 02


Daily News Stuff 2 September 2023

Bamboozled By Ea-nāṣir Edition

Top Story

  • At least three hundred, and possibly as many as five hundred people have been infected with Aeromonas hydrophila after competing in a Tough Mudder event.  (Ars Technica)
    Hundreds of people who participated in a recent Tough Mudder event—a very muddy obstacle course race—held in Sonoma, California, have fallen ill with pustular rashes, lesions, fever, flu-like symptoms, nerve pain, and other symptoms, local health officials and media outlets report.
    Sounds nasty.  How did this happen?
    The Sonoma event was reported to include 21 obstacles on one of the race days, including a mud-soaked crawl under barbed wire, rope climbs over a muddy slope, a knee-deep mud pool to wade through, and an obstacle called the "mine shaft" that one participant said smelled like manure.
    Crawl through barbed wire and then swim in mud.  Yep, that'll do it.
    "All necessary protocols were followed in preparation for, and during, the event," the spokesperson said, "except of course for not crawling through barbed wire and swimming in mud.  We didn't think of that."
    Uh huh.
    "Our thoughts are with those affected and we are actively investigating to understand exactly what occurred, so long as we get to blame someone else."

Tech News

Disclaimer: Your tablet is so fat...

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Friday, September 01


Daily News Stuff 1 September 2023

Don't Drive So Close To Me Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Possibly Not Entirely Awful Live Action Anime Adaptation Trailer Video of the Day

What this reminds me of more than anything else is Detective Pikachu, which was enjoyable enough overall, and visually amazing.

I'll give it a look even though I'm not a One Piece fan, having watched about 0.2% of the show.

Disclaimer: Slightly less, because I've watched two episodes out of 1073 and counting.

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Thursday, August 31


Daily News Stuff 31 August 2023

Undeducted Edition 

Top Story

  • OpenAI has disputed the claims in a class action suit brought by various authors such as Richard Kadrey, and "authors" such as Sarah Silverman, responding with your momma is a derivative work.  (Ars Technica)
    Authors claim generative AI is just a "grift" that repackages original works.
    The first half of this is self-evident.

    The second half is like saying steak is just repackaged carbon dioxide.  Yes.  Grass absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow.  Cows eat grass.  People eat cows.

    But the carbon dioxide is free, so it's irrelevant.

    In just the same way, authors - and "authors" - repackage the work of previous authors.  We accept this if they're sufficiently subtle about it, and the flavour comes out different, just like cows and grass.

    We don't expect grass to pay for the right to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, nor do we require authors to pay commercial licenses for the books they read as they learn to write.

    But if we are served a plate of alleged steak, and it is green and leafy, we tend to riot and burn the restaurant down.  Metaphorically.

    Much as I loathe OpenAI as a bunch of useless grifters, what they are doing is clearly fair use under US law.  Which doesn't mean they will win in court, and certainly doesn't mean that that the law won't end up changing.

    It just means that they are right.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Kemal Ataturk owned an entire menagerie of animals all named Abdul.

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Wednesday, August 30


Daily News Stuff 30 August 2023

Oops Left It In Draft Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Always make sure to wash your F15 Eagle thoroughly before feeding it pigeons.

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Tuesday, August 29


Daily News Stuff 29 August 2023

Bin Chicken Edition

Top Story

  • Kias and Hyundais are too easy to steal, so cities are suing the manufacturers.  (Vice)

    Already this year, lawsuits have been filed by Seattle (mayor: Democrat), Baltimore (mayor: Democrat), Cleveland (mayor: Democrat), New York (mayor: Comm...  wait, Democrat), Chicago (mayor: Lizard Person), St. Louis (mayor: Democrat), and Columbus (mayor: Democrat).

    Wonder what the common factor might be that all these cars are getting stolen.

    And I think rather than adding engine immobilisers to budget cars, manufacturers should look into deploying rabid wolverines.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Which is the chalcolithic era in CPU years.

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Monday, August 28


Daily News Stuff 28 August 2023

Tell Me O Muse Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Gigabyte has announced its new Brix Extreme range of NUCs.  (Liliputing)

    Mostly these are 4 and 6 core Ryzen 7035U chips - that is, Zen 3 CPUs with RDNA2 graphics.  Adequate but hardly groundbreaking.

    But the last model is a Ryzen 7840U: 8 Zen 4 cores and 12 RDNA 3 graphics cores.  This is one of the first 7840U devices I've seen; mostly manufacturers have been using the slightly faster but significantly more power-hungry 7840HS, or the rebadged Ryzen Z1 Extreme.

    Anyway, apart from the CPU it offers two SO-DIMM slots for a nominal 64GB of RAM, though 96GB should work, one M.2 slot, two HDMI ports, mini DisplayPort, USB-C with DisplayPort (so a total of four monitors), plus another USB-C without video, and five USB-A ports.  And 2.5Gb Ethernet and a headphone jack.

    If that's not enough there's a tiny expansion bay where you can add a module for another 2.5Gb Ethernet port, a second M.2 slot, and for some reason, a serial port.

    Prices were not mentioned.

  • AMD's Radeon RX 7600 is now available at Micro Center for $229.  (WCCFTech)

    It's not a high-end card, but that's not a high-end price.

  • Amazone just sent a Dear John letter to users of its Honeycode service.  (Honeycode Community)

    This was a platform that allowed people who didn't understand how to build applications to build applications that they didn't understand.

    The results were rather predictable.

Disclaimer: Traduttori, traditora!

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Sunday, August 27


Daily News Stuff 27 August 2023

Eight Days A Week Edition

Top Story

  • There's nothing like spending a Sunday afternoon sitting in your favourite chair with a warm cup of 9Gbps DDOS attack.

  • Running Linux on a Commodore 64.  (GitHub)

    With a memory expansion module.  You can't actually run Linux in 64k of RAM.

    And even then, it's only been tested in emulators.  It works by running a RISC-V emulator on the Commodore 64, and running Linux in that.  The developer estimates that it would take about a week to boot on real hardware; it takes two hours on an accelerated emulator.

Tech News

  • South Yorkshire Police accidentally lost three years of bodycam footage.  (The Independent)

    This likely scuttles dozens of prosecutions.  

    Rotherham is in South Yorkshire.  So is Hillsborough, where 97 people died back in 1989 as a direct result of police mishandling crowd control.

    Back then they used VHS tapes, which couldn't be deleted at the touch of a button.

    The VHS tapes of the incident were somehow stolen.  From a locked cupboard, in a locked room, protected by a burglar alarm...  That didn't go off.

    Turns out they were the wrong tapes anyway; it was a different set of tapes that proved the police were lying about the event.

  • Did you know they have the internet on computers now?  Threads is available on the web.  (ZDNet)

    Both the remaining users are reportedly pleased by this news.

  • Speaking of losing important files, a crypto startup has gone bankrupt after losing the keys to its main wallet.  (404 Media)

    Its main wallet containing customer funds.

    They've known about this since December.

    Of 2021.

    And only now are bothering to tell anyone.

    Based on the numbers given in the article, the company was bankrupt even with the contents of that wallet; they're just extra double bankrupt without it.

Disclaimer: The car keys!  Neil, you've got the car keys!

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Saturday, August 26


Daily News Stuff 26 August 2023

Blocked At The Firewall Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • AMD announced its new Radeon 7700 XT and 7800 XT graphics cars, shipping September 6.  (AnandTech)

    I predicted pricing of $449 and $549 respectively, $50 too much in each case to be truly competitive, and I was half right.

    The 7700 XT with 12GB of RAM and 54 CUs (cluster units - graphics cores) is $449, slotting in precisely between the 8GB and 16GB models of Nvidia's 4060 Ti while generally outperforming both.

    The 7800XT with 16GB of RAM and 60 CUs, on the other hand, is $499, the same price as the 16GB 4060 Ti, which it demolishes, and $100 cheaper than the 4070, which it competes against fairly evenly.

    The 7700 XT might receive a small price adjustment before it hits retail (like the 7600), but it's a decent card.  It's just outshone by its big brother.  For an extra $50, just go for the 7800.

  • Reviewing the Fanxiang (who?) S770 2TB SSD.  (Serve the Home)

    It's a perfectly adequate middle-of-the road PCIe 4 SSD, with a couple of bugs.

    Like the fact that the temperature sensor always returns the same reading.

    I wouldn't buy one, but it appears to be basically functional.

  • The College Board, which administers the SAT and Advance Placement exams, also helpfully shares your data with Facebook and TikTok if you access their website.  (Gizmodo)
    "We do not share SAT scores or GPAs with Facebook or TikTok, and any other third parties using pixel or cookies," said a College Board spokesperson.  "In fact, we do not send any personally identifiable information (PII) through our pixels on the site. In addition, we do not use SAT scores or GPAs for any targeting."
    Well, that's good to hear.
    After receiving this comment, Gizmodo shared a screenshot of the College Board sending GPAs and SAT scores to TikTok using a pixel. The spokesperson then acknowledged that the College Board’s website actually does share this data.
    Oh, that TikTok.
    "Pixels are simply a means to measure the effectiveness of College Board advertising," the spokesperson said. "If a student uses the college search tool on, the student can add a GPA and SAT score range to the search filters. Those values are passed in the pixel, not because we configured the pixel that way but because that’s how the pixel works."
    We don't share user data with Facebook or TikTok, except when we do, in which case that's just how things work.

    Props to Gizmodo here for slapping the College Board in the face with the cold, wet Trout of Fact.

  • Why Meta is the only AI company that matters.  (Phind)

    Meta's CodeLlama-34B scored 48.8% on the HumanEval test when it was first released.

    Phind's fine-tuned version scores 67.6% on the same test.

    CodeLlama was released yesterday.

  • Everyone involved in web scraping is a hypocrite.  (Eric Goldman)

    Many of the most litigious actors against web scraping don't actually own the content they are protecting.

Disclaimer: It's hypocrites all the way down.

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