Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.

Friday, July 03


Daily News Stuff 2 July 2020

Hairy Wizard Edition

Tech News

  • Reminder that there are two new Dresden Files books due this year - Peace Talks lands this month, and Battle Ground in September.

    This was originally planned to be a single volume but Jim Butcher couldn't make it work.  Eventually his editor suggested making it two books, and Jim said, oh, yeah, and went away and rewrote it all.

  • If you need a shiny new dedicated server, redacted has the brand new and very shiny wait where did it go?

    They did have an offer on the brand new W-1290P, the workstation version of Intel's Core i9 10900K, but the post seems to have disappeared.  

    You can read about the W-1200 family even if you can't get one just yet.  (Intel)

  • A deep dive into Intel's Lakefield.  (AnandTech)

    I do not find this particularly exciting - one Core core and four Atom cores makes for a barely adequate experience at best - but maybe it's just what someone, somewhere is looking for.

  • HBM2E is memory taken to ludicrous speed.  (AnandTech)

    3600MHz is pretty common for DRAM these days, but having a 1024-bit bus on a single chip less so.

  • A closer look at LG's Gram 17.  (WCCFTech)

    This is a 3lb 17" laptop with a full keyboard and a 2560x1600 display.  If you need a big screen laptop that weighs less than some 13" models, this might be for you.  It's not exactly cheap, though, and gaming performance on the Core i7-1065G7 rates a "meh".

  • How much Python does a Python need to be a Python?  (Snarky)

    Asked in the context of getting something better than goddamn JavaScript to run on browsers, since WebAssembly's security model makes a full Python implementation problematic.

    The article also reminded me that there's an effort under way to implement Python in Rust.  (GitHub)  And that already runs under WebAssembly.

  • If you really miss Motif and CDE, SerenityOS might be just what you are looking for.

    Only...  Why?

    Well, aesthetics aside, it does seem to be a lightweight and fast little Unix-like OS.  Nothing wrong with that.

  • Rust is designed from the ground up to compile slowly.  (PingCAP)

    Much of this also applies to Crystal. 

  • Don't use closed-source encryption.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The EncroPhone network - popular among the criminal set - was infiltrated by law enforcement, mesages intercepted, and several hundred people arrested across Europe.

    My American readers will laugh though, to see the British police boast alongside siezing two tonnes of narcotics and 28 million tablets of very off-brand Valium, 1800 rounds of ammunition.

  • BDFL just don't mean what it used to.  (ZDNet)

    Salvatore Filippo, also known as Antirez, is stepping down from his role as chief maintainer of Redis.  Basically because he was finding he was spending more time as a manager than as a programmer.

  • The Blackview Tab 8 is a $160 Android tablet that doesn't seem to skimp too much on anything.  (ZDNet)

    Android 10, 1920x1200 display, 8-core 1.6GHz A55, 4GB RAM, 64GB EMMC, USB-C, SD card, dual SIM cards, headphone ja-

    Wait, 10" screen?  Then why did you bloody well call it the Tab 8?  Grumble grumble.

  • Microsoft is updating the start menu from being a shrieking dumpster fire to being merely a loudly cursing dumpster fire.  (

    Don't look at me, I've been running Start8 since back when it was still called Start8.

  • Kongregate is shutting down.  (TechRaptor)

    Not surprising given that Flash is dying at the end of the year, but a sad end of an era, brought about by Adobe's fuck-upedness.

  • Remember last year when I was fiddling with the idea of building a computer based on an embeded Arm chip and nothing ever came of it because that would actually require work?

    Well, someone actually did it.  (

    The Colour Maximite 2 is based on the same family of ST Micro Arm microcontrollers that I was looking at (and that I actually have a development kit for).

    It's not a complete custom board, using a rather nice module from Waveshare that includes the CPU, 8MB of RAM, headers for absolutely everything, and a USB port.

    The only problem is that the module itself costs US$30 and I was aiming for a system cost of around that.  I was using the cheapest member of the family but got derailed when I realised that it was not possible to do everything I wanted with the 100-pin package that version came in, and upgrading would instantly double the unit cost.

    Also I don't really know what I'm doing with this stuff, but I rarely let that stop me.

Anime News

Video of the Day

And here is the wee beastie itself.

It executes 270,000 lines of interpreted Basic per second, so Basic runs faster than assembler on an 8-bit era system.  It has a simple file manager but mainly it throws you straight into Basic with no complications to slow you down.

I may have to get one.  I'd need to dig out an old monitor though, since it only supports VGA - no DVI, which is the way I planned to go.

Disclaimer: Could get a VGA to HDMI converter, I guess.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:58 AM | Comments (7) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Thursday, July 02


Daily News Stuff 1 July 2020

Half-Way Mark Edition

Tech News

  • The Apple press is insane, part one.

    Apple Silicon - that is, Arm - trounces Microsoft's Surface Pro X - again, Arm - in first tests.  (ZDNet)

    A desktop device scored 800/2900.  That's within 5% of Microsoft's mobile device - faster on single-core tests, slower on multi-core tests.  The article actually lies about the Surface Pro score - it links to a list of benchmark results, and then ignores the top 300 results.

  • The Apple press is insane, part two.

    Apple Silicon - that is, Arm - may have killed the PC as we know it.  (ZDNet again)

    No, but it's kiled the Mac as a general-purpose computer.  Enjoy your walled garden.

  • YouTube TV has hiked its rates by 30%.  (Six Colors)

    Does anyone use that?  I suppose someone must.

  • AWS Snowcone is an 8TB drive wrapped in an impact-resistant rubber brick, designed for getting bulk data into or out of the Amazon cloud.  (Phoronix)

    Since data transfer out of AWS starts at $90 per TB, this could save you a lot of money at the cost of inconvenience and time and oh they fucking charge you per gigabyte for data transferred out of AWS on these devices.

    Pro tip: Don't use AWS if you're the one paying for it.

  • Pandas cause global warming!  (GitHub)

    It reads like a parody of every bad woke "open source" license ever.  They're going after the Python Requests library, which reads web pages and APIs, because everything else uses it.

    If that were to happen, the library would get forked on it's existing open-source license in about three femtoseconds and the woke version would die.

  • The Samsung 870 QVO: Up to 8TB, slower than a hard disk.  (AnandTech)
    In general, the latency scores from the Samsung QVO drives are worse than from the DRAMless TLC drives, while the 4TB QVOs still have better overall throughput. The 1TB QVOs (both old and new) are prone to write latencies that are worse than the 5400RPM hard drive. Both capacities of the 870 QVO have worse read latency but better write latency scores than the 860 QVO.
    99th percentile write latency was 34ms.  That's not as bad as the worst case on a hard drive, but it's several times the typical latency.

    It's probably fine for regular desktop use - files, not databases - though the average write latency of a full drive is still 3ms, which is only twice as fast as a 5400 rpm laptop drive.

    Also, in testing the 4TB model, they found that its idle power consumption was the highest of any drive tested because it was never actually idle.  It was running garbage collection throughout the entire test period, even when they weren't actually testing it.

  • Qualcomm has a new Snapdragon processor aimed at smartwatches.  (AnandTech)

    It has four 1.7GHz A53 cores.

    Who is doing something on a watch that requires four 1.7GHz cores and would you please stop that right now?

Disclaimer: Ugh.  EOFY.  Just say no.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:43 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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