Tuesday, December 28
One Trillion Dollars Edition
- The Internet Association - a lobbying group for Big Tech - is closing down because all the Big Tech companies suck and none of them want to be associated the the bad reputations of the others. (Ars Technica)
Four of the largest member companies - Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google - are under antitrust investigation, leaving the other members wondering if there was any value in the rather expensive membership.
Weirdly the left-wing crazies at Ars Technica echo my own views - that Microsoft is the least worst of the lot, with their bad behaviour stemming mostly from good old-fashioned greed and incompetence rather than being clinically insane control freaks and/or communists.
- Placed the second order for the Starlab buildout: 128GB of RAM to upgrade my laptops, a new high-end WiFi router since the old one caught fire and the cheap router provided by my ISP is meh at best, a new Ethernet switch and a pile of Cat6 cables, and a set of Audioengine A2+ speakers.
With those speakers I might not need the little mixer I bought previously - they support input from a 1/8" audio jack, dual RCA jacks, USB, and/or Bluetooth which is plenty for three laptops. But I'll keep the mixer around anyway.
They were out of stock for a while so I had planned to get a little Yamaha shelf hifi system instead, but now they're back so I ordered them before they could disappear again.
- Next are the SSDs but I still haven't quite decided what size to get. I think I'll just go with the 2TB 970 Evo Plus. Good 4TB TLC M.2 drives cost four times as much as 2TB models, so much that I could get a NUC and an 8TB SATA SSD. And I have two smaller laptops that I can swap the 2TB drives into if I upgrade the main laptops again later.
- Followup to yesterday's story about Tumblr getting banned by Apple. They were working on a banned word list to filter posts out of the iOS app so that Apple's app reviews wouldn't see BAD STUFF.
As everyone knows, this is an approach that always works perfectly and never causes any problems.
- The Eve Spectrum ES07D03 is a 27" 4K monitor that checks all the boxes. (Tom's Hardware)
98% DCI-P3, G-Sync and FreeSync up to 144Hz, DisplayHDR 600, with USB-C, DisplayPort, and dual HDMI inputs. Near perfect brightness and colour uniformity make it a great monitor for gaming and also for semi-professional work.
On the other hand at $898 with stand it's not the cheapest monitor around. On the third hand it probably doesn't catch fire.
- TSMC's 2nm chip factories could cost a trillion dollars. (WCCFTech)
Taiwan dollars, that is. About $30 billion in real money, which is a lot but not that much compared with the numbers regularly batted about in terms of fab investments.
- Is something weird going on with LastPass? (Hacker News)
It might be a case of overly scary emails for failed login attempts, or it could be something bad.
Given how 2021 has gone so far, I'm putting 50 quatloos on something bad.
- Speaking of how 2021 has gone so far QNAP devices have been hit by a wave of ransomware attacks. (Bleeping Computer)
Not clear whether this is just unpatched devices or possibly a new bug.
Remember Safety Rule One, kids: Never attach network attached storage to a network.
Your files can't be stolen if the server is switched off and unplugged. Or at least the thieves need to put some effort into it.
- Here's a nickel, kid. Go lick a spark plug.
- Safe. Secure. Affordable. Pick one.
- The James Webb Space Telescope will rewrite cosmic history. (Quanta)
Or not. One of those.
- China has unveiled a Kafkabot. (The Byte)
The author of the article calls it
part Robocop and part Minority Reportwhich is also apt and shows that someone is awake.
A prosecutor claims that the automated criminal prosecution system is 97% accurate, which, given what we know about prosecutors generally, should send people fleeing in all directions.
- On September 1, the Australian Federal Police were granted sweeping powers to control Australia social networks of which there are none, a Node.js library had a remote code execution vulnerability - it's called Node.js, the vaccination target before NSW opened back up was at 70%, the Vampire V4+ had a 68060, and the Asus ProArt B550 Creator had dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, dual 2.5Gb Ethernet ports, dual M.2 slots, and a pear in a partridge tree.
- On September 2, Amazon tried to block Starlink at the FCC until they could launch their own competing service sometime in the year 2525, Cloudflare ditched Intel for AMD, AWS AP-Northeast-1 burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp, setting a theme for the remainder of the year, Professor Plum in the EVGA factory with the lead-free solder, and we was kings.
- On September 3, yes, we had no Intel NUCs, we also had no chicken nuggets or Dell laptops, GM shut down all but four of its US factories due to the ongoing nugget crisis, IBM's new mainframe CPUs had no L3 cache, Windows 11 got a date, the 1170 words banned by GitHub's Copilot, UK ISP Sky Broadband cut out the middleman and fed your bandwidth data straight to lawyers so that they could target you for copyright suits, China was stealing from Chinese companies for a change, and the ProArt Studiobook Pro was a real thing that was real.
- On September 4, surprised by backlash from every sentient being in the entire galaxy and even some journalists, Apple postponed its plans to (checks notes) spy on children, fascists gonna fasc, we looked at the HP Pavilion Aero - from a great distance, because it still hasn't officially launched in Australia, Alder Lake got a date, Gzip got turbo boost - at least on IBM mainframes, stop plastering ads over everything Microsoft, Atlassian Confluence had its day in the supernova, we weren't sure what the difference was between a fake Banksy NFT and a real one, and a very, very large wind turbine was actually three small turbines in a trenchcoat.
- On September 5, the Rolling Stone embarrassed itself again, the best APU you couldn't buy, AMD's next-generation Rembrandt chips entered production - so given the lead time on 7n manufacturing the first chips should be ready in about a month, Cloudflare turned HEADs into GETs, and the Razer Raptor 27 was "overpriced crap".
- On September 6, spammers found a new email delivery tool - Salesforce, chicken nuggets were listed as being in stock, Chia miners started selling off disk drives and SSDs and marking them as new, and Nvidia repurposed failed high-end GPU chips for crypto mining. And when we say high-end, we don't mean $4000 graphics cards, we mean $20,000 graphics cards. Oh, and we hired a grey-haired BOFH at my day job and there was much rejoicing because until then I'd had to fill that role.
- On September 7, even ProtonMail wouldn't take a bullet for you, what it took to run Mangadex, and Gigabyte's Aorus 7000s SSD was very very fast.
- On September 8, end-to-end encryption was only as secure as the ends, McDonalds put the database password in an error message and then connected the database directly to the internet, IBM's Power 10 was on its way, the SEC sued Coinbase over a product that didn't even exist, GitHub created useless garbage merges according to the inventor of Git, the unfolding disaster could have been worse, Intel was spending $80 billion on new fabs in Europe in addition to the $120 billion it was spending in the US, and we reviewed the StatusCake monitoring agent and pronounced it shockingly sensible.
- On September 9, Australia's High Court pooped in everyone's cornflakes, Intel announced their NUX X15 laptop reference platform - this is what I just discovered being sold locally as the Scorptec Nuctop, 11th generation Xeon parts arrived, Russian internet giant Yandex got knocked off the net by a massive DDoS attack which is something they kept doing to my servers before I blocked them, and Acronis True Image was renamed Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office Plus Ultra Case Nightmare Green.
- On September 10, Germany was arresting people for being insufficiently servile, China doubled down on economic suicide, never click the enable editing button, if you ran Azure Cloud containers it was time to stop worrying and start panicking, mathematicians learned the lesson from Fermat and got some broader margins, and SD express was almost here.
- On September 11, both sides in the Epic vs. Apple case managed to lose and there was much rejoicing, Alder Lake's PCIe configuration was slightly weird but there was at least a lot of it, Thunderbolt adaptors weren't, don't use Rust, Quadranet was facing a lawsuit over what seemed to be quaternary contribution to alleged copyright infringement, and the Sydney Bat Flu lockdown reached new heights of everyone simply ignoring the rules.
- On September 12, how to install Windows 11 without an internet connection, both sides appealed the Epic vs. Apple ruling, how to get any website instantly deindexed, China banned new video games and then redoubled its efforts to destroy its own economy, the average quality of the information in a social network was inversely proportional to the square of the size of the network, and a budget 4K resin-based 3D printer that you couldn't buy.
- On September 13, more thoughts on the Epic vs. Apple mess, please stop reinventing XML, Nvidia might have been planning to bring back the RTX 2060 - spoiler: it was and it did, and why Firefox was losing users.
- On September 14, Facebook's new file compression method looked like an accident waiting to happen, Australia still didn't have a digital vaccine passport - and still didn't as of two weeks ago when NSW lifted restrictions, Microsoft said no Windows on Arm-based Macs, something was weird in the state of Ethereum, and YouTube took down a stream of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony over use of a 107-year-old recording of a song.
- On September 15, Apple announced a new range of cameras with phones attached to them and a small tablet with HUGE BEZELS, rare earth prices were up, Kioxia was making SLC drives again, and Russia fined Google and Facebook a combined total of $4.26.
- On September 16, we discovered bread, Microsoft announced the future was passwordless, if you were running certain Azure services that future was now, comparing the Xiaomi 11T to the 11T Pro, Intel cut server CPU prices - just not for you, when Stack Overflow goes bad, that's not burnout, this is burnout, don't pass mutable default values to Python functions, and ExpressVPN hired a former UAE spy as its CIO.
- On September 17, Australia signed a deal for a fleet of nuclear submarines and there was not much rejoicing from France or the lunatic lefties here at home, China's property market imploded - figuratively and literally, the Solana blockchain went down after a peak transaction load of 400,000 TPS which number I frankly do not believe, South Africa got encrypted, you could still buy Microsoft Office rather than renting it, and slot machine chain Dotty's suffered a data breach and leaked customers' social security numbers, drivers license and state ID numbers, passport details, financial account information, health insurance, treatment information, biometric data, MEDICAL RECORDS, tax details, and credit card numbers and expiry dates, because those are all things a slot machine needs to know.
- On September 18, the same people who thought company towns were great the first time, then criticised them for a hundred years, were back to thinking they were great, speaking of company towns there was a bit of a kerfuffle down in Melbourne, a chipset driver bug affected security on all AMD desktops and laptops, low-end Alder Lake chips would escape the blight of "efficiency" cores, and sysadmins had a really bad week.
- On September 19, glowies gonna glow, AMD's next gen graphics cards should be faster than the current gen and might even be available to purchase, eventually, and [techie filter off] KySync was a multi-threaded file-distribution protocol based on Zsync, Excision's CRISPR HIV therapy was cleared for human testing by the FDA, Sysz was an fzf terminal UI for systemctl, Toshiba's N300 18TB NAS drives used FC-MAMR, an open source DRM driver wsas available for Mediatek AI cores, AMD and Valve were focusing on a P-State / CPPC driver with Schedutil [techie filter on] and Google reset the permissions on billions of installed apps - for very good reasons.
- On September 20, there were too many states starting with O, there is no serverless, the patch to fix the glaringly obvious security flaw in the SMB server embedded in the Linux kernel which was a terrible idea from the beginning had a security flaw, and the Surface Pro 8 leaked.
- On September 21, the southerly kerfuffle continued unabated, Python got a case statement, Amazon filled its search results with ads, and after 30 years of PC Load Letter we finally advanced to Connect to printer Windows cannot connect to the printer. Operation failed with error 0x0000011b which I'm sure we can all agree was a huge improvement.
- On September 22, the Victorian police banned news helicopters because it's difficult for a communist dictator to claim that a protest is just a small group of troublemakers when live footage shows it stretching for miles not that this actually stops them mind you it just makes it difficult, and so did the Biden Administration with respect to Del Rio, Texas, Twitter banned me for suggesting that one of the many communist dictators - I'm not sure it matters a great deal which one - should either resign or be thrown into a volcano, whatever worked, the Windows 11 Update Checker had only one setting - no Windows 11 for you, goats were damp and squishy, the Framework laptop ran Linux just fine, Atlassian's Trello fell over, and the FBI had the keys all along.
- On September 23, Bat Flu experts who praised Melbourne's lockdown and criticised Sydney's relative openness were strangely silent when statistics showed Melbourne had twice the number of confirmed cases and reportedly four times the number of hospitalisations, laptops and glasses arrived on my doorstep together, Microsoft's Surface Pro 8 arrived, and the little Surface Duo 2, when we said don't use "chicken123" as your password we didn't mean "change it to chicken456", and if you were stuck on Android older than 6.0 it was time to install Firefox.
- On September 24, Sydney lifted alcohol bans in public parks so that people would have somewhere to get drunk while the pubs were closed over Bat Flu fears because some things are important, I clicked that damn button 1595 times, Facebook allegedly tried to bribe the FTC according to a shareholder lawsuit, the EU pushed to make USB-C the standard phone connector - which except for one particular bunch of jerks it already is, three new vulnerabilities in iOS exposed your heart rate, count of detected atrial fibrillation and irregular heart rhythm events, menstrual cycle length, biological sex and age, sexual activity, and cervical mucus quality, which made us really wonder where people were putting their iPhones, Minecraft Dungeons hit Steam, Twitter added Bitcoin tipping so that if you wanted to slip someone a couple of bucks to thank them for their funny comment and/or commiserate with their upcoming expulsion you could pay ten times that in transaction fees to do so, and California declared war on Amazon.
- On September 25, the alarm that alerted my if the server went down, went down, critical updates were released for Chrome, Microsoft Exchange, VMWare vCenter, iOS, IOS (which is a different thing), SonicWall, and the European Union, China banned cryptocurrencies and there was much rejoicing, a teenager on TikTok ruined the careers of thousands of scientists who were very bad at that science thing, your face was not a bar code but your butthole was, and using Nim for data processing.
- On September 26, the BBC brought back Russell T Davies in a doomed attempt to undo what they had done to Doctor Who, Germany decided that civil rights were something that happened to other countries, which VPN sucked least, and hands on with the new HP Pavilion Aero.
- On September 27, Blue Check journalists went very publicly insane and yet I'm the one who got banned, chipmakers tried to persuade carmakers to use chips that wouldn't work, AMD hit 16% market share in the server space, replacing complex AI with an inverse FFT, and a teeny tiny raytraced Minecraft clone running on homebrew hardware.
- On September 28, Facebook abandoned the idea of Instagram for Kids after receiving over a trillion emails, phone calls, and postcards uniformly opposing the plan, a $3 iPhone app that killed Google AMP, the trouble with blockchain, a double charm tetraquark, Sydney was full exiting lockdown on December 1, wait December 15, wait, no, still December 15, and the FCC created a fund to help smaller organisations rip Chinese spyware out of their networks.
- On September 29, why absolutely everything was out of stock absolutely everywhere, a notebook with a 3000x2000 display that you can't have, Twitter fell over and there was much rejoicing, Microsoft's 2FA for Office fell over and somehow only affected non-cloud users, we installed Windows 11 on a potato, Microsoft rushed to fix a security flaw that they'd known about since 2017, the new iPad Mini 6 was designed for maximal jelly, RemObjects Elements was available for $199 per year, and nobody understood just how much rice Mumei made.
- On September 30, 96% of pre-configured containers deployed to the cloud contained known vulnerabilities, the new Commerce Secretary was a goddamn idiot, everyone was always wrong, Russia arrested the head of a security company on treason charges, hackers could steal money from your iPhone while it was locked and still in your pocket, and hackers could steal money from your Android phone but they had to actually put some work into it.
Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day
Given that something 100% reliable will only fail about half the time, pretty sure the fleeing advice is dead on.
Posted by: normal at Tuesday, December 28 2021 03:52 PM (obo9H)
I dunno on the AI thing. Asking lawyers a set of yes/no questions would be a reliable way, with few false positives, of determining which lawyers should be put to death. So, in principle, an algorithm could exist. In practice, the potentially verifiable heuristic includes the question of 'is PRC AI a good idea for any practice of law'. There are a bunch of US lawyers, practicing law in the US, who should probably be put to death for gross malpractice.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Wednesday, December 29 2021 03:00 AM (r9O5h)
Posted by: normal at Wednesday, December 29 2021 10:25 AM (obo9H)
Posted by: Saturday at Saturday, July 08 2023 01:59 PM (v1v4S)
Posted by: Q at Monday, July 17 2023 11:24 PM (5jKf4)
Posted by: pomol at Wednesday, August 16 2023 10:03 PM (hwsPK)
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