It was a bad day. A lot of bad stuff happened. And I'd love to forget it all. But I don't. Not ever. Because this is what I do. Every time, every day, every second, this: On five, we're bringing down the government.

Friday, March 12


Daily News Stuff 11 March 2021

Birbs Of A Feather Edition

Tech News

Duck and Chicken Minecraft Stream of the Day

Building the first KFP franchise on the JP server.  I came in late and didn't see where they were building it - it turns out to be one of the cars on Subaru's Ferris wheel.

Disclaimer: Birbs of a feather boat together.  Apparently.

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Wednesday, March 10


Daily News Stuff 10 March 2021

Asdfghjkl Edition

Tech News

  • Samsung's new 980 Nothing is a DRAMless TLC NVMe SSD.  (AnandTech)

    Performance isn't bad as long as you enable the Host Memory Buffer, which uses (by default) 64MB of RAM to replace the missing RAM on the SSD.  If you don't do that, then performance is bad.  But 64MB on a modern system is not a lot.  Watch a busy Hololive stream and Chrome will leak that much memory every minute.

    It's priced to compete with Intel's 670p, which has DRAM on-board but is QLC.

  • This is not the bear you're not looking for.  (The Drive)

    You can't see what you don't know isn't there, particularly with computer assistance.

  • A simple explanation of the new Git vulnerability 1/75.

    In Soviet Russia, GitHub hacks you.

Squirrel Song Video of the Day

Disclaimer: LP0 on fire.

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Tuesday, March 09


Daily News Stuff 9 March 2021

Scone Of Stone Edition

Tech News

  • Turns out Lamy broke the TTT by hitting it accidentally with a loaf of bread.

    The player platform is made of glass so that (a) you can see what's going om and (b) monsters don't spawn there (they won't spawn on glass) and are instead forced to spawn in the catchment area.

    Problem with that is glass breaks if you hit it accidentally with anything in the game, and the TTT produces a constant stream of creepers.

    The PPP on the HoloEN server - their own version of the monster farm - is made of stone, and instead uses lots and lots of torches to force the monsters to spawn in the right place (monsters don't spawn in brightly lit areas).

    Don't think too hard about Minecraft logic.

  • Epyc Milan launches next Monday.  (AnandTech)

    I wonder if this is part of why Zen 3 has been scarce on desktops - that AMD has been preparing inventory of their server parts to ensure a successful rollout.  It's worth noting that while there's a months-long queue for the 5900X, for example, the 3900X is in stock and reasonably priced.  (And comes with a Wraith Prism cooler, which is actually pretty decent.)

  • Intel's Lunar Lake has shown up in Linux kernel patches.  (WCCFTech)

    This is probably 14th gen and won't be out for three years or more, and we currently know nothing about it.

    Alder Lake is supposed to replace Rocket Lake on the desktop before the end of the year, and Rocket Lake isn't even out yet.

  • Meanwhile, benchmarks have leaked of Intel's upcoming Ice Lake Xeons.  (WCCFTech)

    They seem to compete well against the 32 core Epyc Rome.

    Only problem is that (a) Epyc goes up to 64 cores and (b) Rome is set to be replaced by Milan in less than a week.

  • Google is really bad at UI design.  (The Universe of Discourse)

    Yes, those Google Meet buttons suck.

  • Like handing a live grenade to a bored monkey: A race condition meant GitHub sometimes logged people into other user's accounts.  (Bleeping Computer)

    How do you build a race condition into something as straightforward as a login?  What are you idiots doing over there?

  • A new algorithm for solving linear equations beats all previous attempts - by guessing the answer.  (Quanta)

    They've actually mathematically proven this approach to be more efficient.  Countless schoolchildren 1, maths teachers 0.

  • I ate the last of the chicken nuggets I got when they came back in stock.  Now they're out of stock again.

    My attempt at making my own didn't quite work because I tried to cook too much chicken at once in my mini-oven; by the time it was all cooked it was mostly overcooked.  I'll do half as much next time.

  • MIPS has dropped MIPS in favour of RISC-V.  (EE Journal)

    The article notes that the RISC-V design effort was headed by Dave Patterson, and MIPS, back in the day, by John Hennessy.  Together they wrote the book that - holy cow, that's expensive.

  • I was checking on the availability of graphics cards - though I'm really hoping to get through this year with my current systems - and at first it looked like Scorptec (one of my usual suppliers) had only one graphics card in stock, total.

    Turns out it was just that their "in stock only" filter works in an odd way if almost everything is out of stock, and you have to scroll the page for it to show anything.  In fact, both the 3090 and 6900 XT are available and ready to ship.  Horribly expensive, but available.

Not a Grain of Truth Videos of the Day

Someone in the Minds Hololive fan group posted that he swore they were all of them autistic.  I just want to say that there is not the slightest grain of truth to this.


Disclaimer: An error occurred while processing this disclaimer.  Your credit card has not been charged.  Do not press the back button.  Do not reload the page.  Maybe take the rest of the week off.

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Monday, March 08


Daily News Stuff 8 March 2021

Future Proof Edition

Tech News

Minecraft Industrial Accident Cleanup Team Video of the Day

I haven't seen the incident, but from chat I'm guessing that Lamy accidentally crouched when their TTT - the big automated monster farm Pekora built - spawned a creeper for her to kill, because right now there's a huge hole where the farming platform is supposed to be and the spawned monsters are plummeting thousands of feet to their death.

But that just means that Moona has been called out for emergency repairs and we get a bonus stream.  It's late so I can't watch much, but today I got a Vyolfers Minecraft stream and a Gura Terraria stream, and late tomorow Calli is having a Minecraft collab with Reine.  I'm guessing on the JP server, because Reine has visited the EN server but Calli hasn't visited JP yet.

Also, I've never watched a Lamy stream.  Even now there's a long list of Hololive girls I know only from clips.  And we're getting six more HoloEN girls in the next few months.

Disclaimer: This must be a Thursday.  I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

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Was trying to purge the sessions table (which was getting rather large) and the database got unhappy and the site (or rather, sites, since there's somehow over 100,000 of them) slowed to a crawl.

Instead I copied the entries I wanted to keep into a new table and swapped tables.

Happier now.

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Sunday, March 07


Daily News Stuff 7 March 2021

Minecraft LARP Edition

Tech News

  • Seagate is planning a 100TB hard drive by 2030.  (Tom's Hardware)

    You can get a 100TB SSD today.  I just noticed I can get an 8TB SSD today, for under A$1000, even before mail-in rebate.  That's enough for my combined Steam / GOG library, I think.  Well, maybe not if I redeem the rest of my Humble Bundle keys.

  • Speaking of Steam, there's another old-school D&D game currently in early access.  (WCCFTech)

    Solasta: Crown of the Magister (Steam) is an 3D / isometric tactical RPG - think the original Dragon Age - with a dungeon builder toolset that saves its output as JSON files.  Which means that anyone else can also write dungeon-creating tools if they want to.

    It looks pretty good.

    Even if the built-in campaign turns out somewhat lackluster, as long as the engine itself is solid, this could be a great game in the long run.

    Meanwhile, I'm still playing through Idle Champions.  It's not an amazing game, really, but you can play for half an hour and then leave it to do its thing (the idle part) and the dialogue is worth reading.

    Update: I thought I'd found a whole new section of the first campaign in Idle Champions that I'd missed before, but the reason I missed it is that it wasn't there before.  They add one or two new chapters every three weeks, so the game currently has five separate campaigns and none of them are finished.

  • Everything you never wanted to know about FFMPEG but were forced to ask.  (FFMPEG from Zero to Hero)

    I've worked with FFMPEG once, briefly.  The command-line options are non-Euclidean.  Not sure if this book will help with that or consign your soul to the void.

  • Serve the Home has been running a series of reviews of business-class mini-PCs suitable for building a small lab when you can't afford the cost or space for an entire rack.

    The latest is the Lenovo ThinkCentre M75q Gen2 Tiny.

    This is based on the Ryzen 4750G and is far and away the fastest mini-PC they have tested.

    The specs are nothing remarkable, once you get beyond the fact of an eight-core mini-PC, and as usual I'd like to see something better than a single gigabit Ethernet port, but if you need something small, fast, cheap, and supporting remote management, there's only so many options.

  • Only fair.

Disclaimer: Die, heathens!

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Saturday, March 06


Daily News Stuff 6 March 2021

Alpacalypse Vs. Llamageddon Edition

Tech News

  • Rocket Lake is here, much to everyone's surprise, including Intel's.  (AnandTech)

    Tech sites are still under NDA and many don't even have review samples from Intel yet.  But European retailer MindFactory jumped the gun and released a couple of hundred i7-11700K chips and AnandTech scooped one of them up.  And chips bought at retail aren't covered by the NDA.

    And now they have a 19-page review chock-full of benchmarky goodness.

    So, how does it do?

    It do bad.

    Except in two very specific benchmarks, the 5800X beats it, often by a substantial margin, while using less power.  The two benchmarks where Rocket Lake takes off use AVX512 - which AMD doesn't currently have - and push power consumption to a space-heating 291W.

    IPC appears to be worse on the 14nm desktop model than on the 10nm laptop version, which is odd since in theory they have the exact same microarchitecture.

  • Looking for an iMac Pro?  Haha fuck you.  (WCCFTech)

    While supplies last.  And build-to-order options are gone.

    It will be interesting to see what they do to replace it.  Their own chips can't compete and releasing another Intel-based system at this point will look like admitting their own chips can't compete.

  • At least 30,000 corporate and government Exchange servers have been hacked over the past week.  (Krebs On Security)

    It's not pretty.

Let's Talk Pi Video of the Day

This talk is focused on machine learning, but the first half hour is an overview of the Pi Pico, so if you're interested in either or both topics it may be worth your time.

It does discuss how they designed the PIO on the Pico: They got a long list of I/O protocols and designed the simplest possible circuit that could handle all of them.  It also mentions in passing that someone recently doubled DVI output performance.  I'll need to see if I can find details on that.

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for its intended audience only.  If you read this post unintentionally, please destroy any memories of its content immediately.

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Friday, March 05


Daily News Stuff 5 March 2021

No Through Road Beyond Zebra Edition

Tech News

  • Bring your own client.  (Geoffrey Litt)

    I'm in favour of this idea.  The API for the new site was completed around Christmas; it's the UI that's holding things up.

  • eBay has banned sales of the six blacklisted Dr Seuss books.  (WSJ)

    These are sales of children's books between private individuals.


  • HTTPWTF.  (HTTPToolkit)

    For example, the Cache-Control: no-cache header tells the browser to cache your content, even if it is not normally cacheable.

  • I for one welcome our new, incredibly stupid, robot overlords.

  • Google wants to give your browser cancer.  (EFF)

    FLoC is a replacement for third-party tracking cookies.  They don't plan to stop tracking you; they plan to have your own browser track everything they do and report back to them.

    The EFF is stepping into the shoes the ACLU pooped in.  Um.  The EFF threw out the ACLU's shoes because they smelled of poop, bought some new shoes, and stepped into those.

  • How well do dual RTX 3090s in SLI work?  (Serve the Home)

    For some computation and rendering tasks it works very well.  For games, on the other hand, this is Serve the Home, they didn't benchmark any games.

  • Kiara got her shadowban lifted, finally.

    YouTube deleted the last two months of her videos instead.

    Yes, this is the same retarded crap that they pulled with Hardware Unboxed.

Epic Rant Video of the Day

Disclaimer: When On Beyond Zebras are outlawed, only outlaws will have On Beyond Zebras.

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Thursday, March 04


Daily News Stuff 4 March 2021

Ill-Conceived Gambits Edition

Tech News

  • AMD has announced the Radeon 6700 XT, shipping March 18 for $479.  (AnandTech)

    At that price it's still a high-end card, and your chances of finding one at that price are basically zero.

    But from a performance perspective it's also a high-end card.  It's cut down relative to the 6800 - from 60 CUs to 40 - but they've also scaled the clock speed up from 1.8GHz to 2.4GHz.  As a result it's a bit less power-efficient than the 6800; it's no longer quite in the sweet spot for this design and process node.

    RAM is 12GB on a 192-bit bus, and it has 96MB of Infinity Cache, compared to 16GB and 128MB on the 6800.

    Also, all the leaks on this one were exactly correct.

  • CircuitPython could come to Raspberry Pi as a bootable OS.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That would let you treat it as a microcontroller and program the hardware directly, rather than through Linux, which would be attractive for a lot of hobbyists, particularly anyone trying to work with hard real-time requirements.

  • SpaceX's Starship SN10 took off cleanly, did a test flip and engine stall, descended and landed safely...  And then exploded.  (WCCFTech)

    I was watching the live stream.  I thought there was a bit too much fire after landing, and then boom.

  • Mozilla is concerned about India's new laws regulating online content.  (Mozilla)

    Their concerns about people banning books might have more weight if they weren't personally so gung ho about burning them.

  • A new version of the Grub bootloader has 117 patches fixing a list of serious vulnerabilities.  (Bleeping Computer)

    All of which are only a problem if you have physical access to the computer in question, in which case Grub is far from the only attack vector.

  • Google's cross-platform UI toolkit, Flutter, is now in Version 2.  (

    The SDK is 1.3GB, so I wouldn't expect high-performance light-weight apps to come out of this.

  • Firefox, for some reason, can play Hololive livestreams more smoothly with chat enabled than Chrome can with it disabled.

    It still seems to be slowly leaking memory though.

    Update: Memory usage went back down without me touching anything.  It uses a lot of RAM, but it's not a steady leak. 

    I'm trying Waterfox side by side with Firefox now, and they seem to behave pretty much identically.  Which they should.  Using a surprisingly large chunk of the GPU to handle video decode though.  I guess 6 teraflops ain't what it used to be.

Peko Peko Peko Peko Peko Peko Peko Peko Peko Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Bleep your bleeping bleep right in the bleeper.

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Wednesday, March 03


Daily News Stuff 3 March 2021

300% Overclock Edition

Tech News

  • Reading through the details of the PicoDVI project from yesterday I'm struck by how simple (relatively) it is to encode low-resolution graphics into a TMDS signal - the encoding used by DVI and HDMI.

    The project itself uses RGB pixels rather than a palette, which makes the code more complicated and slower.

    The hard part is sending out three synchronised bitstreams at 251.75MHz, but the Pi Pico can do that, if you first overclock it to 251.75MHz, which it can also do.  I don't know of any other microcontrollers that can do that - the clock-accurate encoding part, I mean - previously you used an external FPGA if you needed something like that.

    I want 480x360 rather than 640x480, and I don't know how well that will work, though there is no defined minimum resolution for DVI or HDMI.  It would still require a small overclock for a 60Hz refresh, but 6% rather than nearly 100%.

    The great thing though is I don't need to build anything to try it, just wait until one of these projects ships, then plug it into a cheap monitor and start fiddling with the timing parameters.

    For a real project I'd make a small board with two RP2040s - the Pi Pico chip - connected over SPI, and just a couple of SPI flash chips, a voltage regulator, and other minor things.  Simple enough when you know someone who does this for  living.

    VGA is even easier, of course - you don't have to do all that nasty encoding, which leaves headroom to actually draw stuff on screen.

  • At the other end of the scale the Threadripper Pro is now shipping to retail customers.  (AnandTech)

    Prices range from $1150 for 16 cores to $5490 for 64 cores.

    The Asus Threadripper Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI motherboard will set you back an additional $1000 or so, which is not a bad price given its feature set, which ranges from dual 10G Ethernet and remote management to seven PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, seven M.2 slots, and audio with a claimed 120dB SNR.  About the only thing it lacks is Thunderbolt 4.

    This is all still Zen 2, though; there are no Zen 3 Threadrippers or Epycs available at retail yet.

  • The Asus ProART B550-Creator does have Thunderbolt 4.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The only AMD motherboard I know of that does, though there are a handful with Thunderbolt 3.

    It maxes out at 16 cores and 128GB of RAM, only has one PCIe 4.0 x16 slot and two M.2 slots (and the second would be PCIe 3.0 since it's a B550 board), and the dual Ethernet ports are only 2.5G, but that's still a solid little platform.

  • The Radeon 6700 XT will be launching in four hours.  (WCCFTech)

    That's 3AM here.  Not staying up.

    The one thing I'm interested in is how much Infinity Cache it has - if any.  The 6800 and 6900 models have 128MB; leaks indicate this might have 96MB.  That should be enough for 1440p gaming, and could also hint at where AMD is going next with its APUs.

  • The US Navy is a bunch of pirates.  (TorrentFreak)

    Specifically, they have been found liable in a case before the Federal Circuit.  Given that they did in fact install the software in question on half a million computers without paying for it, this seems like a reasonable ruling.

    Of course, they won't pay for the (up to) $500 million in damages either.

Disclaimer: And neither will I.  At least, not directly.

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