Sunday, March 13


Daily News Stuff 13 March 2022

Third Mortgage Edition

Top Story

  • AMD's new Threadripper Pro 5995WX is the fastest CPU in the world. (Tom's Hardware)

    I mentioned yesterday that AMD was losing ground in an area where it had total dominance a couple of years ago, but it has a lot of ground to lose. 24 of the 25 fastest CPUs available are made by AMD, with only Intel's Xeon Platinum 8380 making the rankings - and even then behind AMD chips at one third the price.

    Apple's brand new M1 Ultra should roughly match AMD's 5950X from 2020 at #36 on the list. The existing M1 Max is at #180.

    Now, this is one particular benchmark suite - PassMark - but it's one that I've found pretty reliable over the years, with results covering Intel, AMD, and various Arm chips, and going back to 2009.

Questions and Answers

  • From A Whole Bunch of Readers:
    The comments are showing "not secure" in my browser. Why are the comments showing "not secure"?
    Your browser is neurotic.

    Also, fixed.

  • From GWB:
    Single- vs multi-threaded? Where do I encounter each?
    Word/Excel/Powerpoint? gimp/Photoshop? Music mixer programs? Virtual reality games (Second Life)? Other games that aren't online? 3D building (Blender, all those inexpensive house plan-making apps)? Teams/Zoom/Skype?
    Good question.

    Blender is definitely multi-threaded. The better music mixer programs are multi-threaded. Most games are multi-threaded. (Because consoles have had multiple cores for years. Even the PlayStation 2, sort of.)

    Office applications are mostly single-threaded, same with meeting apps. Photoshop is I believe still mostly single-threaded, though some filters will make use of all your cores.

  • From Methos:
    Brave has the feature where it dings you with ads periodically and gives their inhouse currency thing which then gets distributed to the sites you use, and there's a listing for there (rather than, like the other listings). Does that get to you or ace at all, and is it actually worth anything?
    It definitely doesn't get to us, and I doubt it's worth anything. I should check though.

  • From SSR:
    I despise anything cloud based, always connected software, and subscription fees. I purchase stand alone versions of Microsoft Office and Acrobat Pro and the a-holes still force log in. And don't get me started on operating systems. The only thing I think should be connected is software that you are actively using and know is connected (i.e. email client, web browser) and user requested OS check for updates. I have an iPhone (I refuse everything Google) and probably have 7/8 of everything turned off. I realize there is no getting around being connected without completely disconnecting but then your life is made difficult. Ranting over, what can you recommend to be as minimally connected as possible on a personal laptop/PC?
    So far I am leaning toward Mint and Softmaker Office but need replacements for Acrobat Pro and iTunes to transfer music, photos, and bookmarks.
    Mint or Ubuntu would be my choices there. There are free Linux apps to create and edit PDFs and mage music and photos. They may not be as pretty as iTunes but given that the last time I checked, iTunes still stored all its metadata in a single huge XML file, they pretty much have to work better.

  • From Daniel Ream:
    Continuing on with my media server project: I'm looking at Plex as a media server/organizer but I will need transcoding support because reasons. The i3-10105 CPU doesn't have an integrated GPU; are there other single CPU options that can do cool, quiet, and just enough GPU to transcode to h.264 8 bit with subtitles or should I look at a dedicated GPU with the i3?
    Hmm. The i3-10105 is listed as having UHD 630 integrated graphics, which should work with Plex. Normally only Intel CPUs ending with F lack the integrated graphics. (Well, and high-end workstation and server chips.)

  • From Found the libertarian, boss!
    Just how bad is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8, anyway?

    It was the cheapest 10" available at officeworks. I use it for chrome and YouTube.
    Roast my tablet.
    Full specs here. (GSM Arena)

    It has two A75 cores and six A55 cores. Not high-end but perfectly adequate and definitely faster than the Lenovo M10 I have.

  • From LeastinID:
    I am often having trouble when I try to view AoS on my iPhone ( - it starts loading, seems to hiccup and starts reloading, hiccups again and then displays a black page with this text: " A problem has repeatedly occurred on'HTTP://http' " This has happened with different browsers.
    It seems as if it's an IOS problem, 'cause it doesn't happen on my MacBook.
    Most likely your phone ran out of memory, because the main page here is filled with stuff. Let me know which model it is, because if it's an older one we might not be able to do much, but if it's a newer model it definitely shouldn't be running out of memory and we need to fix the site.

  • From the last to post:
    This is probably a dumb question: Is there a way to download Youtube videos for later viewing?

    (Google has not been my friend when trying to find this out... ;-)
    Yes, one of four ways:

    1. In the Android and iOS apps, some videos have a download button.
    2. If you have YouTube Premium, this works for most videos and is also supported in Chrome (possibly other browsers, definitely in Chrome).
    3. A variety of dubious free and paid apps.
    4. YouTube-dl. (GitHub)

  • From Retired, thank God:
    My question concerns Kaspersky - I have used them for my internet security and anti-virus protection for several years without a problem. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the potential for collateral damage, do you think that I should switch to another company for this? If I should switch, which company do you recommend for Windows 10? Thanks.
    My recommendation at this point - unless you have specific security needs - is to stick with the built-in Windows Defender. It's actually pretty good.

  • Sorry if I missed anyone, busy weekend.

Tech News

  • The Raspberry Pi Pico is now available as a Commodore 64 cartridge. (Tom's Hardware)

    Because... Because it's cool. That's because.

  • AMD CPUs See Less Than 10% Performance Drop From Revised Spectre-v2 Mitigations (Tom's Hardware)

    AMD Strategy For Spectre V2 Vulnerability Noted As "Inadequate", Up To 54% Drop In CPU Performance (WCCFTech)

    The Performance Impact Of AMD Changing Their Retpoline Method For Spectre V2 (Phoronix)

    Three sites reporting the exact same story. Phoronix ran the benchmarks that Tom's Hardware and WCCFTech linked in their respective articles.

  • A short conversation with a bank. (Things That Have Caught My Attention)

    Fortunately I have someone assisting me with my upcoming conversation with a bank.

  • Kali Linux is adding operating system snapshots to bare-metal installs. (Bleeping Computer)

    With BTRFS rather than ZFS, but same basic idea.

    If your computer doesn't boot after you install some updates, you can just tell it to boot from the version before you installed your updates. The snapshots are created automatically on every boot and every software update.

  • Amazon is closing all its brick and mortar stores because - basically - they suck. (ZDNet)

    Amazon knows how to disrupt traditional retail. It does not know how to fix it.

  • Are Apple customers particularly stupid? Signs point to yes:

    How to rearrange the icons in your MacOS dock. (ZDNet)

    The answer is, drag and drop, just like for the last fifteen years.

    Everything you needed to know about the new Mac Studio. (9to5Mac)

    We copied Apple's website and put ads in it because our readers are dumb.

  • Open up! LPD! (Input)

    This is all kind of dumb.

  • I have one of those little laser measury things. My house is 30cm longer than I guess just by standing back and looking at it.

  • Walgreens replaced some fridge doors with screens. And some shoppers absolutely hate it. (CNN)

    You know the ones - they prevent you from seeing what is actually in the freezer which is the entire reason you are standing in front of the freezer in the first place.
    "Why would Walgreens do this?" one befuddled shopper who encountered the screens posted on TikTok. "Who on God's green earth thought this was a good idea?"
    Good question, TikTokMan.
    "I hope that we will one day be able to expand across all parts of the store," said Cooler Screens co-founder and CEO Arsen Avakian in an interview with CNN Business.
    How about no?
    But beyond the confused social media posts, the tech has also attracted misinformation and conspiracy theories. Politifact last month debunked a viral Facebook video that claimed "Walgreens refrigerators are scanning shoppers' hands and foreheads for 'the mark of the beast.'"
    Do tell.
    The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

    But while the question of whether COVID-19 vaccines are the "mark of the beast" may be open to religious interpretation, another question remains. Are the Cooler Screens at Walgreens meant to detect markings and prevent people who lack those markings from shopping? No.

    The Cooler Screens doors are "equipped with a camera, motion sensors, and eye tracking," according to a 2019 Fast Company article. "The doors can discern your gender, your general age range, what products you’re looking at, how long you’re standing there, and even what your emotional response is to a particular product."
    I am monumentally reassured that the supermarket freezer is merely assessing my emotional state and social credit score and not scanning for literal Biblical insignia.

Party Like It's 1980-ish Video of the Day

Disclaimer: I didn't do it! The freezer framed me!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:42 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 1594 words, total size 13 kb.

1 "But for customers who just want to peek into the freezer and grab their ice cream,Walgreens(WBA)risks angering them by solving a problem that shoppers didn't know existed."
ITYM "...solving a problem that doesn't exist."
Great, eye tracking?  Now I gotta wear mirrorshades the less than once a year I go in Walgreens.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, March 14 2022 03:51 AM (Z0GF0)

2 "Cooler Screens says 90% of consumers it has surveyed prefer its digital screens to traditional fridges"
Sure, and 95% of their surveyees were either employees of Cooler Screens or paste eaters.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, March 14 2022 03:53 AM (Z0GF0)

3 The Phildickian future of constant, obnoxious surviellance coupled with intrusive ads on every available surface is finally here!  Now I can die in peace.

Posted by: normal at Monday, March 14 2022 05:05 AM (obo9H)

4 Also, if they do manage to take down youtube-dl (though your local install will continue to work) there's also and (yt-dlc hasn't been updated in a while).

Posted by: normal at Monday, March 14 2022 05:11 AM (obo9H)

5 Sadly, your local install of youtube-dl will only work until Google rotates their shield frequencies again. Best recent example I can think of is when I had to switch to the yt-dlp fork because they'd changed things just enough that the main youtube-dl distribution was taking hours to download short videos, and the maintainers weren't interested in merging the pull request that fixed it.

I like the 1300-line comment in JWZ's downloader documenting his struggles to keep up with their ever-changing obfuscation.


Posted by: J Greely at Monday, March 14 2022 06:57 AM (ZlYZd)

6 Yes, Youtube-dl has become very, very slow to the point of uselessness.  I tried yt-dlp but so far, my ability to make command line entries (Which may be a bit rusty, but since I grew-up using command line entries...) for it has been...Unsuccessful.

Posted by: cxt217 at Monday, March 14 2022 09:43 AM (MuaLM)

7 Someone took over maintenance of youtube-dl about six weeks ago, and seems to be working through the most-critical of the 4000+ open issues, but hasn't made a new release yet. I don't see a reason to switch back from yt-dlp, since I wasn't using any options that differ between the two; the only thing I've had to add to my command-line calls is "--compat-options filename" to preserve consistency with my existing downloads.


Posted by: J Greely at Monday, March 14 2022 10:18 AM (ZlYZd)

8 Hey, there's some fun stuff in JWZ's downloader.
$title =~ s/!+/!/gsi; # yes, I'm excited too

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, March 14 2022 11:31 AM (Z0GF0)

9 Pixy said: "iTunes still stored all its metadata in a single huge XML file"

No, but it used to generate an XML file every time it saved the DB in its proprietary and undocumented ITL format. The switch from to finally ended that, and now it's only stored in a completely new proprietary format, which is almost certainly based on what the iPhone team liked.

(amusingly, I just discovered that I've been copying around a 140MB "Previous iTunes Libraries" directory from laptop to laptop, that goes back to 2007)


Posted by: J Greely at Monday, March 14 2022 11:36 AM (ZlYZd)

10 I have been using the free version of 4K Video Downloader ( for a couple of years and it works fine. Just the occasional bleg to update to the paid version and a limit of 30 downloads a day.

Posted by: SundogUK at Sunday, March 20 2022 07:09 PM (UWepf)

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

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