Thursday, February 07


Daily News Stuff 7 February 2019

Tech News

  • AMD's Radeon VII has landed.  (AnandTech)

    That DP floating point number that was all up in the air will-they-won't-they came down as mostly will-they; it's 1/4 SP, where the much more expensive professional cards are 1/2 SP.

    The interesting thing here is that AMD actually listened to customers and at the last minute before release adjusted firmware and drivers to improve DP performance.  By 300%.

    Thats leaves a gap between this card and the professional Instinct MI50 of 3.5 TFLOPS vs. 6.7 TFLOPS.  But the Nvidia RTX Titan, their fastest consumer/prosumer card, only delivers 0.5 DP TFLOPS.  If you need double precision on a budget, the Radeon VII wins by a mile.

    It's around 5% slower than the RTX 2080 on most games, winning by small margins on a couple.  And it runs hotter - 300W vs 225W.  But it's the same price and has twice the memory (16GB vs. 8GB).

    So it turns out to be a fairly attractive offering after all.  Depends on whether you value double precision and tons of video RAM and memory bandwidth over ray tracing and dedicated AI cores.

  • Two SSDs with identical hardware but different firmware get compared.  You won't believe how different they are!  (AnandTech)

    Not very.  Almost exactly the same actually.  Don't buy the 2TB model.

  • Many iPhone apps record everything you do.  (Tech Crunch)

    In the app.  Which you are using.

    It's for customer support.  It's an amazing customer support tool.

    Just (a) tell your users - note that you do this in download page / login screen / splash screen / whatever and (b) don't store screenshots of people's credit card information on a public server, okay?

  • Google and Apple should just replace the app permissions request page with a default Allow us to violate your privacy in ways we believe fall just short of criminal liability Yes/No? (TechDirt)

    Would save a lot of time and confusion for everyone.
  • Adobe - oh, it's Axios.  Never mind.  95% chance it's wrong anyway.

  • Unicode 12.0 has an otter.

    Unicode is a semantic train wreck that just keeps getting worse.  But it has an otter.

  • Need more cores?  Supermicro has new servers with up to 224 of them.  (Serve the Home)

    Yeah, the CPUs alone would cost you $80,000, and you could buy 1088 AMD EPYC cores for that price, but you couldn't put them all in one box.

    Well, you could, but that box would also be expensive.

  • Smishing?  (Bleeping Computer)

    Ah.  Usual spam email scam tactics, just on SMS.

  • Centralise everything that's decentralised and decentralise everything that's centralised and they'll call you a genius.  (The Next Platform)

  • Mathematicians have uncovered an unexpected connection between addition and multiplication.  (Quanta)

    No, not that.  Well, that too.  But it's actually an interesting emergent property of the way integers behave.  And the article has pictures.

  • Cat pictures considered harmful.  (ZDNet)

    A bug in Android's image libraries allows it to be hacked by a malicious PNG.

    If you're still using an old, unsupported device like the Nexus 7, which is stuck on Android 6, maybe now is the time to...  Oh.  It doesn't affect Android 6?  Only newer devices with 7 and up?

    Lol, as the kids would say.

  • It would seem that Warner Bros got caught asking reviewers how much they charged for favourable articles.  (One Angry Gamer)

    The person reporting this is Jim Sterling, who is a jackass and a half, but he actually provides a screenshot of the relevant parts of the email.

Social Media News

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Historical Educational Thingy of the Day

The stupider something sounds in this video, the more likely it is that it's 100% historically accurate.

Picture of the Day

Disclaimer: The user takes full responsibility for everything and anything that could and/or does go wrong resulting in any kind or type of problem, difficulty, embarrassment, loss of money or goods or services or sleep or anything else whatsoever.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:56 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 730 words, total size 8 kb.

1 Huh, the anime ED is blocked in this country.

Posted by: Mauser at Friday, February 08 2019 10:58 AM (Ix1l6)

2 > click on article about comparing SSD drives

> seeing... what exactly? is that RAM?

> oh god, they completely replaced the basic technologies of computers while I wasn't looking
> see also Real Life Comic

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Friday, February 08 2019 12:39 PM (LZ7Bg)

3 Heh.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, February 08 2019 01:01 PM (PiXy!)

4 Pete, have you really missed out on the SSD revolution?
They're *incredible*.  I have a spare PC at work running a demo instance of some ERP software, backed by MSSQL.  On a hard drive, the computer's more or less unusable (doing pretty much *anything* can drive the response time of the drive as high as 15 *seconds*).  Replace the hard drive with a mediocre SSD--yay, Micro Center and their dirt-cheap Inland brand--and the machine runs like normal.  Upgrade from SATA 3 to PCIe x4 and it's like those old "is it live or is it Memorex" ads with the guy in the chair.

Posted by: Rick C at Friday, February 08 2019 04:22 PM (Iwkd4)

5 He just means the M.2 form factor.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Friday, February 08 2019 11:27 PM (PiXy!)

6 Excellent.  I was worried he'd been trapped in a glacier or something.

Posted by: Rick C at Saturday, February 09 2019 04:24 AM (Q/JG2)

7 When I first heard about SSD,s there was some concern about a limited number of writes to the same sector. Has that been solved?

Posted by: Mauser at Saturday, February 09 2019 12:08 PM (Ix1l6)

8 Pretty much, yes.  A few different factors have come together to solve the problem:
* Larger SSDs mean more blocks, so you're less likely to be rewriting the same block over and over.  Drives are smart enough to re-use the less-used blocks instead.
* Smaller flash cells have fewer rewrite cycles, but 3D flash uses larger cells and stacks them vertically instead, giving as many as 30 times more rewrite cycles.
* Virtual SLC caches are much less sensitive to rewrite cycles (and also faster).  If you have a 1TB TLC drive, it might reserve 60GB of TLC to work as 20GB of SLC.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, February 09 2019 01:04 PM (PiXy!)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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