You're Amelia!
You're late!
Amelia Pond! You're the little girl!
I'm Amelia, and you're late.

Saturday, April 24


Daily News Stuff 24 April 2021

And You Get A Pad Sieuw Edition

Tech News

Sure, Dirty Pair is your classic sci-fi action adventure comedy, but it can also get seriously trippy.

Tech News

  • Dear Windows notifications: FUCK THE HELL OFF!

    A YouTube livestream starts, and I want to comment on it.  It's on the computer to the left...  Yes, I do have five computers on my desk, do you not?  Anyway, on the right half of the computer to the left, and I go to leave a comment in chat.

    POP!  Notification that the livestream has started, blocking the chat window.

    Yes, thanks, go away so I can -

    POP!  Notification that a different livestream started eleven hours ago.

    I don't nee -

    POP!  Notification that a different livestream starts tomorrow at 4PM.


    POP!  POP!  POP!

    Calling it useless would be an offense to uselessness.

  • Mac is Mac and Pad is Pad and never the twain shall meet, except in the landfill.  (Tom's Hardware)

    In fact the two systems are rapidly converging into a single hermetically sealed hardware and software platform that only permits you do do what Apple currently deems socially beneficial.

    Still, there is the point that Apple refuses to support MacOS on the iPad, despite the hardware being identical, or to support touchscreens on the Mac.

  • Intel's Q1 earnings are essentially even with Q4 despite ongoing industry-wide component shortages.  (WCCFTech)

    And well above analyst expectations.  So the stock is down by 5% because none of this is even supposed to make sense.

  • Speaking of component shortages, you can't by a Land Rover.  (BBC)

    I mean, if you were planning to.  You can't.  Their two factories, employing 6000 people to make Land Rovers, Range Rovers, and Jaguars, are closed temporarily because they can't get the chips.

  • Courts have overturned the fraud and embezzlement conventions of dozens of British postmasters after it was proven that the accounting software was full of shit.  (BBC)

    And bugs.

    Hundreds of people were prosecuted in this farce and some have spent years in jail, and now - after more than a decade of legal battles - the entire thing has been thrown out.

  • If you have a QNAP NAS connected to the internet, patch it right now.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Or better yet, unplug that sucker.

  • Cascading containment failure.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Codecov - a continuous integration tool - got hacked, and didn't notice for weeks.

    That's okay, I don't use Codecov.

    But other people do, and the fact that Codecov got hacked means that they got hacked.

    Case in point: HashiCorp, creators of Terraform, a tool for managing multi-cloud operations.  At my day job we use AWS, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud, as well as our own servers.

    We don't use Terraform, because I don't trust anyone.  If I can't look inside the files and see what it's doing, it doesn't get deployed.

    But sooner or later I'm going to find that there was someone we did use to provide a key service and somewhere down the chain they did get hacked.  And then I'll have to consider our own servers hacked.

Macross Just Because Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Don't squeeze the.... Cucumber with legs mobile phone thingy.

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Friday, April 23


Daily News Stuff 23 April 2021

Return To PixyTown Edition

Top Story

  • Three weeks ago it was the Easter long weekend, I was kicking back, playing some Minecraft, configuring the brand new 128-core Epyc server we got at work...  Then the Fire Nation attacked.

    This is the first night I've had off since then.  Tomorrow I'm even planning to go outside.  That will be exciting.

The opening credits for the 10-episode Dirty Pair OVA series.  This was the 80s, when Japan had the money to do things like this, and also apparently the drugs.

Tech News

Disclaimer: LOVELY ANGELS!

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A Plague On Both Your Datacenters

So I now have two main servers - a Ryzen 3700X at WebNX in Utah, and a Xeon W-1290P at TMS in Dallas, each with 64GB RAM and ~3TB of SSD.

I'd like a 5900X, but they are nowhere to be found.  I would have settled for a 3900X, but it was out of stock right when I needed it.  It's back now - a bit more expensive, but with 128GB RAM and 4TB SSD, so probably worth the extra if I hadn't already got the Xeon.


I also have a central backup server with a RAID-Z pool.  It's at the same big datacenter complex in Dallas as the Xeon, but with a different hosting company.

Backing up from Utah to the main server in Dallas runs at around 40MB/sec.
Backing up from the main server in Dallas to the backup server runs at over 100MB/sec, since they're so close to each other.  Basically saturates 1GbE.
Backing up from Utah to the backup server runs at around 1MB/sec.

It uses the exact same route over Cogent as between the two main servers, but is 40x slower.


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Thursday, April 22


Daily News Stuff 22 April 2021

Flight Of The Tarantulas Edition

Top Story

Prepare for trouble...  Consultants.

Tech News

  • The Asus ZenBook 13 is a Ryzen 5800U laptop with an OLED screen and the four essential keys.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That processor has 8 CPU cores and what they call 8 GPU cores - also known as CU for cluster units.  16GB of LPDDR4-3733 RAM, 1TB of NVMe SSD, two USB-C ports, one USB-A, HDMI, and a microSD slot.

    What it doesn't have is a headphone jack because there is apparently a requirement carved into the bedrock of the laptop industry that they have to fuck something up on every single model.  It comes with a USB-C audio adapter, which is a pain but less of a problem with a laptop - where you carry it around in a bag anyway - than with a phone.

    We might forgive them that defect though because prices end at $999.  Typically laptops in this class start around that price and by the time you get up to the full configuration you're paying 60% more.  $999 is a good price for an 8-core laptop with an OLED screen.

  • I've called Docker the world's least efficient package manager, but that's not a fault of Docker's technology, but of it's philosophy.  As an example of how well it can work in the hands of competent people, here's a web server in a 6kB Docker container.  (DevOps Directive)

    That's quite small.  The baseline container they started with was 150,000 times larger.

  • WSLug lets you run Linux GUI applications on Windows.  (Bleeping Computer)

    This is currently a preview release but it's promising; as a developer I already find the ability to run Linux console apps on Windows extremely useful.

  • Europe is proposing strict regulations on the use of AI.  (New York Times)

    In particular they are proposing a ban on the use of facial recognition cameras in public spaces.  By private companies, that is.  The governments will keep right on doing that.

  • Russian communications regulator Rozkomnadzor has demanded that Instagram stop blocking the Russian national anthem.  (TorrentFreak)

    The DMCA takedown notices were apparently filed by a German TV show.

    Meanwhile the same agency has insisted that Google remove the blog page of a Ukrainian political party, because...  You know why.

  • Intel has defeated a $3 billion patent lawsuit filed by VLSI Technology.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This isn't the VLSI Technology, though.  That company - founded back in 1979 - was acquired by Philips in 1999 and later spun off again as part of NXP.

    This is a different company with the same name, founded by Japanese investment giant Softbank purely for the purpose of screwing over companies that actually do R&D.

    Fuck 'em.

Worst Chemical Video of the Day

It's yellow, so it already started out with double demerits.

Disclaimer: Once is happenstance.  Twice is coincidence.  Three times is a nitrogen compound.

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Wednesday, April 21


Daily News Stuff 21 April 2021

Akane, Akai, Akko: A Canal Edition

Top Story

  • Nothing is currently on fire, off-site backups are complete and up to date, main server is back in production, and we have a powerful new server to take over if anything goes wrong anywhere.

    So I'm probably going to get hit by a meteorite.

    Just in passing, my three largest servers are named Akane, Akai, and Akko.  This wasn't planned, it just happened.

Not an anime music video in the usual sense - this is a clip straight from the movie, Project Eden.

Tech News

  • Cerebras unveiled its new AI processor: 850,000 cores in 2.6 trillion transistors on a 46,225mm2 die using TSMC's 7nm process.  (AnandTech)

    These are by far the largest and most powerful chips ever produced by anyone, and as you might imagine, they are rather on the expensive side.  The previous model - not quite half as fast - sold for around $2 million.  Yes, each.

  • USB 4 is on its way.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Wait, isn't it already here?  No, that's Thunderbolt 4?  Okay.

    USB 4 is a faster version of USB 3.2 gen 2x2 that can transfer up to 40Gbps bidirectionally or 80Gbps in one direction - i.e. for video output.  It is also optionally compatible with Thunderbolt 3 - not 4 - and it's only optional because the USB Type C connector didn't have enough signal variants already.

    One standard plug for all purposes, but you have no idea what it can actually do.  Could be anything from 480Mbps to 40Gbps.  But at least it doesn't have 540° rotational symmetry like USB Type A.

  • Apple's new Magic Mouse may arrive in different shades of gray.  (WCCFTech)

    Charging port is still on the bottom, because fuck you, that's why.

  • Details of Intel's Alder Lake-S Xeon W-1400 series have leaked.  (WCCCFTech)

    This is two generations beyond the server that I just set up this morning.  However, the first of those two generations is already out and it is - to quote reviewers - "shit" and "a waste of sand" so the next generation has its work cut out.

    The W-1400 range will have up to 16 cores - the W-1290P I just got has ten - but only eight of those cores are any good.  The other eight are low-power cores for light laptop use, and are basically worthless on a server.  In particularly, spreading load across all cores would give horribly inconsistent application performance, and a task stuck on a slow core could block one on a fast core.

    I'm sure kernel developers are working hard to mitigate that nonsense - Apple already ships this kind of architecture in their M1 MacBook and Mac Mini - but far better to just not put it in servers in the first place.

  • Mongita is to MongoDB as Mongita is to MongoDB.  (GitHub)

    The project uses the example of SQLite and MySQL but that's not really accurate.  SQLite is a robust library that is used everywhere.  You probably have a hundred copies of it already; I think their latest stats were that there were about a trillion SQLite databases in existence.

    Mongita is MongoDB compatible but designed for development and testing - you can code against MongoDB without having to set up a server.

    And remember, MongoDB is web scale.

  • The M1 iMac is here, apparently.  (Six Colors)

    I totally missed this because I totally don't give a shit.  It has an eight core CPU - actually four fast cores and four slow cores, as I mentioned above, a 24" 4.5K screen, okay, comes in seven colours, and has eight fucking gigs of fucking RAM.

    My 2015 iMac has 32GB and can be upgraded to 64GB.  Every standard PC sold today can be upgraded to 128GB, if it either has four memory slots or enough headroom for taller, double capacity modules.  8GB is for mid-range phones, not desktop computers.

  • The new iPad Pro has the same CPU as the new iMac and up to 16GB of RAM.  (The Verge)

    The iMac is probably available in a 16GB model too, but (a) it should start there and (b) nothing I could see on Apple's store indicated that such was the case.

    Yeah, it does come in a 16GB model.  (Mr Macintosh)

    The 2019 27" iMac is user-upgradeable to 128GB.  The new iMac is not.

  • Discord says no, launches IPO.  (

    Microsoft reportedly offered them $12 billion, but in a market where a shuttered New York deli can be valued at $100 million, Discord thought they could probably get more.

  • Hackers are exploiting a Pulse Secure 0-day to breach orgs around the world.  (Ars Technica)

    Who is doing what?  Oh, Pulse Secure is a VPN service, apparently one in trouble right now because there are a dozen different families of malware exploiting it.

    I wonder if that is in any way connected with the bizarre wave of malformed HTTP requests that bombarded this site last night.  The notable factor was that similar requests were coming from datacenters all over the world, with no obvious common factor.  The hidden common factor could be an insecure VPN.

  • Geico sprung a leak.  (Tech Crunch)

    Their web site was coughing up other customers' license numbers from January 21 through to March 1.

Essential Minecraft Mods Video of the Day

Kiara Reacts to Haachama Cooking Video of the Day

Our new server in Dallas is named Akai after crazy Aussie sheila Akai Haato, also known as Haachama.  Late last year she left Australia and returned to Japan, but on her very next video stream she cooked and ate...  Well, for the gentle of stomach I'm presenting it one step removed.

Disclaimer: You can take the sheila out of Australia, but you can't take Australia out of the sheila, particularly if she has Amazon Prime.

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Mee.Nu Welcomes Careful Haatons

A long time ago, I set a rule for the host names I use around here.
  • Anime schoolgirls
  • Whose names are colours
  • With supernatural powers
  • Who are the main characters in eponymous shows

Sometimes I cheat a bit because there's not that many that hit all the requirements.  Sakura of Cardcaptor Sakura, yes, and Midori of Midori no Hibi.  But I've also used Mikan from Gakuen Alice, Aoi from Ai Yori Aoshi, Kurumi from Steel Angel Kurumi, and Akane from Ranma Â½.

Our brand new server is named Akai.

As in Akai Haato.

As in Haachama.

Anime?  Yes, Hololive Graffiti is one of the top rated shows on MyAnimeList.
Schoolgirl?  She just graduated high school here in Australia four months ago, so yes to that.
Name is a colour?  Yes, her name translates to Red Heart.
Supernatural powers?  She escaped from Australia during a lockdown and ate a tarantula live on YouTube.  Check.
Main characters in eponymous shows?  Ye - Dammit she changed it back.

Don't care.  Welcome Akai!

The virtual servers on a given host are named after the other girls in the show, which in this case gives me (currently) 43 to choose from, including Haachama, because the server is named Akai.



I mean, at my day job we just got a 128-core Epyc system.  I can't even take a screenshot of that one.  But this one is mine.  Ours.  Yes, that's what I meant, ours.  Totally.

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Tuesday, April 20


Daily News Stuff 20 April 2021

New New New New New New York Edition

Top Story

  • After being gone for nearly two weeks, our main server was back on line for only two days before another storm caused another power outage and took it down again.

    They've evidently got backup power working again for part of the datacenter, because the servers we have there for my day job didn't even hiccup, but our server was down for about five hours.

    And the switch it was attached to was down for about eight, so I couldn't reach it even after it came back on line.  When I was finally able to connect it had already been up for hours.

    Long story short, we're getting a second main server, in Dallas, close to this one. Specs are:

    • Intel W-1290P - 10 cores, 5.3GHz
    • 64GB RAM
    • 1TB + 2TB NVMe drives (it was a special deal, and adding a 2TB drive cost the same as upgrading the main drive to 2TB)

    Similar CPU performance, memory, and storage to our existing main server.  About 20% faster single-threaded but only nominally faster multi-threaded, despite having ten cores to the current server's eight.  At full load it throttles pretty hard.

    On the other hand, it's a lot faster than this server.  Thanks to the recycling of part numbers, we're upgrading from a Xeon 1240 to a Xeon 1290 and getting 4x the performance.

    I could have got two six core, 32GB servers for the same price as one ten core, 64GB server.  But what I've learned this week is that it doesn't help having lots of small servers if all the work is landing on just one of them.

    Update: New datacenter is 2.5ms away from this one and transfer rates are about 40MBps on a test file.  And this server is kind of slow; it would probably be faster with a decent server at this end.

    Not as close as SSDNodes which is clearly located in the same building, but not bad.

    Update to the above update: Apparently they are in the same building.  It's just a very, very large building.  Well, and we must be exiting to the internet and coming back in, where the route to SSDNodes is staying local.

    Yet another update:

    processor: 19
    vendor_id: GenuineIntel
    cpu family: 6
    model: 165
    model name: Intel(R) Xeon(R) W-1290P CPU @ 3.70GHz
    stepping: 5
    microcode: 0xe0
    cpu MHz: 800.211
    cache size: 20480 KB

Back by popular demand.  By demand, anyway.  Well, someone asked for it.

Tech News

  • Fortunately before the main server went away again I spent all of Sunday wrestling with LXD backup schemes for large database-driven containers.  In the end I got something that looked like it would work, and copied the resulting files off to two other locations, but I didn't actually get to check it out.

    In theory, an LXD backup is a GZipped Tar archive of a snapshot of the server - the Linux / Unix world's equivalent of a Zip file.  But what is it really?  What do you see when you look inside that file?

    Turns out you see exactly what it should be in theory.  Maybe I'm getting cynical in my early middle age, but that came as a pleasant surprise.

  • A billion dollars in funding for two AI startups.  (AnandTech)

    So what are these companies doing that is actually useful?  Cameras that fix your terrible photos, okay, that's one thing.  Anything else?  Teslas that crash into things because the driver is sitting in the back seat eating pizza?  Netflix recommendations that are so utterly useless that I cancelled my account?

  • The Corsair One a200 is small, quiet, fast, and expensive.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It includes a Ryzen 5900X processor and an Nvidia RTX 3080 graphics card, both high-end parts and very hard - and expensive - to find by themselves, with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD.  So while this $3799 system bears a substantial markup over list price for the components, it's not such a bad deal compared to the market price - if you can find the individual components at all.

    It's a mini-ITX system so expansion is pretty limited.  You can't actually add anything; you'd have to swap out the existing SSD or RAM for larger versions.  And if you think you might ever want to do that, you're much better off moving up to the $4199 model, which provides a Ryzen 5950X, the same RTX 3080, 64GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD.

  • Barking dogs, screaming babies, band practice, and now IoT devices.  (devRant)

    This guy's neighbours have so many IoT devices that they render WiFi unusable for everyone around them.

  • Sony will not be shutting down the online stores for PS3 and PS Vita games just yet.  (CNet)

    I think this comes as a response to the rising noise about "CBomb", the flaw that means if - rather, when - your CMOS battery expires and needs to be replaced, all your games including the ones you own on physical media become unplayable until you connect back to the PlayStation Network.  If Sony shuts down online support for your console, sooner or later it will simply become an expensive brick.

    They are still stopping new sales of games for the PlayStation Portable, but are retaining online support and will allow existing purchases to be re-downloaded.

Good Luck Trying to Get a New Yorker Out of a Rent-Controlled Apartment Video of the Day

The Joys of Apple Design Video of the Day

The MacBook Pro has four Thunderbolt ports, any of which can be used for charging, so that if one of them fails for any reason, you can just switch to another port and keep right on working.

LOL/JK.  If any of them fails, they all stop working.  Because fuck you, that's why.

Disclaimer: Offer void where prohibited by law.  Also where not prohibited by law.  Offer void.  Fuck the offer anyway.  Whose dumb idea was this?

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Monday, April 19


Daily News Stuff 19 April 2021

And Then There Were None Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Was looking for a second main server to pair with the current main server.  Found one last night that fit the requirements but cost a bit more than I wanted to spend.  Went back this morning after deciding that it was probably worth the price and it's gone.


    Meanwhile, trying out Amazon's cold storage for backups.  At 1.5¢ per GB it's as cheap as you'll find anywhere and seems to work okay at my day job.  The question is, can a cheap little t2.micro server copy with the stress of rsync and ZFS, or is it going to throttle me to death?

  • AMD's Van Gogh processors are aimed squarely at the low end of the laptop market.  (WCCFTech)

    These have Zen 2 cores - last year's version - and latest generation RDNA 2 graphics.  The Cezanne parts for mid-to-high-end laptops have current model Zen 3 CPU cores but older Vega graphics.  I'm guessing this is because there hasn't been time yet for the separate CPU and graphics teams at AMD to bring their latest designs together.

  • Renaming the nanometers.  (EEJournal)

    Not the SI unit of length itself, but how we talk about new semiconductor process nodes.  Apple's M1 Arm chip is built on TSMC's latest 5nm node, but that's all marketing.  Nothing about the 5nm node is actually 5nm.  The names for new process nodes haven't matched the physical measurements for twenty years.

    Which is good in a way, because if the chips were really built at a scale of 5nm they wouldn't work due to quantum effects.  Because it's just marketing nonsense, they expect to get down to around 1.2nm before the chips start to fail.

  • An Nginx cheat sheet.  (Hashnode)

    For when you have to set up a proxy server in fifteen minutes at 2AM.

    What?  That's never happened to you?  How odd.  Happens to me at least once a month.

    Needs to add caching though.

  • Even Wordpress is automatically disabling Google FLoC.  (Bleeping Computer)

    This turkey is getting deader by the day.  It's wonderful to see an industry come together for a moment over something that stinks so bad that no-one can bear to go near it.

  • Death by stupidity.  (Click2Houston)
    No-one was driving the car, officials say.
    How could that possibly have turned out badly?

  • Even a dead squirrel can get hit on the head by an acorn: China and Huawei are proposing a redesign of the internet to go with 6G mobile networks.  (Just Security)

    And when they say redesign they mean taking Orwell's nightmares and seasoning them with Kafka's fever dreams.  And they're working with the UN - specifically the International Telecommunications Union - to bring this dystopian digital concentration camp to reality.

    Problem for them is that the ITU has no say whatsoever about how the internet is run.  That's up to the IETF, which views the ITU with the same friendly camaraderie as a seagull with half a chicken nugget views another seagull.

    I can't recommend that site generally - in fact some of their content is mind-meltingly stupid - but they got this one right.

Anime Music Videos of the Day

Regular readers of my blog will have seen these, but they'll be new to - oh, hi regular readers, did I mention I'm cross-posting these to Ace of Spades now?

Disclaimer: Error 444 joke already used.

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Sunday, April 18


Daily News Stuff 18 April 2021

LXC Export Considered Harmful Edition

Top Story

  • The main server is up and running again, but not live yet because I'm taking the opportunity to do software maintenance while no-one is using it.

    One of the things that worried me was that I didn't have a recent, complete off-site backup of the system; the most recent one was over a month old.  That's because the server is configured with LXD virtualisation, which has two backup methods

    • Snapshots which are fast and efficient and generally wonderful, but are stored on the main system disk (in our case, a large SSD).
    • Exports which are none of that, but turn your virtual server into a single portable backup file that you can restore onto any other LXD system.

    So we had plenty of on-site snapshots, and manual off-site backups, but not automated exports because it's something of a pain.

    With the server back but not in use I have configured exports, and discovered they are much more of a pain than I had ever suspected.  If you have a container with mixed applications and databases and a bunch of snapshots and you try to export it, expect it to flatten the system for hours and use massive amounts of storage.

    And there's no progress bar, not even a Microsoft one that sometimes goes into reverse.

    And you can't cancel it.

    So back to the drawing board on that one; I'll need to write a custom backup script.

    Update: If you value your sanity, use --instance-only and do something else to hang on to snapshots if you must.  19 minutes with that option, three hours and counting without it, before I found a sneaky way to cancel it.  (Pro tip: Kill the compression process, and the backup process will abort and clean up properly.)

    Update to the above update: Or use --optimized-storage.  Nowhere is it documented what this option actually does.  What it does is prevent the snapshot explosion.  I'm not sure yet if it does it at the file level or the block level; with database containers the file level would be rather less useful.  Using this does mean that you can only restore from a ZFS backed LXD node to a another ZFS backed node, but you'd be crazy not to use ZFS with LXD anyway.

    What idiot decided that hyphens were a useful character to include in YouTube video IDs?

Tech News

  • Thanks for the bonus, I quit.  (Substack)

    Ill-considered incentive schemes can be more destructive than not having any incentives at all.  In this case causing delays and bugs and increasing stress to the point that engineers resigned despite being paid a bonus.

    Engineers care about making good products.  They'll work unpaid overtime to make good products.  But they'll quit en mass if you ask them to come in on weekends to help meet the quarterly target.

  • Twitter was suffering from a worldwide outage.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I missed this, apparently.  I was busy teaching anteaters to play Bach.

  • Microsoft has fixed that bug that would irreparably trash your entire filesystem if you simply opened a certain magic folder.  (Bleeping Computer)

    And 107 other bugs.  Update time!

  • There's a tiny problem lurking in Sony's PlayStation 5.  And PlayStation 4.  And PlayStation 3.

    If the CMOS battery goes flat, all your games stop working.  Including the ones you own on physical media.

    If you have a PlayStation 5, you can replace the battery, connect it to the internet, resync to the PlayStation Network, and your games start working again.

    But Sony is going to stop supporting the PlayStation 3 on PSN, and then the PlayStation 4, and eventually the PlayStation 5.  And then it's only a matter of time before all your games including the ones you own on physical media can no longer be played.

  • Compressed backup has just passed 600GB - for a 70GB container.  Ugh.

  • Comparing Intel's 11600K with AMD's 5600X.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Intel's high-end 11th generation parts are, in the words of Hardware Unboxed, shit, and in the words of Gamer's Nexus, a waste of sand.  And AMD's high-end 5th generation parts are simply out of stock.

    But what about their mid-range six-core parts?

    They're readily available and relatively affordable.  Intel is actually cheaper than AMD, and although not quite as fast, it's a matter of percentage points.  In single-threaded tasks the Intel chip can actually pull ahead.

    The big difference is in power consumption.  The AMD part is rated at 65W and sticks to that pretty closely; the Intel part is rated at 125W but can go well above that.  That means more noise and heat; you might want to spend the money you save on an after-market cooler.

    On the third hand, the Intel chip has an integrated GPU - not a very fast one, but it's there - so if you can't get your hands on a graphics card you can at least use your system to watch YouTube videos of other people playing games.  None of the AMD 5000-series parts currently available at retail have built-in graphics.

    Intel also offers the 11400 and 11500 if you want to shave off a few more dollars; in fact, the 11500 looks like the best price-performance point out of the three.  The 11400 CPU is only slightly slower, but the on-chip GPU is cut down by 25%.

  • Nvidia's RTX 3080 Ti is headed to a retailer near you.  (Tom's Hardware)

    We don't mean the product range here.  We mean one card.  Which will mysteriously disappear in shipping.

  • Hard drives and SSDs are next.  (Tom's Hardware)

    There's a new cryptocurrency called Chia whose sole aim is apparently to prevent you from buying storage.  GPUs are gone, CPUs are in short supply, so they needed to figure out what to target next to ruin everyone else's lives.

  • On the other hand, Bitcoin mining rates have crashed due to rolling blackouts in China for a "comprehensive power outage safety inspection" in Xinjiang province.  (Nasdaq)

    Xinjiang is where the Uyghurs live, so "comprehensive power outage safety inspection" is quite possibly code for something unspeakable.

  • Lenovo also offers a tiny 10 core 35W system.  (Serve the Home)

    Or rather, a Tiny 10 core 35W system - the ThinkCenter M90q Tiny.

    This one is not passively cooled though.

  • Maybe Instagram for kids is not such a great idea.  (CCFC)

    And maybe hippos make poor housepets.

    Buzzfeed had an earlier, idiocy-filled announcement of the project.

  • Facebook, bucking five thousand years of human history, is letting governments lie to and manipulate their citizens.  (The Guardian)

    This has never happened before and something must be done.

  • A 21-year-old Australian physics student accidentally solved a key problem in quantum computing.  (ABC - the Australian one)

    This happens from time to time.  A student in mathematics or physics is assigned a tough homework question and answers it, not knowing that people have been trying and failing to solve the problem for twenty years.

    I suspect this is being oversold, though; I'll have to read the paper and see if it's really all that groundbreaking.

  • Nobody ever got fined for filing bullshit DMCA takedowns.  (TorrentFreak)

    It is technically a felony* but I don't think it has ever been pursued as such, and rarely even followed up in civil action.  In this case, RightsHero (who?) filed the bullshit notices on behalf of VuClip (who?) and targeted pages owned by actual real organisations including NASA and the BBC.

    Thousands of pages and even entire websites were listed in the notice.  Google rejected many of the takedowns but even so list of affected sites from this one takedown notice runs to twelve pages.

    * After feedback in the comments I looked this up, and it's only potentially a felony if you send a takedown notice for somebody else's work, not if your notice is just plain bullshit.

  • Compressed backup has passed 720GB of temporary storage.  If it goes much further it won't have room to copy to the backup directory.  I can't cancel it, but I'm going to anyway.

What Google Did Video of the Day

In short: Illegally spied on your children.

O Canada Video of the Day

Viva Frei - David Freiheit - lives in Montreal and has been posting regularly about the utter insanity of the police state there.  Now he's turning his attention to Ontario, which is, if anything, worse.

Disclaimer: Melbourne.  It's not just a place, it's a pathology.

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