Sunday, July 18


Daily News Stuff 18 July 2021

Why Though Edition

Top Story

Anime of the day is Sakura Quest from 2017.  It's the story of Yoshino, a princess who returns as an adult to the kingdom she left as a child, after the populace begs her to become queen and restore the country's failing economy.

Only...  It turns out they were thinking of someone else and she got the job by mistake.

It's a really well-crafted slice of life show.  Relatively few explosions here, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

There's no OVA, no movie, no spin-offs for this one, but none are needed.  The story begins at the beginning and goes on until the end.

Tech News

  • HP makes some nice laptops that fit my needs perfectly.  Four essential keys, 4K displays, 8 core Intel or AMD CPUs, dedicated graphics, upgradeable memory.  A fully-upgraded Envy 15 for example runs about $2400.

    In Australia the best I can get is last year's model, in just one configuration, at A$6000 - close to $4500.

    Because fuck you, that's why.

  • Lenovo's new  Yoga AIO 7 will feature Radeon 6600M graphics.  (WCCFTech)

    With a 4K screen - that even pivots to vertical if you want - covering 99% of DCI-P3, and an 8 core AMD laptop CPU, it looks like it could be a great replacement for my aging twin Dell Inspiron 27s.  And with laptop components replacing the desktop parts it should run cool and quiet.

    Can I actually get one in Australia?  Or even last year's model?

    Don't be silly.

  • AMD will be launching Epyc Genoa parts with integrated HBM (high bandwidth memory) unless they won't.  (WCCFTech)

    This is aimed at upcoming Intel CPUs which are in turn aimed at the supercomputer market.

    The article also mentions the reason for the confusion as to whether next-gen Epyc CPUs would have 96 or 128 cores is that the answer is yes.  Genoa models will go up to 96 cores, and Bergamo up to 128.  Same socket and same CPU chiplets, just more of them squeezed in on Bergamo.

    There are also stacked-cache versions coming of both of those, and the upcoming Chagall Zen 3 Threadrippers as well, so up to 1.5GB just of cache on the highest-end parts.

  • A review of the great UK Post Office "embezzlement" debacle.  (ACM)

    700 Post Office workers were prosecuted because of a buggy accounting system.
    They were sentenced based on evidence from an IT system, which... ehhh... to be honest, we don't actually know what that IT system did, except we know it did it really, really badly.
    The article argues for IT review boards similar to those for plane crashes, and while I'm against new government agencies generally, when a public system fails this badly, I support the idea of an equally public tarring and feathering.

  • Installing z/OS on your laptop.  (Colin Paice)

    Step 1: Fork over $5000 for a single-user developer license.
    Step 2: Wait two weeks for your USB security key to arrive.
    Step 3: Wonder why you didn't just go with BSD.

  • Hello Kitty is attacking SonicWall.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Even the US government is now heeding my advice: Unplug that shit now.

  • Google has extended its deadline for forcing apps to use their in-house payment processing for all in-app purchases after getting hit with an anti-trust lawsuit over exactly that sort of shit.  (

    Note that Apple does this already.

  • Fascism is the marriage of government and corporate power to produce a single authoritarian entity.

    Not all marriages run smooth, though.  (The Verge)
    Reached for comment, a Facebook representative defended the platform’s record of fighting vaccine misinformation. "We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by the facts,” said a Facebook spokesperson. "The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine.”

    "The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives,” the spokesperson continued. "Fuck you, Joe, you senile old bastard.  We made you.  We can unmake you.  Don't print that.”

  • Rumours of our doom are greatly exaggerated.  (IEEE Spectrum)

    We might not be about to be wiped out by climate change after all.  Huh.  Who'da thunk.  I mean, except everyone.

  • The Freedom Phone is an Umidigi A9 hastily rebadged.  (PC Magazine)

    And marked up 300%.

    Yeah, the guy who wrote the article is an asshole, but so is the guy hawking fake phones.

Audits Don't Work So It's Time to Audit the Audit Video of the Day

The squeaky wheel gets the audit.

Sashimi Clip of Kiara Reacting to a Sashimi Clip of Calli and Gura Reacting to Kiara Reacting to Calli and Gura Wrecking Her Minecraft Village Video of the Day

I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I DON'T GOT IT!

Disclaimer: No, seriously, why?

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:32 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 961 words, total size 9 kb.

1 The fact that you can't buy the laptop you want confuses me. If you go to the HP or Lenovo web site, they won't sell you one? Is it some kind of export restriction, or is some stupid licensing that there is a distributor that has rights to AUS, and doesn't bother to sell those models? If you got someone in the US to buy one and ship it to you, is that just a royal pain, or actually illegal?

Posted by: David Eastman at Sunday, July 18 2021 07:51 PM (t/97R)

2 It's certainly possible - our own post office has a US based service to redirect deliveries from companies that don't or won't ship internationally.  But I'd probably end up with no warranty.  Just a nuisance I'd rather avoid.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, July 18 2021 11:38 PM (PiXy!)

3 "Even with all this progress, though, we’re still on a trajectory to severe climate change: a 3 °C rise by 2100.  Many countries are not meeting the emissions reductions they pledged in the 2015 Paris Agreement."
C-f China returned 0 hits, so this article needn't be taken seriously.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, July 19 2021 03:02 AM (eqaFC)

4 Please presume I said something unprintable in response to the mention of the Paris Accord. Really not a fan of the AGW 'hypothesis'.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, July 19 2021 12:48 PM (6y7dz)

5 I largely - though not uncritically - accept the AGW hypothesis, and also tend towards the unprintable when it comes to the Paris Accords.

You have to appreciate the scale of the grift though.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, July 19 2021 06:15 PM (PiXy!)

6 Three inherent issues with the AGW hypothesis, and one circumstantial issue. 

1.  The two highest frequency modes of thermal cycle are clearly linked to the sun, shouldn't we investigate solar variation more before concluding that lower frequency modes treat sun as a constant?  (a.k.a check out the dual dynamo model.  Also, solar simulations are a little bit numerically challenging.)

2.  Okay, are these standards of thermal measurement and thermal modeling really appropriate given the impact on human welfare?  In truth, the killer issue here is not so much the thermodynamics/heat transfer as it is fluid mechanics.   Climate Science grew its methods out of meteorology.  Meteorology's methods are fairly different from how the engineering disciplines handle fluid mechanics.  Meteorology may be sparser and necessarily narrower than engineering fluid mechanics.  Engineering fluid mechanics is a lot more of a patchwork that /requires/ empirical testing than is first apparent.  At climate scale, some of the validating fluid mechanics experiments are a little difficult.  Which is a problem if those are actually necessary. 

This is an issue that is less obvious to electrical engineers, because even electromagnetics simulations are a bit nicer than fluid mechanics simulations.  (Though, both suck when you are trying to capture very fine details on very large objects.)

Anyway, huge issues with granularity of measured data, experimental verification of fluid behavior, and the fineness of detail that models purport to predict.

3.  What is the longest period/lowest frequency that we should be looking for?  If you are looking for primarily solar modes, those could exist over longer periods than we really have the tools to simulate.  But, if you are looking for primarily earth modes, and are considering a resolution fine enough to resolve continents or finer, you have to consider continental drift. 

That whole issue of 'fluid mechanics requires lots of empirical testing, because slight configuration changes can mean huge behavioral changes that the present theory does not capture' applies here.

You can extract periods of purely earth modes only for a quasi-static assumption, 'near' a particular 'static' configuration of continents.  The width of that slice is basically the maximum period you should be considering.  So, unless the climate researchers show that they understand this, the presumption should be that their estimates are much too noisy to be worth any attention. 

4.  Under the circumstancial evidence is a) the refusal to open up data and methods b) people like Mann  c) the savage* monsters** in government responsible for funding d) the endless shitshows in modern science, with dubious results, and outright fraudulent results that happen to serve the interests of funders and entrenched powers in government.

*word chosen carefully.  I really do mean devoid of mores compatible with civilization.

**Ibid.  I really do mean unusually evil and destructive.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, July 19 2021 10:36 PM (6y7dz)

7 Yeah, those are adequate reasons for ignoring any specific predictions made.  If we accepted all the predictions on offer we'd be dead by now, several times over.

But the underlying model - CO2 acts as a heat trap and more CO2 with all else remaining equal means higher average temperatures over a sufficiently long timespan - is fundamentally sound.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, July 19 2021 11:34 PM (PiXy!)

8 One could just as well say that Malthus's basic logic, more humans plus same arable land equals starvation, is fundamentally sound.  When it ignores that agricultural production isn't strictly constant, and that in absence of socialism, more people means more wealth, means more wealth going into improving agricultural production. 

Ceterus is never paribus. 

You have to simplify this sort of problem to reduce the numerical complexity, or else the computers choke, take forever, or produce unstable, nonsensical results. You simplify them with assumptions, which is an art carried out by humans,  and very easily manipulated to get arbitrary results.

Volcanos emit CO2.  Because the crust contains carbon, and the magma (kept molten by radioactivity) is going to cause some of that to be released.  Last I heard, volcanic is significantly greater than human.  This, if one rejects homeopathic/memory 'theories' of chemistry, means one needs to do a bunch of special pleading with carefully selected assumptions to conclude that the human caused stuff has some special effect. 

You can 'prove' that the radioactive heating of the earth will make the earth explode, if you ignore heat transfer out, and fiddle with your time 'assumptions'.

The stuff that tries to give us a cause to pretend to care falls in two categories.  One, some unusual mechanism of positive feedback heating.  Two, more special pleading that purports that certain specific outputs (storms) can be traced to certain specific inputs.  The latter we can no more know than we can know that German failure to hang Merkel caused all that recent flooding.  Yes, I can't know enough to outright say it is impossible, but the case in favor is mostly chanting 'chaos' over and over again. 

As for the heating thing, one, radiative heat transfer scales with the fourth power of the absolute temperature of the source.  This is actually fairly strong as negative feedback.  Additionally, there have been periods where we know that the atmosphere has had more carbon, and we know that temperatures were warmer, that have not been too hot for humans.  In absence of assumptions fiddled to show breakaway heating, more CO2 and warmer temperatures may be a good thing!

I've also seen an argument that CO2 is actually a lagging indicator, caused by changes in the amount the ocean can have dissolved.

Certainly warmth and carbon is to be preferred to the solar minimum, predicted by the dual dynamo model, that we may be in the early stages of. 

Fundamentally, temperature measurements have an error.  When you aggregate measurements statistically, you also have an uncertainty that comes from the statistical process.  If someone shows you their exact assumptions, and calculations, you can check their work to see if they have properly done the bookwork in propagating the uncertainty and error through all of the calculations.  If they do not show it, they may be hiding cheating, that makes the whole exercise pointless.  Five degrees is nothing if your correct error and uncertainty estimate from that calculation process is thirty degrees.  It is fine to assume that a single point measurement is good, when you are assuming an evenly heated homogeneous sphere of constant initial temperature.  As you step away from simple assumptions, or from trying to model simple behavior, you need more and more finely spaced temperature measurements.

The climate scientists are working with very sparse data, and are trying to do some things to compensate. 

What would your first estimate of plausibility be if I told you that I had written a program that decoded some numbers station, and predicted lotto numbers weeks in advance?

Posted by: PatBuckman at Tuesday, July 20 2021 05:55 AM (6y7dz)

9 I like how your description of Sakura Quest is 100% accurate and completely misleading. 

As far as AGW goes, I stopped accepting it as science the first time a climatologer reported temperature changes to a fraction of a degree based on measurements taken outside of a lab over a period of decades, without acknowledging any possible issues with accuracy or precision. When they started insisting that a hodgepodge of regional temperature proxies going back centuries could be used to predict tenth-of-a-degree global changes, I spotted the clown shoes under their lab coats. 


Posted by: J Greely at Tuesday, July 20 2021 06:43 AM (ZlYZd)

10 Two things can be true at once: Dumping all the CO2 currently locked up in fossil fuels back into the atmosphere is a bad idea long-term when hundreds of millions of people live in coastal cities that are difficult to just move...  And also that the specific predictions made by many climate "scientists" are total bullshit.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, July 20 2021 08:49 AM (PiXy!)

One could just as well say that Malthus's basic logic, more humans plus same arable land equals starvation, is fundamentally sound. When it ignores that agricultural production isn't strictly constant, and that in absence of socialism, more people means more wealth, means more wealth going into improving agricultural production.
Malthus' basic logic is fundamentally sound.  The Malthusian Catastrophe was averted through human ingenuity - and later a change of habits - not because the basic mathematical model is incorrect.  And also not through massive state intervention.
Same with AGW.  The Paris Accords will do less to solve the problem than Elon Musk.  Well, that's not saying much because the Paris Accords likely made things worse.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, July 20 2021 08:54 AM (PiXy!)

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

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