Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.

Thursday, October 13


Daily News Stuff 13 October 2022

All Out Of Legs Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Intel plans to launch new server CPUs.  Lots of them.  (WCCFTech)

    The much-delayed Sapphire Rapids chips with up to 60 cores are now expected in Q1 of next year, just in time to compete with AMD's 96 and 128 core Epyc Genoa and Bergamo ranges.  In Q3 Intel will introduce an 8 socket platform - up to 480 cores per server - which will in theory put it ahead of Epyc which only supports dual socket configurations.

    Following this will be Emerald Rapids, Granite Rapids pushing the core count to 120 per socket, and Diamond Rapids introducing PCIe 6.0.  Those will likely be competing against 256 core Zen 5 monsters using 600W per socket - but able to replace a dozen or more older servers.

  • How do other companies (like the hosting provider here) offer bandwidth so much cheaper than AWS?  Amazon is making a 98.75% gross margin on bandwidth charges, that's how.  (Cloudflare)

    In the US, Canada, and Europe, Amazon marks up bandwidth costs approximately 8000%.  Lowest markup was an estimated 350% in South Korea, which apparently has higher prices for commercial internet connects than even Australia.

  • Honda (a Japanese company) and LG (Korean) are building a joint venture battery factory in Ohio.  (CNBC)

    There's been a lot of this recently.  China has become self-destructively unfriendly to foreign investment, to the point that it is simply toxic and companies are willing to spend whatever it takes to build elsewhere.

  • Speaking of which Taiwan says it no longer needs to destroy its chip fabs in the event of a Chinese invasion, because they'd be useless anyway.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The fabs rely on equipment and supplies from multiple Western sources, many of which are already on the restricted list for China.  They'd have captured the very latest equipment, but it would be $100 billion worth of paperweights.

  • My latest Amazon delivery made it to New House City in record time - and has now been wandering around the countryside in a courier van for two days.  The local depot for this particular courier is 70 miles away, and I doubt they're taking the most direct route.

    I do kind of miss same-day delivery, but not a million dollars worth of miss.

Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with $100 billion worth of paperweights, if you have $100 billion worth of paper, and there's a breeze or something.

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Wednesday, October 12


Daily News Stuff 12 October 2022

Hating On Butterflies Edition

Top Story

  • Nvidia's RTX 4090 is here and it's every bit as expensive as we were promised.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Is it fast, though?

    Yes.  If you play games at 4K, it's 50% faster than the 3090 Ti and 60% faster than AMD's 6950 XT.  If you play games at 4K with ray tracing and AI upscaling - which you don't, because that would have been a miserable experience with any existing card - it averages four times the speed of the RTX 3080. 

    And for compute workloads like Blender rendering it's about 80% faster than the 3090 Ti, which was previously the fastest card available for that task.

    The Founders' Edition would fit in my case, as it turns out - it's a triple slot card, not a four-slot monstrosity like some of the custom versions.

    Question is do I want to drop a monthly mortgage payment on a graphics card when I rarely play anything more demanding than Minecraft?  I can justify a fast CPU because my CPU basically runs flat out fifteen hours of every day,  but I think I can dial back on the GPU a notch or two.  Or four, honestly.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Do not taunt sad trash bear.

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Tuesday, October 11


Daily News Stuff 11 October 2022

Edition Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: But can Doom run Notepad?

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Monday, October 10


Daily News Stuff 10 October 2022

640GB Should Be Enough For Anybody Edition

Top Story

  • The PC market needs another reinvention.  Is Microsoft's Surface up for it?  No.  (The Verge)

    Microsoft has a Surface event this week, and given the discounts on offer for the Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop 4 right now, we can be pretty sure new models of both will be arriving.

    New-ish, anyway.  The current models offer 11th gen Intel CPUs or AMD's Ryzen 4000 range.  It looks like the new models will focus on 12th gen Intel chips, in the same month that Intel launches 13th gen parts.  Microsoft's launch cycle is badly out of sync with that of it's key suppliers.

    That said, it turns out that the Surface Laptop has the Four Essential Keys...  Ish.  They're the default mappings for F9 through F12, which is better than not having them at all but not a particularly convenient location.  Understandable on the 13" model where there's no much room for extra keys; less so on the 15".

  • Breaking: PayPal will still steal your money if you say something they disagree with.  They only removed the "misinformation" clause.  (The Volokh Conspiracy)

    If you engage in speech that PayPal believes - in their sole discretion - "discriminatory" or promoting "intolerance", they will steal $2500 from your account or any connected accounts.  Per offence, where they also have sole discretion in determining what counts as an offence. 

Tech News

  • United Airlines plans to use electric planes for routes of less than 200 miles.  (Futurism)

    Which makes sense.  The problem with electric planes is not that they don't work, or that they're expensive, or unreliable; it's that they're not feasible for long distances.  So just don't use them for long distances.

    Still means your plane will be running on coal, but whatever.  Wonder if they're quieter than the conventional prop aircraft they'd be replacing.

  • TSMC is expected to spend $40 billion on new factories next year, and the chip industry as a whole $185 billion.  (WCCFTech)

    The chip shortage is now a mixed story.  Lots of critical components that cost one dollar or one cent each are impossible to find, while $1000 CPUs and GPUs are lining store shelves.  My brother works in short-run electronics design and manufacturing, and the rule right now is if you find a component in stock today, you buy it - because it could be gone tomorrow.

  • I ordered a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite to replace my Lenovo Tab M8 FHD, which has problems charging.  The A7 Lite is cheap and basically adequate but has a 1340x800 screen, which is pretty meh - barely better than my 2012 Nexus 7.  Except that the Nexus 7 doesn't work at all any more and is currently in the bottom of a box at the bottom of the garage.  Would have bought another Lenovo except of course they don't make it any more, though they have about 17 10" and 11" models.

    I'll see if I can deal with that or if it's annoying enough to drive me to the Apple side of the Force.

  • The BIOS source code for Intel's 12th generation Alder Lake chips has leaked onto the internet.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Which doesn't mean that Intel was hacked, because a lot of other companies need access to the BIOS source code, some of which we know have been hacked.

    This may or may not be a major problem.

Disclaimer: To be or not be, that is the problem.

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Sunday, October 09


Daily News Stuff 9 October 2022

0.14% Efficiency Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Apple's Stasi image filter that runs directly on the hardware you "own" is totally cool and inevitable so just bend over.  (Apple Insider)

    The article gets roasted in the comments. 

  • HP's Envy 16 is a 16" laptop with a 4K OLED display and a QHD webcam.  (PC Magazine)

    And the Four Essential Keys - just the Four Essential Keys, not a full numeric keypad as you often find on laptops.

    Only problem is HP's pricing in Australia, if you live in Australia, which I do.  The model with a 2560x1600 screen and RTX 3060 graphics costs an eye-watering A$4399.  That's about A$2000 more than I paid for my similarly specced Dell Inspiron 16 Plus at the start of the year - though that was an 11th gen model - and A$1200 more than a Gigabyte system with a 4K OLED display and a much faster GTX 3070 Ti.

  • Speaking of the Four Essential Keys: Some laptop models from Dell and MSI have four keys in the place where the FEK should be but aren't those keys.

    Enter Windows PowerToys.  The Keyboard Manager function lets you remap any key to any function.  I tried it out on my (slowly dying due to physical abuse during the long process of moving house) Inspiron 14 7000, which does sort of have the FEK but also has a completely useless Print Screen button.

    Remapped that without any difficulty.

    That makes the Framework Laptop more palatable.  Really it's the only drawback of the system for me, given its easy upgradeability and modular I/O.  Apparently the battery life isn't stellar, but with USB C charging and tiny GAN chargers that's not the end of the world if you're not on the road all the time.

Disclaimer: And what is going on with the left Ctrl key?  Nothing good.

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Saturday, October 08


Daily News Stuff 8 October 2022

Moose And Squirrel Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Nick Rekieta's YouTube channel is back after being targeted by a mass false-reporting campaign by the deluded acolytes of some commie swine named Kerfuffles or something.  (YouTube)

    Proving once again that Twitter is the worst of all the social platforms.

    YouTube routinely shuts down major channels that make them lots of money individually on your or my scale of things (Rekeita would have earned them over $150k the past year) and lots of money collectively even on Google's scale (Hololive has over 60 channels and Nijisanji around two hundred, many larger than Rekieta, and they routinely get deleted without warning).

    But they put them back up within a couple of days.  My sense of things is this is a legal issue - if they let the algorithm do its thing and manually intervene afterwards if it needs correction, they're harder to sue.

    Sucks when your channel is down for three days, but until Elon Musk takes control he ain't getting his Twitter account back.

  • If a scammer takes control of your bank account, 90% of the time you're just basically fucked.  (Krebs on Security)

    Slightly less than 10% of affected accounts and slightly more than 10% of lost funds are reimbursed by the banks.

  • The Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5 are coming.  (

    They look to be just minor updates to the 8 and 4 respectively, with no AMD models listed for this lineup.  Which is stupid on Microsoft's part, because the Ryzen 6000 lineup is hands down the best option for small laptops.

  • On the other hand, if you were waiting for a better mousetrap NUC Asus has just the thing.  (Liliputing)

    The ExpertCenter PN53 comes with a choice of a six core Ryzen 6600HS, or the eight core 6800HS or 6900HX.  It has two SODIMM slots (the specs say it supports up to 32GB of RAM, but it should work fine with 64GB), two M.2 slots, and a 2.5" drive bay.  (It also says it supports up to 2TB per M.2 slot, which is obvious nonsense - there is no such limit anywhere.  So those numbers are more "we bothered to test this configuration and we're not going to say anything beyond that".)

    I/O consists of two USB 4 ports, two HDMI ports, five USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A ports (that is, regular old USB 3), 2.5 Gb Ethernet, and a headphone jack, plus a little module that can give you another HDMI or DisplayPort output.  But since the USB 4 ports support video and the chip can only drive four video outputs anyway, that seems superfluous.

    It's slightly larger than the average NUC - 5" square instead of 4" - but has better I/O and expandability.  And much better graphics - the integrated graphics on the 6800 and 6900 models are more than twice as fast as anything offered by Intel.

  • Axios.get is not a function you idiot.  (GitHub)

    Web framework Axios - which I've never heard of but there are thousands of the damn things these days - pushed a new release which broke thousands of production websites because web developers are fucking dumb.

    To be clear: Axios said "hey guys, here's a new version for you".

    And then the websites broke, because the people maintaining them either blindly deployed the code without testing, or, even worse, configured their websites to pull it directly without specifying a version.

  • To quine a phrase...

    Looks innocuous enough, until you click on the link.

    Here's the details of how it was done.  (Oison Moran)

    As to why it was done, well, why did Hillary Clinton bomb Mount Everest?

Disclaimer: Because it had information that could lead to her arrest, yes, but apart from that.

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Friday, October 07


Daily News Stuff 7 October 2022

Dinosaur Cancer Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Gamera is really neat!  Gamera is filled with meat!  We've been eating Gamera!

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Thursday, October 06


Daily News Stuff 6 October 2022

Don't Scare The Horses Edition

Top Story

  • Intel's Arc A770 Limited Edition is here and it's not awful.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It's four times as fast as the A380 card we saw earlier for 2.5 times the price, which changes the calculus a bit.  Plus they've had a couple of months to work on the driver issues.

    Basically everyone is saying that at current prices your best option for a mid-range card is AMD's 6650 XT (though not at Australian prices), but in terms of price/performance, ignoring features and drivers stability, Intel comes second.

Tech News

  • The A750 is here too, same story.  (Tom's Hardware)

    A little slower, but also a little cheaper.

  • Need a 64TB 25GBps RAID array for your next gaming rig? Highpoint has you covered.  (Serve the Home)

    The $1100 SSD7540 supports up to eight M.2 devices in RAID-0 or RAID-10, or presumably JBOD.  There are also smaller, cheaper models supporting four or two M.2 slots.

    The SSDs themselves are extra, of course.  But if the five M.2 slots on your next motherboard aren't enough, this is for you.

  • Facebook is reportedly laying off 12,000 employees.  (Futurism)

    It's a start.

  • Meanwhile at Twitter they're planning things much better: You don't get a severance package if you quit.

Disclaimer: Also if they simply feed you into the human composting machine.

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Wednesday, October 05


Daily News Stuff 5 October 2022

Musk Sticks Edition

Top Story

  • Elon Musk's on-again off-again hate affair with Twitter is apparently on.  (Ace of Spades)

    Lots of articles about this in the tech press, but they're mostly garbage.  No-one knows anything more than the bare announcement, and a lot of them are simply lying.

    The crazies - at, for example, Ars Technica - are going through the Five Stages of Leftist Grief on fast-forward:

    • Denial
    • Screaming
    • Screaming denial
    • Calling everyone Nazis
    • Threatening to move to Canada

  • Acceptance just isn't something they do.

  • Xbox arrived.  I assume it's the Xbox; I haven't opened it yet.  Either that or Microsoft is delivering Office 365 subscriptions via DHL now.

Tech News

  • UNSW's SMART protocol extends the coherence of spin qubits by a factor of 100.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Up to almost nothing.

  • The EU is passing legislation to require that all laptops be chargeable over USB-C.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Also smartphones, tablets, game consoles, headphones, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, e-book readers, portable speakers, and cameras.  The rule will apply to smaller devices from 2024, and to laptops starting in 2026.

    USB-C recently gained the ability to deliver up to 240W, which should run any laptop that doesn't set fire to your lap, but while there are cables that claim to support this standard (and it's not that hard, since the current stays the same at 5A max), I haven't seen a USB charger that can put that much power out on a single port.

  • Samsung has started mass production of 3nm chips.  (Liliputing)

    2nm is scheduled to enter production in 2025, and 1.4nm in 2027.

  • Volume 4B exists.  (Stanford)

    For those out of the loop, that's Volume 4B of Donald Knuth's classic The Art of Computer Programming.  Since Volume 1 was published in 1968 and there are expected to be another four volumes (4C, 5, 6, and 7) we had all better wish Knuth good health and an extremely long life.

Disclaimer: Taking time out to develop your own typesetting software is always an acceptable excuse for late delivery of a manuscript.

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Tuesday, October 04


Daily News Stuff 4 October 2022

Day Of Autotunement Edition

Top Story

  • Sometimes the only solution to a problem customer is to burn down their house.  (

    In Minecraft.  Or in this case, in Ultima Online.

    An interesting discussion of the problem and the solution they eventually came up with:
    Dozens of homes had been destroyed across the entire multiverse of Ultima Online, and the flames licking the sooty rubble were a visible testimony to our team’s determination to deal with cheaters.

    It felt fantastic!

    And we were told not to do it again.

Tech News

  • DNS got hacked and the personal details of 16 million customers leaked online.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Apparently this DNS is a major Russian chain of electronics stores.

  • Yes, we have no Rapberry Pis.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Raspberry Pi hasn't provided an official update on the situation because, well, there is no update.  They're baking 400,000 Pis a month, the most they can get the parts for, and they're selling them just as fast.

  • HBO has found a new way to save money: Make TV episodes so dark it is impossible to tell what is going on.

    Next they might discover radio.

Bookworms, Ascendance Of

When I started watching it I didn't realise there were 36 episodes.  Oops.

Pretty good, though I was hoping to see Main / Myne

Well, the story is continued in the manga, as they say.  I had read the manga up to the end of part one, and the anime gets to the middle of part two.  The light novels and manga are now both well into part four...  Though apparently out of sync.  I think I'll continue with the manga for now.

Update: Or perhaps not.  I need to read part three of the manga and there's only three chapters translated of that.

Pikamee Reacts to Almost the End of the World Video of the Day

Life pro tip: Don't use magic spells to slow down the Moon's orbit.

Disclaimer: Next week, don't use magic spells to throw strangelets at the Sun.

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