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, November 11


Daily News Stuff 11 November 2019

Limits.Conf Edition

Tech News

  • Ubuntu 20.04 will disinclude Python 2.  (Phoronix)

    Since it will be out three months after support is dropped for Python 2, that's no surprise.

    Fortunately for me, PyPy (the Python compiler) will continue support for Python 2 indefinitely.  Because the chances of me porting 250,000 lines of code before New Year's Eve are slim.

  • Did we mention that nobody likes the Pixel 4 very much?  (ZDNet)

    Fortunately there is a simple solution to all the problems with the Pixel 4: Don't buy it.  Google is run by idiots.

  • Microsoft Edge is coming to Linux.  (MSN)

    On the one hand, it's based on Chromium, which runs just fine on Linux, and on the other hand, I'm more prepared to trust Microsoft at this point than Google, so...  Bring it on, because Google is run by idiots.

  • Terminator won't be back.  (Forbes)

    Don't click on that link.  Forbes now has adblock detection and is just filled with crap if you turn your adblocker off.

    Anyway, while Joker - an actual good film - nudges ever closer to the billion dollar mark (for an R-rated comic book movie with a $55 million budget that has not been released in China), the new Terminator film fell into a vat of molten metal and disappeared.

    The article linked above (don't click) makes the laughable assertion that:
    It’s a sign that making a better sequel couldn’t save a franchise for which general audiences stopped caring decades ago.
    Better than what, exactly?

  • YouTube has begun banning commenters for using too many emojis.  (Engadget)

    First worthwhile thing they've done in years.

    Okay, yeah, Google is run by idiots.

Disclaimer: * soft nofile infinity and beyond!

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Sunday, November 10


Daily News Stuff 10 November 2019

Containers In Containers Edition

Tech News

  • Intel looks set for another meh year in 2020.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Comet Lake will still be 14nm, and will max out at 10 cores.  And it will require a new socket.  And it will use more power than a 16 core Ryzen.  And it will have less than half the PCIe bandwidth.

  • AMD's RX 5500 looks set to replace the existing RX 570, 580, and 590 cards unless it doesn't.  (WCCFTech)

    It replaces the existing cards' 256-bit GDDR5 memory with 128-bit GDDR6, so almost the same speed but cheaper to manufacture.  It's aimed squarely at Nvidia's GTX 1650 - but Nvidia are about to launch their 1650 Super as a counterattack.

  • Secrets of the Hitachi 6309  (WikiChip)

    The 6309 was a clone of the 6809 (as found in the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer and the Hitachi Peach) but had a few hidden features.  The 6809 was notable compared to other 8 bit CPUs for having a multiply instruction; the 6309 added division.

    It also provided block transfer instructions like the Z80 and a 32-bit accumulator.  No other 8 bit CPU - as far as I am aware - had that.

  • All six major browser vendors are rolling out DNS-over-HTTPS in a big middle finger to ISPs and governments.  (ZDNet)

    Also, six?  Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, Apple...  Their list includes Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi, so they don't count one of the seven as "major".

  • Microsoft clarifies its strategy for Windows application developers.  (Thurrott.com)

    Actual quote:
    Moving forward, we’re looking forward to being able to continue to evolve the app model space to make it less of a hard left-right decision for you but something that is a choice you can make as a developer later on, and not as an initial change.
  • Disney is planning to airbrush its own content on its own streaming service.  (One Angry Gamer - do not read the comments)

    Anyone familiar with the story of Song of the South - it has never been released on home video in the US - will be completely unsurprised at this move.

  • The Chrome spell checker does not believe unsurprised is a word.

  • Diablo IV won't be out for years but Blizzard is already planning microtransactions, seasonal content, and expansion packs on top of the full-priced game.  (One Angry Gamer - do not read the comments)

  • No, an AI hasn't solved the Three-Body Problem you idiots because we already have a proof that there is no general solution for the Three-Body Problem.  (LiveScience)

    The comments at Slashdot (unlike certain other sites) are actually informative on the subject.  (Slashdot)

  • Instagram is hiding likes, which are kind of the entire and only purpose of Instagram.

  • Julia has threads.  (Julia)

    It's had sort-of threads for a while, but with 1.3 - which isn't out yet - they are officially in beta.

    That's because it does some complicated and clever stuff with them.  You can fire up as many threads as you like - including having nested loops that each spawn threads all over the place - and it will make sure that the end result all makes sense and doesn't kill your computer.

Video of the Day

Season Two of If It Was Any Nicer You Couldn't Afford It is here.

Louis Rossman has been doing MacBook repair videos for years, but only hit the big time after he started live-vlogging his attempts to find new retail space in New York City.

Bonus Video of the Day

Barring the stable door after Barbara Streisand has bolted.

Extra Bonus Video of the Day

Sargon mentions in passing YouTuber's accounts being stolen and YouTube basically shrugging and washing their hands of the problem.  This is discussed here.

Apparently, the scam is that a "prospective sponsor" finds a YouTuber and sends them a computer program to try out for themselves before agreeing to say nice things about it.

What that program actually does is it steals their YouTube credentials and sends them off to North Korea or some place like that, where a virtual chop shop has the channel parted out and sold off for pennies on the dollar before the day is out.

Meanwhile YouTube sends an email saying "we'll look into it, maybe" and the North Koreans have already deleted eleven years of your content.

Disclaimer: Time to deploy the A Ticket to Tranai solution.

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Saturday, November 09


Daily News Stuff 9 November 2019

Set Fans To 100% Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Do or do not, there is no don't try this at home.

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Friday, November 08


Daily News Stuff 8 November 2019

Don't Shake My Pudding Edition

Tech News

  • Thirdripper 3960X and 3970X prices and specs have been leaked by...  Wait, that's an official AMD announcement.  (AnandTech)

    3960X: 24 cores, 3.8 / 4.5GHz, 280W, $1399.
    3970X: 32 cores, 3.7 / 4.5GHz, 280W, $1999.

    The only really new news is on the platform side.  The TRX40 chipset has an 8 lane PCIe 4.0 uplink to the CPU, providing four times the bandwidth of the previous generation X499.

    The CPU itself provides 48 lanes of PCIe 4.0, plus 4 USB 3.2 ports, and either eight more PCIe 4.0 lanes or 8 SATA ports, plus 8 PCIe 4.0 lanes dedicated to the chipset connection.

    The chipset provides another 8 USB 3.2 ports, 4 SATA ports, 8 PCIe 4.0 lanes, and either eight more PCIe 4.0 lanes or 8 more SATA ports.

    So between 56 and 72 available PCIe 4.0 lanes, with 12 USB 3.2 ports and between 4 and 20 SATA ports.  If you don't want all that SATA you could have three x16 slots and six M.2 slots.  You couldn't run all six M.2 slots at full PCIe 4.0 speed simultaneously, but you could run them all at full PCIe 3.0 speed.

    Memory support is up to 256GB of DDR4-3200 unbuffered DIMMs, with or without ECC.

    Of interest here is the scrunching up of part numbers.  The previous generation 32 core part was the 2990WX, now that cour count has been moved down to the 3970X.  Expect 48 and 64 cores to show up sooner rather than later.

  • At the other end of the scale AMD also announced the Athlon 3000G, a $49 dual core APU.  (AnandTech)

    It's a 3.5GHz 35W part, and comes with a 65W cooler, so you can take full advantage of its unlocked overclocking.  It has 3 Vega CUs, which should be adequate for desktop use and very light gaming.  It certainly stomps on anything else in its price range; last year's Athlon 240GE was roughly equivalent but cost $75.

  • If you were interested in the Ryzen 3900 - 12 cores at 65W TDP - and disappointed when it turned out to be an OEM-only part, well, disappoint no more.  The latest AMD BIOS lets you run any 95W or 105W Ryzen 3000 CPU in a 65W power profile.  (Reddit)

    And 65W parts in a 45W profile.

  • Xiaomi's Mi Note 10 has five cameras.  (AnandTech)


    And a 2340x1080 6.4" AMOLED display, 6/128GB or 8/256GB, a 32MP front camera, dual SIM cards, a headphone jack, and no microSD slot because fuck you that's why.


  • Why xHamster is better at moderation than Facebook.  (Medium)

    Orders of magnitude less content.

  • The European Galileo positioning system went offline for a week earlier this year.  We now know what happened.  (BertHub)

    Short answer: They lost it.

  • Fitbit is doomed.  (ZDNet)

    The article examines the series of train wrecks that have been recent Google acquisitions, but doesn't spend a lot of time on why.  But we know why.

  • Twitter is planning to experiment on methods to control user behaviour.  (Reclaim the Net)

    For example, if you disagree with a tweet, which happens sometimes because Twitter is a spectacular aggregation of utter idiocy, Twitter will ask you why.

    I somehow doubt that "Because the above user is a fuckwit" will be on the menu.

Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Frolicking love is a koi in a pond.  The sea bream of my heart wants to be embraced.  A dancing kiss is a garfish in the sea.  The horse mackerel of love is the secret ingredient.

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Thursday, November 07


Daily News Stuff 7 November 2019

Twelve Angry Clowns Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: I ate too much.  Too much is what I ate...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, November 06


Daily News Stuff 6 November 2019

Duck Fat Edition

Tech News

  • Intel goes chiplets.  (AnandTech)

    Not with CPUs, at least not yet, but with their new high-end FPGA, which has two logic dies and four I/O dies.

  • Dell has a professional 4K monitor too.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It's a little dull compared with the Asus ProArt - literally so, with a narrower colour gamut and lower brightness.  But it does include two ThunderBolt ports and six USB 3.2 ports, and an integrated colorimeter.  Plus at $1999 it's half the price.

  • Intel's Cascade Lake AP CPU - the one you can't buy - is 84% faster than AMD's Epyc unless it isn't.  (WCCFTech)

    And in this case, it definitely isn't.  (Serve the Home)

    The key benchmark highlighted here is an old version that treated Epyc 2 the same as Epyc 1.  But Epyc 2 - and Zen 2 generally - in fact has double the floating point performance of Epyc 1.  An updated version of the benchmark that is aware of Zen 2 is already available, but Intel didn't use it.

  •  Xerox is looking at buying HP.  (WSJ)

    Since the former HP has now fissioned into three at least four separate companies - the consumer and printer company HP, the enterprise company HPE, the biomedical lab equipment company Agilent, and the test and measurement company Keysight - we need to be specific, and Xerox is just looking to buy the first of these.

  • Libra is poo, argues one engineer.

    The first point, about the uselessness of BFT on a permissioned network, is granted, but Facebook have argued that they want to be able to transition Libra to a permissionless model, which would necessitate BFT.  Now that transition may never happen, but without supporting BFT from the beginning, that's guaranteed.

    The second point on transaction privacy is also granted, because how the hell else can it work?  Well, I suppose you could have regional shards so that at least any single transaction is only subject to one set of banking privacy laws and not all the laws in the world.  In fact, that would make sense.  It would also help with scaling.  It would also be really complicated.

    Third is that it can't scale to the size of existing payment processing backbones.  Indeed Facebook haven't claimed that it can, promising peak transaction rates about half the average rate handled by Visa alone.  But that is still two orders of magnitude more than Ethereum can handle, so Libra still has value even if it falls far short of the ideal.

    Fourth is that the Move language - at least as it is currently implemented - is unsound.  Here he seems to be on much firmer ground, and unless he is factually wrong the language is currently not even a true proof of concept.  Given what he says about Solidity, the Ethereum programming language, which I have worked with:
    These are typically done in a shockingly badly designed language called Solidity, which from an academic PL perspective, makes PHP look like a work of genius.
    I am inclined to believe that he has the facts straight here and Move, at present, is inadequate for the task.

    Fifth is that the cryptography stack used by Libra has not bee audited, and very much needs to be, given that it uses several novel techniques.  It may be fine, but a detailed audit is essential.

    And sixth and last, it has no capacity for reversing payments.  This one is a little odd for a permissioned system, since by its very nature Libra embodies arbiters, unlike Ethereum where nobody trusts anyone else because nobody knows anyone else.

  • The problem with Apple TV+ is Apple TV.  (9To5Mac)

    Apple TV+ is only available via Apple's TV app, and Apple's TV app is...  Bad.

    It also doesn't work at all on Windows, Linux, ChromeOS, or Android, locking Apple out of about three billion devices.

    Also, it has a total of 8 shows available.  Seriously.  8.

  • Alexa, Siri, and Google smart speakers are open to attack from lasers.  (ZDNet)

    Is that burning plastic I smell?

    Basically, an attacker can zap the microphone with a modulated laser, and the microphone will interpret it as voice commands, without anything being audible.  You need line of sight to the device, and a steady hand, but otherwise it's open season.

  • Samsung is shutting down its Arm CPU design operation.  (Android Authority)

    They just recently announced their M5 core, but it seems it will be the last of its line.  Samsung will still make Arm chips, but it will license the cores from Arm rather than designing them itself.

Disclaimer: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

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Tuesday, November 05


Daily News Stuff 5 November 2019

Gunpowder, Treason, And Plot Edition

Tech News

Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Ma!  He's doing it again!

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Monday, November 04


Daily News Stuff 4 November 2019

Unless It Hasn't Edition

Tech News

  • Intel's entire 10th generation desktop range has leaked unless it hasn't.  (WCCFTech)

    The details are plausible because they aren't particularly impressive - the top of the line Core i9-10900K has 10 cores and 20MB of L3 cache, compared to AMD's 3950X with 16 cores and 64MB of cache, and Intel are staying with PCIe 3.0 but moving to a new socket, because fuck you.

  • The launch of Cascade Lake X has been delayed unless it hasn't.  (WCCFTech)

    Press embargo was originally set to lift tomorrow before all the details leaked out anyway, but Intel hasn't confirmed if that was also launch day.  AMD are planning to rain on their parade this month with 3950X and Thirdripper, but that was known already.

  • Stop using DNS with ridiculously low TTLs.

    Look, I'm guilty of not setting proper production TTLs after setting them to 5 minutes during deployment, but this is horrifying:
    Half the DNS responses have a 1 minute TTL or less
    That basically kills DNS caching.

  • Speaking of killing caching...

    I mentioned CDNJS a couple of days ago.  One of the promises of CDNJS and other component CDNs is that if all sites point to the same copy of the horribly bloated JavaScript code, at least your browser only has to load it once.

    Only...  Not any more.  This exposes a potential security risk, so browsers aren't going to share cached files anymore.

  • How big is a proton?  0.833 femtometres.  (Sparkonit)

    They measured them using muons, which is kind of neat.

  • How big is an electron?  Nobody knows, but you can't upload them to the Apple Store.

    Electron is based on Chromium, which uses non-public frameworks on Mac.

    The Electron team are working on it and it should be resolved soon.  (GitHub)

    Which just leaves the problem that Electron apps are bloated and awful.

  • Apple products to not buy, late 2019 edition.  (ZDNet)

    iPad Pro, Mac Pro, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, and the Mac Mini all make the list.  I think most people worked out not to buy the 2013 Mac Pro when it didn't get updated for six years.

  • If you want the new Mac Pro, but don't want to wait for it to actually be released and/or don't want to spend a billion trillion dollars on it, there's an alternative.

    Yes, it's an IndieGogo project, but it actually looks pretty good.  $199 with a regular front cover, $279 with both the regular front cover and the fancy 3d machined version.

Video of the Day

How was your Halloween?  Did you remember check your kids' candy for stray objects, like cell phones and RTX 2080 Tis?

Disclaimer: Free Minecraft!

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Sunday, November 03


Daily News Stuff 3 November 2019

Oh No Edition

Tech News

  • Ubiquiti phone home.

    This is fine in general, but there has to be a clear way to disable it without adversely affecting your networking equipment.  It's not at all unusual for security requirements to absolutely forbid this.

  • An update on TSMC's 5nm process.  (WikiChip)

    7nm is the hot new thing, but TSMC entered risk production for 5nm back in March.  It has close to double the transistor density of 7nm, and uses up to 30% less power.  That power figure is better than earlier estimates, and is likely to be reliable now that they have six months of low-volume production to examine.

    Next year's Zen 3 based processors will still be 7nm, and Zen 4 might not arrive until early 2022, so it could be more than two years before the next dramatic upgrade.

  • At Blizzcon, Blizzard announced that Diablo IV is really truly in development and promised to repeat all the mistakes they made in Diablo III  (NicheGamer)

    Diablo III sold well enough that they have no incentive not to pull the same nonsense again.

  • WebAssembly in theory allows you to write code for your web pages in any language and not just shitty JavaScript.  In practice it's mostly used to mine cryptocurrency.  (InfoQ)

  • Microsoft Edge has a new logo.  (Thurrott.com_

    No, it's not a slow news day.  Why do you ask?

    On the other hand, you can look at this logo and immediately know that it's for a web browser.  Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Pale Moon also get it right.  Vivaldi and Brave not so much.

Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Oh no.

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Daily News Stuff 2 November 2019

It's A Wall Edition

Tech News

Video of the Day

Everything in the CPU pipeline has been released, or at least announced, so it's time to fire up the rumour engines again.

But first, let's check in on how the rumours went over the past 18 months.

So...  No battleships sunk with that lot.

Disclaimer: Nai wa.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 01:28 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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