Sunday, April 10

Geek

Daily News Stuff 10 April 2022

Four Ticking Clocks Edition

Top Story

  • Couple more house notes:

    • 9' ceilings. I'd forgotten to ask, though it was clear from things like the hanging kitchen lights and the amount of wall above doorways that they were more than 8'.

      My current place has 8' ceilings, and in the ensuite which is directly under the main bathroom upstairs, only 7'. A little less in fact because the floor is raised by the tiles. I can stand in the shower and place the palm of my hand flat against the ceiling, and I am not particularly tall.

    • What the heck is going on with those power points in these photos? Zoom. Enhance. Aha, USB!

      Forgive me if I test those with my oldest and least favourite device first. Wonder if I can get a cheap USB power tester for that matter.

      Handy though.

    • Chilled and boiling water on tap in the kitchen. Nice. Oh, and a digital shower temperature thingy in the ensuite. Which I expect will fail after a few years and cost a fortune to replace.

      There's a reason this one cost 10% more than the other house the same size: They filled it up with neat toys. And I don't dislike neat toys.

    • Double glazing throughout. Never lived in a place with that before; never needed it before. But in May last year - not even winter - there were already six nights below freezing up in - well, it's not a huge secret; there aren't many towns in Australia above 3000 feet elevation. One of those few.

      Come to think of it, double glazing would be great where I am right now - not for thermal insulation but for noise. Why are there toddlers screaming in the driveway at 1am?

    • All electric except for the stovetop, but with a big solar array to cut down on bills. Ducted HVAC and also underfloor heating, which again I've never had before.


  • AMD's "Raphael" Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs go into mass production this month. (WCCFTech)

    That would put them on track to be in retail in September or October, assuming no hiccups.

    New features to look forward to:

    • Zen 4 core - about 25% faster than Zen 3
    • DDR5 and PCIe 5 support
    • Built-in USB 4 / Thunderbolt 3 with dedicated PCIe lanes
    • Integrated graphics included on (all?) CPU parts as well as "APUs"
    • Max TDP increased from 105W to 170W

    That last item is important because the 16-core 5950X is clearly thermally limited on heavy multi-threaded workloads. There will still be low-power 65W models; you just won't have to exceed the rated specs to get maximum performance from the high-end models.

Questions and Answers

  • From Lothar of the Hill People:
    Tech question; Hardware RAID Problem. Dell T1700 Workstation Service Tag JT1YB42 with Intel Premium RST Controller and BIOS.

    ISSUE: Win 10 64 bit 2021 2H update failed, leading to a very long automatic Windows system rollback / restore. The Intel Driver assistant also installed a different driver and at the same time dis-abled the desktop app used for managing the RAID Array (Raid 1 Mirror with 2 HDD). Worse, the failed update broke one drive in the array. I installed a new drive, and used the Intel boot BIOS to join the new HDD to the array. It joined but never rebuilt and because the Intel Raid Management App was then disabled, and is now not supported by Intel, I can't use any app to tell the RST controller to rebuild the array. I'm running on one HDD.
    I've bought 2 more drives, but cannot proceed until I find a compatible RST hardware driver and an associated Intel app that can be installed on this machine.

    My questions are: 1. How can I find the correct recent driver with it's desktop management app for this chipset? Intel has dozens, Dell hasn't helped.
    Well, that's certainly a question. I'd suggest posting on the Dell subreddit.

    An alternative that should be possible with Windows 10 - I think - would be to use Storage Spaces to mirror your existing drive. That doesn't care about the RAID controller or drivers or management software; it's all done by Windows itself.


  • From Pixy Misa:
    Anyone have experience with Roombas and similar robot vacuum cleaners?

    This house is twice the size of my current house, and all on one level except the garage, so it seems like a reasonable thing to get, where it would be entirely useless where I live now.
    Your best bet is to - wait a minute.

Tech News

  • GitHub can now alert you to supply-chain vulnerabilities in the dependencies (third-party libraries) in your code. (Bleeping Computer)

    Well, that would just be an alarm that goes off all the time, so more relevant is that it can tell you where these issues are and what you can do about them.


  • California is looking to regulate AI-based employee hiring systems. (The Register)

    At multiple levels, such that both the customers and the vendors could face legal liability if the software is found to unfairly discriminate.

    I'm of two minds about this, because on the one hand most of this software is complete crap, and on the other hand California.


  • How does a high-end SSD from 2018 fare when reviewed in 2022? Not great. (Serve the Home)

    Though to be honest, this is still not a bad drive. If I had one in an working system I would not feel any burning need to replace it.


  • I hate Windows 11. Can I downgrade to Windows 10? (ZDNet)

    This question came up here recently, and this is a fuller answer than I gave.

    You can't roll back from pre-installed Win 11 to Win 10, but the two releases use the same activation keys (at least so far). If Windows 11 works on your PC you can download and install Windows 10. It will still be supported with regular updates through 2025.


  • Amazon is fighting its warehouse employees' plans to unionise. (The Washington Post / MSN)

    First time as tragedy, second time as farce. This is Microsoft's news site republishing a story by the Amazon-owned* far-left Washington Post about corporate-left Amazon fighting to destroy its working-class left employees.

    There is not enough popcorn.

    * Yes, Bezos rather than corporate, whatever.

Disclaimer: Not Jindabyne.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:56 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 1050 words, total size 8 kb.

1 We statyed with my wife's cousin in Tennessee, and she has heated floors in the bathroom.  The things you never knew you needed…

Posted by: normal at Sunday, April 10 2022 11:39 PM (obo9H)

2 Yeah, I rented a place for a while that heated floors and it's awesome.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, April 11 2022 01:23 AM (Z0GF0)

3 Yeah, I'm not happy about the AI based hiring systems.

I may have always been filtered out by them.

I'm more  worried about HR imposed software systems that filter  out qualified candidates, leaving management unable to fill positions.  I applied to a place that reported having issues with that, and was needing to fill positions in a location where I lived.  Very large company, needed people with my skillset in that location.  Also large enough that maybe they /needed/ internal controls, and a way to manage liability.  You may have actually heard of them, they were in the news for some ethical lapses that overlapped with failures of professional judgement.

At the same time, 'discrimination' and 'racist' algorithms, are about the most bullshit possible approach to understanding the effectiveness of hiring systems.

AI has definitely been stupidly and carelessly applied to a wide range of problems.  There are decisions you should not be handling with 'trust the computer, it must be correct'.

I have three issues with the 'racist AI' approach.  One, our theory of discrimination testing comes from morons, is inherently a statistical test, and is applied so reflexively by the 'experts' that they think it is not even mathematical.  It also seems to assume ergodicity, and that may be a quite invalid assumption.  Two, judges appear to be mostly morons when it comes to reasoning about statistical tests.  Three, legislatures in general and  the California legislature in specific, do not  impress me much either.

Actually, I am also enraged at the critical theory subset of the humanities for trying to ruin mathematics education.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, April 11 2022 02:35 AM (r9O5h)

4 I've been an early adopter of Roombas; the early models simply bounced around and would more-or-less cover a given room.  Maybe.  Later models do much much better.

I live in a 2 story house.  Downstairs, we have a Roomba S9+ and have been very happy with it.  Upstairs, we have an older Roomba that isn't even sold any more, but knows enough to go to the base station to recharged and continue to clean.  It will map what's it has done, but doesn't use the map for anything.


The S9+ (which comes with the Clean Base) is as close as you can get to a "I don't have to worry about vacuuming." device as you can get.  It will need a wifi connection (I suspect that most of the location tracking around the cleaning job is running on a remote server versus the robot itself) and the navigation requires there to be illumination.  After a few runs, it will generate a map of where it has been, which you can edit to  mark off rooms and other areas.  You may then schedule certain collections of areas to be cleaned on a schedule or on-demand. (Clean everything you can reach is always an option.)  You can also mark areas as "do not clean" if you wish. The S9 will clean until the battery is low, go to the base station, get all the crap sucked out it into base station vacuum bag, recharge, and then continue where it left off.  I didn't change the base station vacuum bag for a year (there's an indicator that will tell you when it's absolutely needed).

The S9+ can certainly get stuck via cords on the floor (speaker wires, ethernet cables, power cords, extension cords) and it can jam itself under low hanging furniture, although it does the latter much less often than earlier models.   If it *does* get stuck, it will make a special noise as well as indicate that it is on the mobile app.  You have ~2 hours to clear the problem to continue the current cleaning job; otherwise, you will have to start a new cleaning job versus continuing from where it got stuck. The scheduling feature is very nice; I tell ours to vacuum the entire downstairs 3 times a week and to vacuum the kitchen, breakfast nook, and family room the other two days.   The upstairs unit  is run 3 times a week and I have to remember to clean it out after it is done.

Our downstairs is tile and we tried the first version of their mopping robot, which isn't sold any more for a damned good reason.   I have no idea how well the modern mopping robot works. 


Hope this helps.

Posted by: Richard Cranium at Monday, April 11 2022 03:02 AM (769ST)

5 According to a quick search, there are 24 towns above 3000'/914m. So it doesn't narrow things down all that much, actually. I must admit I'm curious about what general areas you're moving from and to.

Posted by: David Eastman at Monday, April 11 2022 10:59 AM (qSKtI)

6 From Sydney to country New South Wales.  Which probably doesn't narrow it down a lot further because most of those high elevation towns will be in NSW.

But not the Blue Mountains, which are quite expensive these days.  And not the Snowy Mountains, which are a bit remote and cold unless you like skiing.

Looks like the contract will be signed tomorrow!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, April 11 2022 11:12 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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