What is that?
It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?

Monday, March 13


Daily News Stuff 13 March 2023

Oops They Did It Again Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Splut, it's what's for breakfast!

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Sunday, March 12


Daily News Stuff 12 March 2023

Still Splut Edition

Top Story

  • This just in: Silicon Valley Bank is still splut.

  • No, Apple's A17 Bionic mobile CPU is not going to be 59% faster in single-threaded performance than the A16.  (WCCFTech)

    As a rule of thumb, CPU performance rises with the square root of the issue width, and complexity and transistor count (and also power consumption) rises with the square of the issue width, so to increase performance by 59% without increasing the clock speed Apple would need to make a chip more than six times larger using six times the power.

    Increasing the clock speed by the same amount would have similar effects on power consumption.

    And both approaches have limits where requirements zoom off the charts for minimal gains.  You can see this in existing chips, where the 170W Ryzen 7900X is only 7% faster than the 65W 7900 non-X model.

    This supposed leak is garbage.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Where's the new Nexus 7 you assholes?

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Saturday, March 11


Daily News Stuff 11 March 2023

Splut Edition

Top Story

Tech Crunch

  • The EU, being run by retards, effectively banned 8k TVs.  (Tom's Guide)

    8k TVs use more power than lower resolution models, and the EU set power consumption limits that would require 8k TVs to run at miserably low brightness settings.

    So Samsung, not being run by retards, set its 8k TVs in Europe to run at miserably low brightness settings out of the box, with a button to turn off the crippling eco mode, which since it's an action by the individual and not the company does not violate the regulations.

  • G.Skill has announced 8GHz 24GB DDR5 memory modules.  (WCCFTech)

    Pricing was not announced.  It will be interesting to see what it costs - and what voltage it runs at - because that is faster than LPDDR5X laptop memory.

Disclaimer: Bean the umpire?

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Friday, March 10


Daily News Stuff 10 March 2023

Entire Stock Edition

Top Story

  • Need a workstation with 120 cores, four high-end Nvidia graphics cards, 2TB if RAM, and 28TB of SSD, but you also want it to look cool?  Lenovo has you covered.  (AnandTech)

    As long as someone else is paying, because that configuration will cost over $100k.

    They do have smaller, cheaper models, but none of them are actually small or cheap.

Tech News

  • If you want to build a small, cheap workstation/server - for example in a discontinued Silverstone case that arrived at your door yesterday - here are a couple of tips.

    Gigabyte's B650I is a solid motherboard with three M.2 slots, four SATA ports, and 2.5Gb Ethernet.  It can drive three displays over DisplayPort, HDMI, and USB-C (one of each).

    That's an AMD motherboard, but AMD CPUs use less power than Intel, even when they have the same 65W power rating.  The 7900 for example peaks at 89W, and is 50% faster than the 13500 which peaks at 151W.  Not a drama in a desktop system but these cases are quite small and will be packed full of drives, so I want something relatively low power.

    Silverstone, the same company that made the case, also makes an M.2 SATA controller.  The case can hold eight drives, and the motherboard only has four SATA ports, so this is handy.  There are other models, but this one comes with a chunky heatsink, which is apparently a necessity if you want these little controllers to work consistently.

    And if you want something faster than the built-in 2.5Gb Ethernet, since the PCIe slot is still free you can add a dual 25Gb Ethernet card for about $80.  Which is crazy overkill for a small server like this but the price can't be beat.  25Gb switches aren't cheap but it will work fine with 10Gb SFP+ switches or RJ45 transceivers.  (25Gb Ethernet uses SFP28, which is not the same as SFP+, but is backwards compatible.)

  • The Solidigm P44 Pro seems like a decent SSD if you can find one for a decent price.  (Hot Hardware)

    Who the hell is Solidigm?  Well, a while ago Intel sold its consumer SSD division to Korean group SK Hynix.  This is them.

    Also, Nextorage is Sony.  Why they don't just call it Sony I don't know.

Disclaimer: My hovercraft is full of beans.

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Thursday, March 09


Daily News Stuff 9 March 2023

Choosing Poorly Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • ASRock Rack has a new server motherboard for Ryzen 7000, with dual built-in 10Gb Ethernet ports and 8 SATA ports.  (Serve the Home)

    It's microATX, but if they release a mini-ITX version - and they did for Ryzen 5000 - I'll buy two of them.

  • AMD's 7745HX appears to be as fast as Intel's 13700HX.  (WCCFTech)

    The 7745HX is the low end of the high-end Dragon Range family of laptop chips, with 8 cores; the 13700HX has 16 cores (8P + 8E).

    On the other hand, the 7745HX uses 50W when playing games, which is a lot for a laptop chip, where the 13700HX uses 80W.

    Oh.  That's the same hand.

  • GDDR7 uses PAM3.  (AnandTech)

    GDDR7 is the next generation of memory for video cards, and will be about 50% faster than the latest current GDDR6X (and twice as fast as typical GDDR6).

    PAM3 is more interesting: It's trinary.  It runs at three voltages, -1, 0, and 1.  This allows three bits to be encoded as two signals - there are nine possible values and 0, 0 is treated as an error.

    The upcoming USB 4 v2 (which will hopefully become USB 5 before it arrives) also uses PAM3 to reach speeds of 80Gbps, twice as fast as regular USB 4.

Disclaimer: Poo.

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Wednesday, March 08


Daily News Stuff 8 March 2023

Tendies For Brunch Edition

Top Story

  • ChatGPT cannot think, only speak.  (foobuzz)

    This is quite a good examination of how ChatGPT works and why it can look very smart sometimes only to immediately fall on its face a moment later.

    It is literally incapable of thinking if it's not talking.

    On the other hand, we all know people like that.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Ble.

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Tuesday, March 07


Daily News Stuff 7 March 2023

Because Aargh Edition

Tech News

  • Quick one today because aargh.

  • Gresham always wins: All streaming boxes suck.  (The Verge)

    Bad X drives out Good X for all values of X.

  • There might be a new iMac this year, based on the new M3 chip.  (9to5Mac)

    And it might not be crippled by being limited to 16GB of RAM.

  • Intel has a solution for intermittent failures on its 2.5Gb network chips: Turn up the power.  (AnandTech)

    Disabling efficiency mode reduces but doesn't quite eliminate the random network dropouts.  Though people are saying in the comments that the problems are relatively rare and you shouldn't worry unless you are rolling out 10,000 systems to a corporate environment in which case you have other things to worry about, like users.

Disclaimer: Like users?  Not much, no.

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Monday, March 06


Daily News Stuff 6 March 2023

Dumb Is As Dumb Does Edition

Top Story

  • ChatGPT broke the EU's plan to regulate AI.  (Politico)

    Faced with regulating the thing they are trying to regulate, Europe's plans have fallen into chaos.

    I just want to say that this article is dumb, Politico is dumb, the EU is dumb, and ChatGPT is particularly dumb.

    This quote is spot on, though:
    "These systems have no ethical understanding of the world, have no sense of truth, and they're not reliable,” said Gary Marcus, an AI expert and vocal critic.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Every time I buy something these days its with the tacit - or explicit - assumption that if I don't it will never be available ever again.  It's getting a little tiresome.

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Sunday, March 05


Daily News Stuff 5 March 2023

Redo Of Pixy Edition

Top Story

  • Iran has struck lithium - an estimated 8.5 million tons of it.  (The Register)

    That sounds like a lot - and it is.  Global lithium production in 2021 was estimated at 100,000 tons, half of it from Australia.  But there's an estimated 6 million tons just sitting in the Salton Sea stinking up the place.  Lithium is not particularly rare, and not all that valuable, so not a lot of effort has been put into finding more of it when we already have enough for 300 years.

    You'll sometimes see figures that by 2030 we'll be using 3 million tons of lithium per year, but that's actually lithium carbonate - Li2CO3 - which is only 10% 20% lithium by mass.  Even at that rate known reserves will last more than a century sixty years.

Tech News

  • So I woke up this morning and for the first time this year I didn't feel an overpowering urge to go right back to sleep.  I didn't get as much done today as I had planned but I did actually get something done.   I washed the floor in the laundry, for example.  I had intended to wash some clothes, but that's not quite how things worked out. 

  • Also accidentally bought a couple more computer cases, even though I just bought two expensive Hololive limited edition computer cases that I haven't put anything in yet.

    Before I accidentally bought a house last year I was rebuilding my home office, and one of the things I had planned was to build a couple of custom NAS boxes using Silverstone's CS01-HS.  It's an aluminium mini-ITX case with six 2.5" hot swap drive bays plugging into a SAS/SATA backplane, which is not something you normally find in mini-ITX cases, plus room for another two 2.5" drives inside, which is a little more common.

    Anyway, fast forward a year and I'm looking at cheap options to get a computer in every room of the new house (which has too many rooms) and I tripped over the CS01S-HS on Amazon.  That's the silver version; I had planned to get one each in silver and black, but apparently the entire range has been discontinued in the past year and Amazon only had a couple of remnant silver models in stock.  I said to myself that I would have bought them if they still had both, but since they don't, I moved on.

    And then found the black version under a separate listing, even though the silver version showed the black version as sold out.  And they only had one of the black version, so if I missed out now that was it.

    So I bought both.

    And now I have to figure out what to do with them.  It's a mini-ITX case so you only have one PCIe slot, and the case itself only provides room for a half-height, half-length card.  And there are very few mini-ITX motherboards with eight SATA ports (even this one only has six and it ain't cheap) so that slot is pretty much dedicated to a SATA controller.  Only pretty much, because you can now get five and six port SATA controllers that fit in an M.2 slot.  I'm not sure why those exist when the one case that would require such a thing has been discontinued, but they do.

    My first thought was to use the Ryzen 5700G, which still has the fastest integrated graphics of any readily available desktop CPU.  But that's Socket AM4, and a quick search found exactly one Socket AM4 mini-ITX motherboard in stock in Australia, and that only has gigabit Ethernet, so I'd need to use the sole M.2 slot for a SATA controller and the PCIe slot for 10GbE, which wouldn't leave me with a boot drive separate from storage.

    Probably best to use a current model motherboard with at least 2.5Gb Ethernet and not worry about the graphics.  If I want to do media transcoding an Intel CPU is probably the way to go, even though it's worse for gaming.

    Why a 2.5" NAS?  As I mentioned yesterday, SSDs have already fallen in price by 30% this year.  I'm going to stuff it full of cheap SATA SSDs and run ZFS.  It won't be cheap, but good dedicated NASes aren't cheap either, unless your employer happens to be throwing them out...  Which is why all my Synology boxes date back to 2013 and really need replacing.

  • The importance of being ECC.  (Robert Felder)

    At least DDR5 has on-die ECC, and some really weird systems with nominally non-ECC RAM have block ECC as well.  I wonder if any regular motherboards have support for that, since it seems you can do it with regular Intel CPUs.

  • Lemon-derived extracellular vesicle-like nanoparticles block the progression of kidney stones by antagonizing endoplasmic reticulum stress in renal tubular cells.  (ACS)

    Shut up and take my money.

    In rats.


  • Although that Gigabyte Aero 14 OLED laptop I mentioned yesterday is very tempting, the truth is now that I've settled in in New House City I only expect to travel any real distance about once a year.

    And for the same price as that laptop (13700H, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, RTX 4050) I can get a desktop system with a 13500 (almost exactly the same as the 13700H laptop chip), 128GB of RAM, 2TB of SSD, and a Radeon 6700...  And 24TB of hard disk storage as well, just because.

    So I think that's what I'll do.

Pippa Video of the Day

Impressively, that's not computer animation that looks like janky stop-motion animation.  It's honest-to-goodness janky stop-motion animation.

Disclaimer: Some look at my parts lists and say, what are you doing that you need 128GB of RAM?  I look at them and say, I wonder if this board supports those new 96GB memory kits.

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Saturday, March 04


Daily News Stuff 32 February 2023

Still Going Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Do you people want this is why we can't have nice things?  Because this is how you get this is why we can't have nice things.

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