Saturday, February 27


Daily News Stuff 27 February 2021

You Idiots Edition

Tech News

  • Don't connect critical industrial control systems directly to the internet you idiots.  (Ars Technica)

    And if you do, don't leave them in programming mode.

    And if you do, when you update your résumé, just say you were in a Turkish prison for the past twelve years.

    Yes, there is also a nasty vulnerability in the key management used in Logix industrial automation systems, but you have to be doing several things wrong to even get to that point.

  • Turns out the water cooling doesn't help.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Dell gaming systems are infamously noisy.

    The Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 offers a water cooling option.

    It doesn't help.

    Shame, because you can actually buy one, which is not true if you try to buy the individual parts.

  • The Sabrent Rocket Q4 4TB is the fastest 4TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 drive on the market.  (Serve the Home)

    Also the cheapest.

    Yes, you guessed it.  But despite using QLC flash, it's not actually bad.

  • I wonder what happens if you simply add yeast to pancake batter, put it in a cake tin, and leave it to rise before baking?

    I'll find out tomorrow.

    The gluten-free bread I like has been out of stock for months, which is why I've been experimenting with making my own.  There are lesser alternatives - lesser than the brand I like, that is; still clearly superior to anything I've managed to produce thus far.

    At least chicken nuggets are available again.  There is one gluten-free brand available at one store, and it's been missing for weeks.  I was going to try making my own but the stuff I needed for that was also out of stock.

    I did find out, though, why gluten-free chicken nuggets are better than regular ones - in that they have more chicken and less coating than the regular kind.

    It's cheaper that way.  Pound for pound, the chicken costs less than the gluten-free coating, whether it's batter or breadcrumbs.

  • YouTube is a pile of crap.

    Yes, they shadowbanned Kiara, who has over 800,000 subscribers now, while she was in the middle of moving back home from Japan to Australia wink.  They took down Suisei's remonetisation celebration stream due to a copyright strike, after leaving her demonetised for a month without ever saying why.  Suisei has 780,000 subscribers.

    They also did this:

    Viva Frei has 350,00 subscribers.

    They also shadowbanned and demonetised Hardware Unboxed due to "suspicious activity" on their account.  What suspicious activity?  They didn't say.  How can this be resolved?  They didn't say.

    Hardware Unboxed has 750,000 subscribers.

    If you have a small YouTube channel you had better (a) back everything up and (b) hope the algorithm never notices you, because if it does, you are screwed.

Disclaimer: Slab and grue, yes. But it doesn't say how slab and grue.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:26 PM | Comments (17) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 479 words, total size 4 kb.

1 It is dark. You might be eaten by a slab and grue.

Posted by: Phil Fraering at Sunday, February 28 2021 12:39 AM (Clxcy)

2 I wonder how much money he loses on each video that gets incorrectly demonetized, but as a dollar amount and as a percentage of the total it would've gotten[1].  Seems like a great way to "nudge" someone you don't want on your platform away from it--I remember before stories about bad actors reporting false copyright claims so they could steal the ad revenue.  Even if it only lasts for a couple of days, if you do it when the video's new, that's when many videos make the most of their money.  But claiming he's not good at self-certification when it was actually their machine estimate that was wrong at a 16-to-1 rate is, well, kind of precious.
[1] I realize that's a wide-open thing but someone with a lot of videos can probably make estimates that might be reasonable.

Posted by: Rick C at Sunday, February 28 2021 08:46 AM (eqaFC)

3 Random topic but I actually though Hololive English were in the US, since both Calli and Gura were talking about doing things that I would have found somewhat unlikely in Japan (Not impossible, just unlikely.).

Posted by: cxt217 at Sunday, February 28 2021 09:23 AM (4i7w0)

4 Calli and Kiara were in Japan (they took a trip to Hokkaido together).  Gura and Amelia are definitely in North America, and pretty sure Ina is as well, though I believe she's originally from South Korea.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, February 28 2021 10:26 AM (PiXy!)

5 It sounds like you're inventing gluten-free Bisquick.


Posted by: J Greely at Sunday, February 28 2021 12:08 PM (ZlYZd)

6 Pretty much.  I'll give that recipe a try - rice flour and tapioca starch are cheap, unlike almond flour for example.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, February 28 2021 02:28 PM (PiXy!)

7 You'd think Youtube would have a separate stovepipe for "this is a corporate user with a million viewers" versus "this is Johnny Basement posting old episodes of Dragon Ball". Hell, we've got something similar at work, and while we're not a TINY company, we don't do anything like Google revenue.

Or more like, they do, right? It's not like they're going to shadowban Biden or let the algorithm kick NASA off due to a copyright strike. If they did something like that, you'd imagine heads would roll. And we don't see these things happening to those kinds of users, so presumably there's some sort of process that prevents it from happening in those cases, but which doesn't work for a Hololive vtuber. So... why? What's causing this problem?
Is Youtube just dumb? Dunno if I buy that. I'd expect that if that was the explanation, then even the biggest of the big names would be getting zapped periodically, but we don't see that happening.
I see two possibilities. One is that there is such a mechanism, but YT's idea of who's big and important enough to go to the important-people-do-not-screw-with-them team is calibrated pretty high. They deal with a lot of media companies, plenty of whom clear hundreds of millions, billions a year; it's not mysterious if they reserve that kind of treatment for CBS instead of Cover. And if that's the case, it makes sense that they wouldn't talk about the details; even Youtube-kun has enough class to know not to say "we'd take better care of you but you're far too unimportant!"
Possible aside: in this respect, "a million subscribers" may just not be that big a deal. Especially for streamers, that's a lot of served video compared to how many ads YT gets to run. It'd make sense that YT is responsive to its actual customers - i.e. the people who buy ads - and much less so for its actual users, who are after all the product.
Alternate explanation: YT has a stovepipe for people/companies that aren't subject to the algorithm's whims, but the metric for who gets on that list is unrelated to "how much revenue are they worth to YT". Could be as simple as "who's likely to have enough lawyers to throw at us if we piss them off?" Or they might use another metric. Or it might just be fully-manual, not metric driven at all.
I like this as an explanation because it helps explain why the Hololive folks have a bad time with it despite having quite a bit of YT-centric revenue; random political commentator or tech video guy might be just another loser as far as YT is concerned, but people pay YT a lot of money for the privilege of paying Yagoo. If the deciding factor isn't "what does this do to our bottom line," but instead based on a judgment call by a mid-level manager somewhere, then the apparent nonsensical nature of YT's behavior makes more sense.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Sunday, February 28 2021 06:58 PM (v29Tn)

8 Just the top two Hololive girls, just from superchats, earned YouTube a million bucks last year.  With any healthy company they'd have a full-time account manager doing nothing but keeping them happy.

Instead, they get treated like whale poop.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, February 28 2021 11:38 PM (PiXy!)

9 PRC has put an effort into coopting 'cultural elites' and media institutions, and getting big tech companies to hire all those PRC nationals with formal degrees in STEM.

STEM is partly a cultural artifact, and the PRC's culture appears to have some subtle incompatibilities.

In particular, the people running the 'private' censorship algorithms appear to be seconded from MOSS.

Alphabet's a fully sold out subsidiary of the PRC.

Letting alternate media organs spring up on youtube would dilute the impact of US, Japanese and Indonesian media already compromised by the PRC. Therefore, Hololive is exactly the people they would want to randomly screw with.

Sure, Hololive tries to stay away from politics. They are still non-PRC nationals, independent of PRC internal censorship, and haven't bought into the collective culture that pulls mainstream US media into accepting being PRC spokesmen. So outright shutting down Hololive would just create an alternative that isn't bound to stay away from politics, or provide grounds to litigate against Youtube.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, March 01 2021 01:12 AM (6y7dz)

10 "Alphabet's a fully sold out subsidiary of the PRC."
Indeed.  As I recall during the Obama(spit) administration both google/alphabet and apple signed secret agreements with the PRC to be allowed to do business there.  A lot of other American media co/s did similarly (ABC/Disney, NBC/Universal to be able to build theme parks . . .)  You can fairly easily guess what the practical terms are: y'all turn over whatever we ask for without a fight or we block your network and organ harvest the round-eye Management team that's working out of Bejing.

Posted by: normal at Monday, March 01 2021 01:46 AM (obo9H)

11 Eh. A million bucks a year ain't enough to get you a dedicated manager even at my office, and we ain't payin' Cali wages...
But that's why I like explanation 2 - I can see Youtube putting together a "how important are these guys?" metric that is heavily focused around advertising revenue, and which doesn't really take "direct" revenue into account. "Super chats? What is this, OnlyFans? Gross." So even though there's money going into YT's coffers, if it's doing so via an unusual method, it might well just not register on the decision-makers there... especially if their own financial incentives are tied into ad revenue, right?

I dunno if I like the "it's a PRC conspiracy!" line, simply because of the distribution. I'd expect Coco to be absolutely shit upon if that were the case, but it mostly seems to hit the others. I could see it being YT being generally hostile to any company using the platform as its entire business plan...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Monday, March 01 2021 03:03 AM (v29Tn)

12  Yeah, I need to be more careful about having solid alternative models to PRC conspiracy. 

My theory is that they are going after hololive as a business, to limit its growth, because of the possibilities for the future, not to ensure current censorship.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, March 01 2021 04:01 AM (6y7dz)

13 Avatar - that million dollars is YouTube's cut of one element of the revenue stream from just two of the 50 or so channels.  Hololive is a money printer at this point, and YouTube is getting 30% of most of it.

Their big recent concert wasn't on YouTube and judging from ticket sales grossed around $50 million all by itself.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, March 01 2021 09:15 AM (PiXy!)


Here at YouTube, we handle eighty-four trillion videos a year, serving everyone from mainstream media to the scum of the earth.  So, we realize that, every so often, you can't watch a stream, or for no apparent reason your entire channel gets shadowbanned, or perhaps you get demonetised over something you never did.  We don’t care!

Watch this…  We just lost Hololive.

You see, this website consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated even we can’t handle it.  But that’s your problem, isn’t it?  So, the next time you complain about your channel, why don’t you try using two hand puppets and a cardboard stage?  We don’t care.  We don’t have to.  We’re YouTube.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, March 01 2021 09:36 AM (PiXy!)

15 Right. I don't disagree with your fundamental assertions (i.e. Youtube is up to some certified grade-A bullshit, and they ought to get it together). They're mismanaging this in a way that has at least the potential to result in a competitor popping up and a decent chunk of revenue moving to that competitor.

But why? Is it purely that they're just that far beyond giving a shit? Is it because they've put too much focus on dealing with internal political issues and have forgotten how to be other than blithering incompetents? Is it because they've unwisely set up incentives in such a way that their management is making decisions that don't line up with the company's interests? Did the kid of one of their execs super-chat Suisei for a thousand bucks using daddy's credit card?

It doesn't feel like it's a specific anti-Hololive thing because the issues they're having are across a bunch of different types of streams. Hololive's just weird in the sense that they have serious revenue (for YT streamers, and it's entirely possible that YT's internal culture precludes taking any of its streamers seriously?)

I actually quite enjoyed the concert. Didn't know it did quite that much in sales! Not bad for a midweek event.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Monday, March 01 2021 11:22 AM (v29Tn)

16 Yeah, it's definitely not just Hololive.  It's not just conservatives either.  I don't know what Hardware Unboxed's political views are; they never discuss politics.  Their channel got trashed anyway.

I just happen to notice it happening to Hololive, conservative/libertarian commentators, and tech channels, because that's what I watch.

As to why...  They're definitely incompetent, they're definitely biased, they definitely don't care about independent content creators, but I have no idea how much of this (if anything) stems from conscious decisions, and how much is just self-destructive idiocy.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, March 01 2021 01:11 PM (PiXy!)

17 Someone somewhere once passed on the claim that youtube's internal understanding of their business is 'TV Station'. If true, they may just have a culture that doesn't understand their business well enough to have clue one what good management looks like. The model where they assume that ad buyers are the customers, and content is only to attract eyeballs without offending ad buyers would fit behavior.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Tuesday, March 02 2021 11:23 PM (6y7dz)

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

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