Sunday, February 27


Daily News Stuff 27 February 2022

Gettin' Shit Done Edition

Top Story

  • This is the way.

    Amazon takes longer than that just to change a status page from green to yellow.

Questions and Answers

  • From sock_rat_eez:
    Pixy, can you recommend a cheap tablet that would be (relatively) easily rooted & switched to Linux ?
    10-inch-ish size preferred, performance expectations low, SD card slot
    I'm not really up on models can easily be rooted and what versions of Linux run well, but the people at the XDA Developers forum are.  Here's the guide for the Lenovo M10 FHD Plus I have for example.

    It can be a fiddly process even for a tablet that is known to be rootable though.

  • From Faffnir:
    Using Brave,videos will not display for some COB's, mostly Weasel's Gun thread.

    Using Chrome works.

    Any suggestions?
    By default Brave doesn't install the Widevine DRM extension, so if the video is DRM-protected, it won't play.  Only thing I can think of immediately.

  • From DaveX64:
    What is your favourite data recovery utility? I stupidly left the cover off my computer and had a wireless phone sitting within 8 inches of the bottom of a Western Digital 4TB Black mechanical hard drive. It still shows in Windows but access is sporadic. I have about 2TB of data on it but a lot of it is crap anyway, would still like to get a few things off it.

    One I used successfully about ten years ago was Stellar Phoenix.  They have a free download that tells you if there's something that can be recovered before you actually pay for it.

    The other one that has a solid reputation but that I haven't needed to use is SpinRite.  It's one of the oldest data recovery apps for Windows so it looks kind of clunky, but it's well-regarded.

  • From badgerwx:
    I've heard that an SSD drive has a certain number of writes & that determines its lifespan. My laptop has an SSD main drive & a secondary HDD. Would it be worth it to move my /home & swap directories from the SSD to the HDD? I'd like to keep using this laptop as long as possible, and I'm not handy enough to open the case to replace anything.
    SSDs do have a limited lifespan, and it's more limited if you have a cheap QLC drive instead of a TLC one.  

    But modern SSDs are very clever about managing this and you have to rewrite the contents of the entire drive hundreds or even thousands of times before you run into that limit.  This does happen on busy database servers - there are more expensive SSDs rated for heavy database loads - but is unlikely on the average laptop.

  • From Rodent:
    How are things in Australia Covid/Economy wise? Hopefully they're dropping quarantines and those concentration type camp things they had.
    Here in Sydney (and the state of New South Wales generally) it's been relatively sane throughout.  Could have been better, but not crazy.

    Very limited vaccine mandates.  Mask mandates have been on again / off again.  Currently you need to wear masks on public transport and in hospitals, and you need proof of vaccination for large indoor music events.  And there's a couple of types of venues - night clubs, strip clubs, and, um, houses of ill-repute - where you have to check in.

    I have never once checked in.  I don't have the check-in app installed.  I have worn masks half a dozen times.

    Economy is going mostly okay.  Our government did spend a lot of money keeping people in jobs during the various restrictions, but it seems to have been better managed than US efforts.  Smaller scale makes that easier, I guess.

    Definitely seeing inflation starting to bite here.  Each week some other item on my grocery list has gone up by 10%.  My Amazon Prime subscription is paying off there - fresh food prices don't seem to be affected nearly as much, and other groceries I can often order cheap in bulk from Amazon if I don't care what day they arrive.

  • From questioning pookysgirl:
    What's the internet bandwidth for most of Australia? Do they use satellite for the Outback?
    Anyone in a metropolitan area and almost all country towns have 100Mbps available, 250Mbps or so if you're on cable, and 1Gbps on fibre.  Outside of town it's either fixed 5G (you get a big antenna for better reception) or a satellite solution.  There's a home-grown satellite solution called Sky Muster for the Outback, and Starlink just started deploying here too.

    How many undersea cables go into Australia? Do you ever have it that you're on an international call and it sounds like the whales are attacking the undersea cables with AK-47s? (Pooky and I used to get that sound circa 2012-2014. We'd laugh and make up stories about whale cartels.)
    There's at least a dozen major undersea cable links, the two biggest being Southern Cross which connects Sydney and LA via two different routes, and SEAMEWE3 from Perth to Singapore.

    It used to be that connecting from Sydney to Singapore would travel all the way to the US and back again, but they seem to have fixed that in the past couple of years.

    Sadly, no, I have not heard the whales.

  • From mildly citrusy:
    What is your take on blockchain data storage such as filecoin?
    Unfortunately that's rather like asking what flavour of unicorn I prefer.  Crypto developers are really bad at keeping their tenses straight, and often speak of future events in the present tense.  Unless you have very small amounts of data or very large amounts of money, you can't store data on the blockchain.

  • From markreardon:
    After 20+ years living on my corporate e-mail address, I'm coming up on retirement at the end of fiscal 2022.
    Can you discuss free vs pay e-mail and give suggestions for preferred options.
    Of all the big tech companies that will give you free email, I distrust Microsoft the least.  They'll just spam you with advertising, probably, and not report you to the Stasi so long as you are profitable.

    For paid solutions, ProtonMail is the benchmark, but they give you very little online storage.

  • From Lexistexas:
    So, proof of work, to get on the blockchain requires solution of an algorithm, right? Who comes up with the algorithm? And how do the other nodes on the network know the answer in order to verify it?
    The algorithm is baked into the blockchain when it is designed (which means that a poorly-chosen algorithm can wreck a blockchain further down the road).

    The algorithms are designed so that it is hard to compute the right answer, but easy to verify that a supplied answer is correct.  This generally involves very large prime numbers and probably elves.

  • From Bildo:
    I have an Asus ROG laptop that won't connect over wifi to any printer. I've checked my router, my firewall, and all the laptop settings I can I think of. No matter what I try I get the same "Wireless Printer Not Found" message. Any ideas as to what's going on?
    Elves again?  Possibly dark elves.  The combination of Windows networking and printers has always involved black magic.

  • From The Mantastic Tor:
    You often make references to the Four Essential Keys. I've worked in IT for 25 years and had never heard this phrase before you, and I haven't been able to find any other mention of this phrase in my web searches. So, if you please, which keys are these?
    PgUp, PgDn, Home, and End.  If you are using a modern IDE without those keyboards you often to hold down three, sometimes four keys at once to perform common functions.

    I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that on small laptops there is no good solution to this.  Either the keys are missing, or they are present but the keyboard is too crowded or too small, or shifted one key to the left so the keys are never where you expect if you touch type.

Tech News

  • Swapped the 512GB SSD in my Dell Inspiron 14 for the spare 4TB QLC one I had.  (I was originally going to use two 4TB QLC drives in my two Inspiron 16s but then (a) the QLC model went out of stock and (b) Amazon had the TLC model at the same price.  So I got two of those and the QLC drive I already had ended up surplus.)

    Opened it up (kind of fiddly), found the SSD slot (hidden but not very), installed the new drive, closed it up, and...

    Wouldn't power on.

    Opened it back up, swapped the original drive back in, powered it on with the case open - works.

    Installed the 4TB drive again, crossed fingers - powered on this time.

    Okay, done.  I promise to never open this one up again.  That just leaves, uh, four more laptops to do.  Including the Aero 13 which doesn't even have visible screws.

    Speaking of the Aero 13, it came with a big clunky barrel jack charger.  I have a little USB charger on the bedside table with one USB-C port (and four regular ones), and wanted to see if it would charge from that.

    Yep.  No problem.  It's only getting 35W so it won't charge very quickly, but since it only gets used in the evening for watching YouTube and checking websites, the chance of me running through its battery life is basically zero anyway.

  • Intel, AMD, and TSMC have cut off supply of chips to Russia.  (Tom's Hardware)

    China has also been banned from shipping products using those chips to Russia, which doesn't mean they won't do it on the black market anyway, but restrictions on volume and higher prices will fairly quickly strangle Russian IT.

    China's own chip production is mostly at 20nm, several years behind Taiwan and South Korea which are both at 5nm, or Intel at 7nm.

  • Nvidia was reportedly breached by South American extortion group LAPSU$.

    South American extortion group LAPSU$ was also reportedly breached by Nvidia.  (WCCFTech)

    The story is Nvidia followed the backchannel to the hackers' own servers, encrypted their data, and is now holding them to ransom.

    Many grains of salt with this one, though the initial hacking attempt appears to be confirmed.

  • Russia is gradually being cut off from the SWIFT payment network.  (The Guardian)

    Russia has $500 billion in foreign reserves...  Digitally.  They can't spend it if no foreign bank will talk to them.

    Of course with the idiots currently in charge in Washington DC and Berlin this won't be a clean isolation, but they can turn the thumbscrews tighter day by day.

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

Disclaimer:  A railway station, a Woolworths, a loaf of gluten-free bread, and an FTTP connection, and wilderness will be Pixy Central enow.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:12 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 1787 words, total size 13 kb.

1 "Each week some other item on my grocery list has gone up by 10%."

Here (New England, fuckin' USA!) meat is 50-100% higher than it was 2 years ago (though chicken still goes on discount for as low as 99¢/lb), beans are up 40%, limes just recently doubled, and of course sushi is swiftly heading for the unattaiinable.  Meanwhile, I think we're slated to get a 3% cost-of-living raise this (fiscal) year.  I trust that NPR/NYT/Disney are all going to tell me that this is a Good Thingâ„¢.

Posted by: normal at Monday, February 28 2022 03:23 AM (obo9H)

2 Correction - Berlin does not have idiots.  They have out and out traitors to the West openly serving as paid agents to Moscow.

Not sure who did, but some Bavarian was proposing that it would be better if the Poles marched west on Berlin back during one of Angela Merkel's dumber decisions.  I seriously think the Poles should march all the way to the Rhine.

On the other hand, how does the idea of turning Lviv into Lvov again sound?

Posted by: cxt217 at Monday, February 28 2022 07:23 AM (MuaLM)

3 Much to my surprise, Berlin just delivered a €100 billion shipment of Trump was right.
Scholz said the 100 billion euro fund ($113 billion) was currently a one-time measure for 2022. It wasn’t immediately clear whether similar funding would be allocated in future years. But Scholz indicated Germany will exceed the 2% of GDP threshold going forward, signaling an overall future increase in defense spending.

A day earlier, Germany announced another major policy shift, saying it will send weapons and other supplies directly to Ukraine, including 500 Stinger missiles, which are used to shoot down helicopters and warplanes, and 1,000 anti-tank weapons.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, February 28 2022 09:31 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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