Well that's good. Fantastic. That gives us 20 minutes to save the world and I've got a post office. And it's shut!

Wednesday, June 22

Geek

Daily News Stuff 22 June 2022

Carpet Event Horizon Edition

Top Story

  • So I ventured to vacuum New House, which is more than twice the size of Old House and carpeted throughout where Old House had hardwood floors in the living areas.

    Yeah, I'm going to get a Roomba or some suitable equivalent.  That's a lot of carpet.


  • The FAA is ordering airlines to update faulty radar altimeters.  (Ars Technica)

    The argument has been going on for years, with cellular network operators swearing that their equipment couldn't affect aircraft instruments, and airlines swearing that it did.

    Turns out they're both right, because the instruments themselves are faulty.  The altimeters were designed decades ago when nothing else operated anywhere near that radio frequency, so the designers just didn't bother to filter out other signals.  And now that there are other signals, there are problems.

    The networks are happy with this decision.  The airlines not so much.

Tech News

Eight Minutes of Dad Showing Up At the Worst Possible Time Video of the Day



Well, Calliope Mori from Hololive dropping in on her colleagues anyway.  At the worst possible time.

Also in case you're confused which you probably are, because I sure was, the second clip with Bae - the rat girl - is not Bae, but IRyS pretending to Bae.


Disclaimer: Allow me to explain.  No, there is too much.  Allow me to sum up.

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Tuesday, June 21

Geek

Daily News Stuff 21 June 2022

Shall I Compare Thee To A Datacenter Fire Edition

Top Story

  • Step One: Protect your critical web sites and services by putting them behind a globally distributed, highly redundant, fault tolerant content distribution network.

    Step Two: You'll still go down but now you have someone to blame.



    This outage took out the sites we run at work, the sites I use to do my work, and about a quarter of the news sites I visit to compile this daily post.

    I'm not sure just how widespread the effects were, because one of the things that went down was Cloudflare's 1.1.1.1 DNS service.  (The Verge)

    So anyone using that service - including automated monitoring services - would have seen the entire internet go dark.

    Downdetector shows Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Twitter all affected, despite at least three of those companies running their own content distribution networks.  But that might be in part because the monitoring systems went down.


Tech News

  • Threadripper Pro 5000 chips are coming to retail.  (Serve the Home)

    Prices start at around $2500 - there are cheaper models for OEMs but they're not going to be available in the retail market - and it should show up just in time to be eclipsed by the new 4th generation Epyc server CPUs.

    But if you want a workstation for CPU-based tasks - video production, for example, or engineering - Threadripper is still the best thing out there.  Intel has some new high-end chips on the way but no launch dates or pricing as yet.


  • Or you could just not use it: Disabling notifications on Nextdoor takes 130 separate clicks.  (Imgur)

    Not using it takes zero clicks.  It's like a smile only better.


  • Those gluten-free donuts - these ones - are now available for online order; at first they were in-store only.  They're actually cheaper imported to Australia, on the freezer shelf, with sales tax added, than listed on that website.  Somehow.  Got more coming Thursday.

    I can only get the simple glazed donuts locally, but that's okay, they would be my first choice anyway,


Disclaimer: Do or donut, there is no try.

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Monday, June 20

Geek

Daily News Stuff 20 June 2022

Computation Is Consciousness Edition

Top Story

  • We know that Intel's high-end 12th generation (and also 11th, 10th, and 9th generation) desktop parts are big expensive power-hungry monsters, but what about their low-end chips?  How does the $129 Core i3-12100 stack up?  (Tom's Hardware)

    Very nicely, as it turns out.  It's a 4-core / 8-thread CPU with none of the new Efficiency cores to complicate things, running at a maximum speed of 4.3GHz.  That's a lot slower than the 12900K at 5.2GHz, but it has a maximum power consumption of 89W vs. 241W on the 12900K.

    And while it's only a four-core chip, it's not slow.  It comes close to matching my old Ryzen 1700 desktop - an eight core system.  And easily beats the 11th-gen laptop I'm typing this on.

    If you want a desktop system that is cheap but fast enough to be practical, this - or the $199 six core i5-12400 if you need a little more oomph - is a good choice.

Tech News

  • Consciousness is computation.  (GitHub)

    Yes, I know that the headline of the article disagrees, but the article is retarded.

    The entire argument presented is that consciousness can't be computation because consciousness involves qualia, where qualia are defined as whatever is left over when you take away every part of consciousness that can be explained by computation.

    Which is a bit like defining art as what is left when you subtract the paint, the brushwork, the canvas, and the frame from a painting.  It sounds profound but doesn't actually mean anything.

    As Daniel Dennett noted many years ago, qualia don't exist.  Philosophers refuse to admit this because even burger-flipping requires real-world skills.


  • So if computers can be conscious, is Google's LaMDA an example?  (ZDNet)

    Probably, but that doesn't mean a whole lot.  You can be conscious but still dumber and less useful than a toaster, as the White House Press Corps proves daily.

    It's not sentient, which is a somewhat higher bar, but then neither are many of the people on Twitter much of the time.  I don't know if it regresses into obviously sphexish behaviour, which is the definitive strike against claims of sentience, but then humans do that, and not just on Twitter either.


  • Is the Samsung 980 Pro any good?  (Serve the Home)

    Yes.  It's not MLC (2-bit per cell) like previous pro models, but it is good.


  • What's new in the Ada 2022 standard?  (AdaCore)

    Not that much by the look of things.  Ada is a very capable language already and doesn't need a whole lot of new stuff, so this is good.

    You can convince it, like JavaScript, that "5" + 3 = 53 but "5" - 3 = 2, but it induces enough pain along the way that you will hopefully reconsider.


Disclaimer: Out of cheese error.  Redo from start.

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Sunday, June 19

Geek

Daily News Stuff 19 June 2022

Late Final Extra Edition

Tech News


Update: Well, that was no fun.  Takeoff was delayed due to mechanical problems, as in, they had to find another plane somewhere and fly it in.  Landing was delayed due to weather.  Train home was delayed due to the fact that THERE WERE NO TRAINS HOME.

So by the time I got home all the shops and takeaway places were shut, and I got to have cold baked beans for dinner because Old House is nearly empty now.

It's supposed to be completely empty, but this past week did not permit that.

Today's flight was on a Dash 8-200, the smallest plane so far, a 36-seater.  It has the same engines as the larger Dash 8-300, so it takes off in no distance at all.  Throttle up and the wheels aren't touching the ground anymore.  It does mean though that every window looks out on the engines.


Disclaimer: Oh not.

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Saturday, June 18

Geek

Daily News Stuff 18 June 2022

Tainted Donuts Edition

Top Story

  • The controls for the underfloor heating work.  That just leaves the oven, I think, as the only thing I haven't tested yet.  Oh, and the pump for the water tank.

    Temperatures hit zero this morning, but in C that's not all that cold.  Here inside I was snug and warm.


  • There's a flaw with - not in, but with - browser extension wallets like Metamask that could let anyone with access to your computer steal everything.  (Bleeping Computer)

    When you set up Metamask, it gives you a twelve word password recovery phrase.  You're supposed to keep that in a safe place, like, well, a safe.

    Your browser though sees it as form data that might be lost if you accidentally close the tab, so it writes it safely to disk.  Where anyone sharing your computer can find it.


Tech News

  • Video card prices - at least here in Australia - seem to all be below MSRP.  Well, up to the RTX 3080 and RX 6800 anyway.  The 3090 Ti is still crazy expensive.

    The only reason not to buy one right now is new cards are on the way in the next few months.  Probably.


  • Speaking of which: When AMD says something will ship "this Fall" they don't mean November 30.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The new Socket AM5 / Ryzen 7000 CPUs and motherboards are expected to be launched September 15.


  • Everything you never wanted to know about USB-C but were forced to ask.  (Tech Powerup)

    USB-C is now used by USB 3.0, USB 4.0, Thunderbolt 3, and Thunderbolt 4.  Oh, and cheap USB-C charging cables (and some not-so-cheap ones) are often only USB 2.0.

    This article goes over all the features supported by USB-C generally and how to know which ones actually work with your devices.


  • In this stunning exposé, BuzzFeed reveals that TikTok is owned by China.  (BuzzFeed)

    TikTok assured everyone that US user data could not be accessed by the Chinese staff.  They lied.


  • Physicists have linked two time crystals into a single quantum system with two states.  (Live Science)

    The time crystals are formed by cooling helium-3 to within a gnat's whisker of absolute zero - which unlike 0C is in fact rather cold - and creating a standing magnetic wave, which because helium-3 at that temperature forms a Bose-Einstein condensate, a state of matter where the entire system shares a single quantum state - keeps going forever so long as you maintain the super-cooling.

    In this experiment they built two of those, and then brought them together so that the two magnetic fields interfered with each other.

    Time crystals generally are perpetual motion devices, just useless ones. They'll keep going forever, but you can only create them by pouring tons of energy into maintaining the specific conditions the require, and also if you look at them they immediately break.

    I mean, literally.  If you look at them they stop working.

Another Day, Another Alternative Anime Music Video of the Day


Hope this does eventually see the light of day.  It looks amazing.  

Nice to see EN and ID Gen 1 in this trailer - the first one was JP only.  In fact, since the first trailer, JP, EN, ID, and Holostars have all launched new generations.  It's been a while.



Disclaimer: But then, so do I.

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Friday, June 17

Geek

Daily News Stuff 17 June 2022

Semifinal Countdown Edition

Top Story 

  • Redbean has reached 2.  (Justine.lol)

    Version 2.0 and also nearly 2MB.

    Readbean is a web server - that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Free/Net/OpenBSD in a single binary - now with embedded Lua, SQLite, and Unix.

Oops, boarding now.  Back soon.

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Thursday, June 16

Geek

Daily News Stuff 16 June 2022

JTL Edition


Disclaimer: No thing like an old thing.

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Wednesday, June 15

Geek

Daily News Stuff 15 June 2022

Watch Me Pull A Cabbit Out Of My Hat Edition

Top Story

  • A non-Apple hardware site reviews Apple's Mac Studio.  (Hot Hardware)

    They do like it, but if you go to page two you can see a PC configured at the same $2000 price point simply wipe the floor with the Mac.  Yes, the Mac Studio is small and elegant and quiet and sips power, but it's fast only in two specific cases: When compared with out-of-date Apple hardware, and when tested on Apple proprietary video codecs.


Tech News


Disclaimer: But only slightly.


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Tuesday, June 14

Geek

Daily News Stuff 14 June 2022

It Goes Uppity Up Up Edition

Top Story

  • So the gas price on the Polygon blockchain went over 12,000.



    Think of blockchain gas prices like, well, gas prices.  The standard price on Polygon is 30, so think of that like 30 cents per gallon.  And then you come along one day and you need to fill up, only the price is suddenly $120 per gallon.

    What do you do?  Particularly when there are a dozen alternative fuels you can try if you're willing to spent the time and money to refit your engine.


  • That jerk with the motorcycle needs to refit his engine.  Will be only too happy to leave Old House for good at the end of the week.


Tech News

  • SpaceX has environmental approval for a full test flight of its Starship.  (Ars Technica)

    The rules are kind of bullshit, ranging from bans on launches on holiday weekends to indirect lighting to avoid confusion in sea turtles to signposting for a post-Civil War Civil War battle, but it's approved.

    The full-stack Starship is bigger than the Saturn V and considerably more advanced - it's designed to refuel in orbit if needed, so it can carry its 100 ton payload not just into Earth orbit but all the way to the Moon or Mars.


  • The Celsius cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme bank has suspended withdrawals because everything is fine.  (Ars Technica)

    Celsius offered implausibly high interest rates on cryptocurrency deposits:
    In a January Bloomberg article, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky "told Bloomberg Businessweek that Celsius is able to pay such high yields because it passes along most of its earnings to its users. He said it's the traditional financial system that's ripping people off by taking their deposits, using them to make money, and then claiming it can only pay tiny interest rates."

    "Somebody is lying," Mashinsky said. "Either the bank is lying or Celsius is lying."
    Embrace, as they say, the healing power of and.

    From the comments, which are normally a dumpster fire and should be avoided:
    Any time some stranger promises to let you, yes you, in on their amazing investment opportunity that reliably and consistently outperforms other investment vehicles, you are being scammed. They are not your friend. If they had such an opportunity, they would hoard it zealously, borrowing against other assets in order to make a shitload for themselves.
    Ponzi is as Ponzi does.


Disclaimer: One morning in a fit of pique
She drowned her father in the creek
The water tasted bad for a week
And we had to make do with gin.

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Monday, June 13

Geek

Daily News Stuff 13 June 2022

Bear Paws Edition

Top Story

  • Intel has announced details of its Intel 4 process node - a pseudonominal 4nm, due in 2023.  (Tom's Hardware)

    What size modern semiconductor process nodes really are is a complex question and a little beside the point, because everyone has been using marketing numbers for the past fifteen years anyway.  Intel 4 was previously known as 7nm, and though it's probably closer to a real 7nm, its scaling is much the same as TSMC's 4nm node (which is really just a minor adjustment to that company's 5nm node).

    Anyway, it gets 160 million transistors per square millimetre, 20% higher than TSMC's 5nm and 20% lower than TSMC's 3nm, so calling it Intel 4 is right on the money.  That's also double the current Intel 7 process (previously 10nm).

    Intel 4 also offers 40% lower power consumption or 20% better performance at the same power, but that doesn't mean that clock speeds will jump from 5GHz to 6GHz.  That statistic is a best case, selected where the process is most efficient.  In the chart provided, that seems to be around 2.1GHz, though the improvements are significant right across the chart.

    Intel 4 will likely show up late next year in the 14th generation Meteor Lake CPUs.

Tech News

Disclaimer: You know I'm never gonna move again, aching feet have got no rhythm...

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