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

Friday, September 24

Geek

Daily News Stuff 24 September 2021

Circling The Drain Edition

Top Story

  • I got to load 1595 web pages last night and manually click a button on each because a certain company's API no longer works.


  • Meanwhile not only is Melbourne sending the stormtroopers after anyone in a high-vis jacket, they are sending the brownshirts after Twitch livestreams of said stormtroopers to prevent the government propaganda efforts being punctured.

    Time for an intervention, if not a visitation.


  • Facebook allegedly volunteered to pay a $5 billion FTC fine as a payoff to keep the agency quiet.  (Ars Technica)

    A shareholder lawsuit says that the maximum fine was a little over $100 million - which would put a dent in your pocketbook or mine but would be insignificant to Big Tech, and Facebook accepted a much larger fine just to hush it all up.

    Seems plausible.  They suck.



Tech News

  • What is the point of a 200MP camera sensor when the red pixels are smaller than the wavelength of red light?  Not much.  (AnandTech)

    The physics are a bit more complicated than that, and the layout means that you can easily get 50MP or 12.5MP images out of it, but 200MP isn't really going to work even for a sensor that is quite large for a phone camera.


  • The EU is pushing the enforce USB-C as a standard phone connector.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Well, it's better than mini-USB, which was large and clunky, or micro-USB, which was fragile and clunky.

    At the high end the list of features a USB-C port might support is incomprehensibly complicated, but if you just want 10W or 20W of power and USB 2.0 data rates you shouldn't have any problems.


  • There's another three vulnerabilities in iOS.  (Habr)

    Data at risk includes:
    • medical information (heart rate, count of detected atrial fibrillation and irregular heart rhythm events)

    • menstrual cycle length, biological sex and age, whether user is logging sexual activity, cervical mucus quality, etc.

    What?


  • Minecraft Dungeons is now on Steam.  (Thurrott.com)

    Unfortunately it doesn't involve mining or crafting, it's just a blocky version of Diablo.


  • Twitter is adding Bitcoin tipping to its authoritarian digital hellscape.  (Bloomberg)

    There is nothing on Twitter that is worth a Bitcoin transaction fee, much less the tip.  Unless they let you bid to have other people's accounts suspended.  They could make billions that way.


  • California just signed their Fuck you Amazon bill into law.  (The Verge)

    It targets Amazon's abusive working conditions and obsessive control.  Very much a let's you and him fight situation.


  • Now that I have a new computer - still in its box, but I have it - the monitor I wanted is out of stock again.  The LG 27UP850-W, which is a 27" 4K model with USB-C input for my laptop, DisplayPort, HDMI, a 95% DCI-P3 colour gamut, HDR, speakers, a USB hub, Freesync, and a tilt/pivot/height adjustable stand without being horribly overpriced.

    Just can't actually get it.


Disclaimer: There's always a catch.

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World

A Tale Of Two Cities

Sydney


We're still under lockdown - likely for another three to four weeks - and pubs are closed.  But you're allowed to get together in small groups outdoors since there's much less spread.

So the government did something sensible and lifted alcohol bans in a lot of inner-city parks.


Melbourne


Police are scouring a park - including air support - after a report that two people were spotted wearing high-visibility safety vests.

And the Victorian government is getting its brownshirts to mass-report any online stream of the protests to get it taken down.

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World

Instructions Unclear. Did That, Got Banned


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Thursday, September 23

Geek

Daily News Stuff 23 September 2021

Dictator Dan Edition

Top Story

  • Knock at the door and the sound of a package being left while I was busy on a video conference.  I assumed it was either the new glasses I ordered or the Dell laptop that I've been waiting on for, hmm, four weeks to the day.

    It was both.

    Which is great because I've been having increasing trouble with both my old PC and my old glasses.


  • If you have been following the protests in Melbourne at all, you should be aware that everything the Victoria state government says is a lie, everything the police say is a lie, and almost everything the mainstream media says is a lie.

    Sometimes it's the same lie, but sometimes it's mutually contradictory lies.

    ...

    Okay, this space unintentionally left blank.  The account that was live-tweeting all the Melbourne protests has just erased their Twitter history.

    You'd think if there had been an attack (the discussion of which is now gone) there would be video all over the place but Dictator Dan has banned live video from Melbourne.

    What we do have evidence of is this:



    World's most liveable city, ladies and gentlemen.

    Fortunately the federal courts aren't having it.



    Unfortunately the news networks are worthless.


Tech News

  • Microsoft's new Surface lineup is here.  (AnandTech)

    Looks like the leak was legit.

    The Surface Pro 8 has a 2880x1920 13" display (why not 3000x2000?) with a quad core CPU and up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.  The SSD appears to be a tiny M.2 2230 unit that is user-replaceable, which is a nice improvement over the usual state of everything being glued in place.  If you buy the low-end 128GB model you can upgrade it yourself, except you can't because the biggest M.2 2230 cards you can find at retail are 128GB.

    It also has two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headphone jack, but no microSD slot because we can't have nice things.

    There's also a new Surface Laptop model which has a flippy hinge so that the screen lies flat on top of the keyboard in tablet mode, and a Surface Pro X which is Arm-based and sucks.


  • There's also a Surface Duo 2.  (Thurrott.com)

    Microsoft's dual-screen Android phone is still expensive but at least it now has near-flagship specs, with a Snapdragon 888, 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of storage.


  • The article doesn't mention the password used this time but we can guess.  (Bleeping Computer)

    A second farming co-op has been hit with ransomware - despite being on the list of industries that Russia should not attack.



  • If you're running a really old Android device - before 6.0 - it's time to install Firefox.  (Tech Crunch)

    Let's Encrypt's old root certificate is expiring at the end of the month.  They already have a new one, but Android versions through 5.0 don't know about it and can't be updated.

    Firefox has its own certificate registry, though, and will continue to work.


Disclaimer: Believe half of what you hear and nothing that you see.

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Wednesday, September 22

World

Slap Me On The Ass And Call Me Sweden

The NSW state government came in for scathing criticism over being slow to enforce lockdowns in the latest Bat Flu outbreak, and lax when it did so.

Victoria's lockdowns were swift and harsh.



And resulted in a much steeper climb in cases - twice as many cases in the first seven weeks - and reportedly (I haven't checked on this) twice the hospitalisation rate.

Meanwhile:



The Branch Covidians immediately prove him right in the replies.

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Geek

Daily News Stuff 22 September 2021

Beware The Ides Of Whenvember Edition

Top Story

  • So I'm banned from Twitter again.  They have at least sped up the appeals process.  Where it used to take a week for a bot to automatically reject your appeal, it now takes less than 24 hours.

    I only really used it to mock the stupid - because that's where they congregate - and it turns out the stupid didn't appreciate it.


  • Specifically I was banned for suggesting that Comrade Dan Andrews - Premier of Victoria - should resign or be thrown into a volcano, whichever works.  And this morning Melbourne got hit by a 5.6 earthquake, so while Twitter might have banned me it appears that someone was listening.

    Oh, and despite the earthquake the tradies were on the march again - and Comrade Dan banned the news networks from filming the protest from the air.  That's because they want to keep up the propaganda effort that it's a small group of Neo-Nazis, and that lie dies instantly when you see the extent of the protests from above.

    (Also dies instantly when you see the large Sikh contingent.)


  • If you're a farm service provider don't use chicken1 as your password.  (ZDNet)

    Make it chicken123 next time.  Get the hackers to put in a little effort.

Tech News


Disclaimer: Chicken125.

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Geek

The Other News Stuff 22 September 2021


So what's going on with the protests in Melbourne today - oh.



If you've seen the crowds you might have noticed a strong Sikh presence.  This propaganda is insultingly stupid and absolutely vile.



Volcanoes are too good for him.

Update: Walk like an authoritarian:



History doesn't repeat, but it reverberates.

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Tuesday, September 21

Rant

That Will Free Up Some Time

Twitter elected to close my account again.

http://ai.mee.nu/images/NukedAgain.PNG?size=480x&q=95

Yes, that got me banned.

Which I don't mind so much except that there is some content on Twitter that isn't garbage.


Update: Well, they've at least sped up the process in which a broken Perl script rejects your appeal.  Used to take a week.

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Geek

Daily News Stuff 21 September 2021

Hoarders And Wreckers Local 380 Edition

Top Story

  • The Southerly Kerfuffle continues: After the weekend protest in Melbourne, the Victorian state government - which recently lost in a pub quiz to a plate of sandwiches - decided to shut down all construction sites and throw the workers out of, well, work.

    Instantly creating an army with nothing better to do than protest.  Every.  Single.  Day.



    Long, long thread.  News outlets, politicians, their own union leaders, and other assorted communists first tried to play down the size of the protest, and then, after  the center of Melbourne had been shut down for several hours, decided that they were all Nazis, probably come from overseas just to stir up trouble.

    Yes, they booked their flights two weeks ahead and sat around in quarantine all that time because they knew on the 4th that the Victorian state government was going to shut down building sites on the 18th.

    Our politicians up here in Sydney can certainly be heavy-handed and I would like nothing better than to never see any of them disgrace my TV screen ever again, but they can't come close to the self-destructive idiocy of the mob running Melbourne. 

    Case in point: Construction sites will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity in Sydney again, even though we've had more Bat Flu cases recently and fewer protests.


  • Senate Democrats are calling for the FTC to pass privacy regulations because they are incapable of writing coherent legislation.  (The Verge)

    I'm not sure the federal government needs to get involved here, since California already has, and everyone is already failing to live up to those rules.



Tech News



Anime Girls With Surprising Voices Video of the Day One

I'm not surprised that they can sing well; that's a major factor that comes up in their auditions.  (Though some of them can't hit a note with a baseball bat.)  The surprise comes with the difference between their speaking voices and their vocal range when singing.



Pina Pengin is with Prism Project, a smaller agency that only launched this year.  Genuinely fun and talented and underappreciated.


Anime Girls With Surprising Voices Video of the Day Two

Towa from Hololive Gen 4 (the same generation as Coco) already has a deep speaking voice for a five-foot-nothing Japanese girl, but her vocals are something else.




Anime Girls Sing Bonus Video of the Day

Just tripped over this one from the early days of Hololive ID.



It's fun if you know them, but they can all sing better than that.  Moona sings like a Disney princess, and Risu sings like an entire choir of Disney princesses.  I guess the ID branch didn't have the resources back then to do what the JP branch did with the same song.



Rule One of Hololive: Luna never breaks character.

Four of the members don't sing in that one, all for reasons perfectly in character: Korone and Fubuki were sleeping after prior commitments that kept them up all night, Coco didn't get the memo, and Haachama was trapped in Australia.


Here's a more recent example with all six of the current ID members.






Disclaimer: Po pi po pi po!

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Monday, September 20

Geek

Daily News Stuff 20 September 2021

Worm Dehorser Edition

Top Story


Tech News

  • Xata is a serverless database for serverless apps.  (Xata.io)

    Serverless is one more step of wishful thinking beyond cloud.  There's no serverless, there's just someone else's servers and you have no control over what happens on them.


  • People said I was mad to embed SMB in the kernel, but I embedded it all the same.  It sank into the swamp.  (Phoronix)

    It has - surprising no-one - a security vulnerability.  Involving .. which is the first thing you check when handling a file path on Unix-like systems.

    And the patch to fix that has a buffer overflow bug.


  • You can no longer run Windows 11 in VirtualBox.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Funny thing, I was checking my desktop system for that AMD chipset driver bug yesterday, and I noticed that it has TPM 2.0, the critical requirement for running Windows 11.

    I still can't run Windows 11 because it doesn't support my CPU either.


  • The Surface Pro 8 may or may not have leaked.  (Thurrott.com)

    It will be announced in two days so the chance of accurate leaks right now is high, but there's limited information of dubious provenance, so taking this with a bucket of salt for now.


Disclaimer: Of all the salt mines, in all the deserts, in all the world, she falls into mine.

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