Saturday, October 23


Hit The Ground Running

Another group decided to pick up Super Doll Licca-Chan and fansub that.  The first four episodes were subbed in 2004, and it's been languishing ever since.

No more.  They've subbed 43 episodes in the past two months.

Update: 44.

Update: 45!

Update: This:

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Strange Dawn

This one saw a commercial release back in the dim distant dawn of time, but only 8 episodes of 13 ever came out then it dried up and blew away.  Which made me a sad small mop-headed panda, because it's a surprisingly good show.

Now, after billions of years (anime years), it's being fansubbed.  Usual places.

3 headcats out of 4, maybe more, since I've never had a chance to see the whole series.

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Something Something Imouto Something Kawaii Something

So our hero has a little sister who likes playing, uh, dating sims.  In particular, little sister, uh, dating sims.  Adults-only little sister uh, dating sims, which she isn't (adult, not little sister, which she is).

Should suck.  Doesn't so far.  The father is freaking Gendo Ikari.  Still doesn't suck.

My favourite character is the girl-next-door-childhood-friend-romantic-interest-to-whom-the-hero-is-completely-oblivious.  She's quite well-handled, not a tsundere, not hopeless or helpless, and not stupid.  She is shy, but it looks like she's prepared to haul out the cluebat of love if she has to.

Another 2.5 headcats out of 4 - so far - and the most likely to make that extra 0.5 as the show progresses.

(Youtube fail: No video.)

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The World God Only Knows

So our hero spends all his time capturing girls in dating sims (on an apparently self-repairing PSP) and is set to capture demons (literally) from real-life girls by capturing the girls' hearts (figuratively).

Which he does by applying dating-sim tropes.

Should suck.  Surprisingly, does not.  Not great, but by no means terrible, silly and amusing and perfect for a rainy Saturday, which is exactly what it is where I am.  2.5 headcats out of four.

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Yosuga No Sora

Good lord, where did those come from?

No, I know where they came from, I mean why...

No, I know why, I mean...  Never mind.

Yosuga no Sora, surprise boobies (and occasional meido) anime scores 2.5 headcats out of 4.  2 for the show itself, and a bonus 0.5 for the meido omake.

That's not the opening.  It's not the ending either.  It's the second ending.  It think this show was made by hobbits.

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So AMD has released the first of the Radeon 6000 cards, and they're, how shall I put this, underwhelming.

The previous high-end cards were the 5850 and 5870; we now have the 6850 and 6870, which are actually slower than their counterparts from last year.  What AMD appear to have done is bump the numbers up a notch, so that the new midrange cards - what would have been the 6750 and 6770 - are now sold in the high-end number range, where they fail to impress.

The real high-end cards will now be the 6950 and 6970, due to launch next month.  For now, we have a 6870 with about the same price and performance and power consumption of the old 5850.

I had a very different article drafted based on the leaked specs from last weak.  Unfortunately it turned out that the leak was a lie, and the truth was much less interesting.

This isn't all AMD's fault, though: The new chips were originally designed to be built on TSMC's 32nm process.  Since TSMC doesn't have a 32nm process, AMD was forced to change its plans, which ended up making the chips slower and hotter and more expensive.  The real next-gen cards should land next year, assuming TSMC pull their finger out.

Pricing in Oz is varied to say the least, ranging from a quite reasonable A$288 for the 6870, including 10% sales tax (for a US$240 card, about A$245) to a frankly delusional A$500.  Ignoring the crazy prices at the high end, the new cards are at least decent value for money.

All in all, though, I think I'll stick with my 4850 for a while longer.

Detailed poop for the OCD at Tom's Hardware and AnandTech.

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Thursday, October 21


Some Things You Got Right While You Were Left

Kathy Shaidle writes about 8 Things she wishes she'd known when she was a leftist.

And for the most part, it's a solid piece.  But then, near the end, I noticed this paragraph:
Today we also know that Sacco & Vanzetti were guilty, as were the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss. There really were Communist agents in the State Department. Rachel Carson made stuff up. The Kennedys were jerks. Hollywood lied about the Scopes “Monkey” Trial. Many of the most iconic images and “facts” about the Vietnam War have been twisted beyond recognition.
(My italics.)

While I agree with most of those points, I was interested to see how, exactly, Hollywood had lied about the Scopes trial.  I had no particular reason to doubt that there were distortions in Inherit the Wind, so I followed the link to see what was said.

What was said was an abjectly dishonest apology for creationist claptrap.  When you see phrases like:
the purported evidence for evolution
you know you're not in for an honest debate about Hollywood's representation of a historic trial.

They pass of straightforward falsehoods like:
Indeed, the case for evolution remains far from satisfying standards of verifiable science.
With equally straightforward misrepresentations and ad hominems:
This is evident in the current vociferous debate between two of evolution’s most outstanding high priests, Stephen J. Gould and Richard Dawkins.
That current vociferous debate was about rates of evolutionary change on the local scale and the contigent nature of evolution.  Which is to say, there is no doubt at all that evolution happened; rather, there were questions about the reconstruction of the process on short timescales.
The Scopes Trial took place more than 70 years ago. Nevertheless its legacy continues to be felt in the series of legal battles currently being fought in courts across the USA.
Fought by the creationists, and lost, because what they are attempting to do is replace science education in public schools with their religious beliefs, and that is not just an affront to every right-thinking individual, but actually against the First Amendment.

Sorry, Kathy, on this one point you were right the first time, back when you were left.

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Monday, October 18


Mongo Smash!

Anyways, there's this site called Foursquare, and apparently it fall down go boom just recently.  Possibly more than once.

They're running MongoDB, a database I tested and rejected earlier this year when looking for more elegant substitutes for MySQL.  I don't like SQL - never have - but it works, and MongoDB...  Doesn't.

Foursquare had two database servers with their database split ("sharded") across them.  The servers are Amazon EC2 instances, with 66GB of RAM each, fairly large by most people's standards.  The problem arose when one of the database shards got bigger than the available RAM.


If you had any experience with databases before, say, 2007, you'll be shaking your head in disbelief at this point.  If you had any experience before, say, 1997, you'll be dumbfounded.  Yes, the site fell over because the database didn't fit in RAM.

The total database size at the time of the outage was around 120GB.  At my day job - and though Foursquare is a small startup, my day job is at an even smaller startup - we add 400GB of data to our databases every single day.  Mind you, we do things to MySQL that would make the average DBA give up and go into volcanology as a safer bet, but it works.

Now, when I was considering MongoDB, the first thing I did was test its performance.  The second thing I did was test how it behaved in out-of-memory conditions.  (It crashed.)  Seems that Foursquare forgot to ask the second question.

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Preach It, Light Brown Bear-Dog Critter

Embed not working.  Foo.

Here's a link instead: A discussion of the relative benefits of MongoDB vs. MySQL for building scalable internet applications.

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Thursday, October 14


New Culture Novel!

New Culture novel!  New Culture novel!  New Culture novel!

Only the second one in a decade, and the last one (Matter) was very good indeed (much better than The Algebraist, Banks' previous non-Culture SF book).

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:15 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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