Is this how time normally passes? Really slowly, in the right order?

Monday, November 20

Geek

Daily News Stuff 20 November 2023

Picnics On The Sun Edition

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Tech News



Disclaimer: Fountain pens, yes.  Everything else, no.

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Sunday, November 19

Geek

Daily News Stuff 19 November 2023

Up The Sideways Staircase Edition

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  • Starship's second test flight successfully reached space - and then went boom.  (Ars Technica)

    Not everything went to plan, but it went a lot better than the first test, with all 33 engines in the booster working, a clean separation of the second stage of the rocket, and reaching a height of nearly 150km before the automated self-destruct system got bored and decided to join in the fun.


Tech News


Disclaimer: Nobody asked you, Patrice!

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Saturday, November 18

Geek

Daily News Stuff 18 November 2023

Stage Left Pursued By A Boar Edition

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  • What the fuck is going on at OpenAI? (Tech Crunch)

    Snake ail salesman Sam Altman has been dismissed as CEO and removed from the board, and co-founder Greg Brockman, who yesterday was chairman and president, is now neither of those. CTO Mira Murati is interim CEO until a replacement can be found.

    Altman is also deeply involved in the thoroughly sleazy Worldcoin project, and the moderately dubious Humane AI pin. It might be something as simple as a conflict of interests, or it could be something... More.

    Sam Altman strikes me as a high-functioning version of Sam Bankman-Fried, so these events surprise me not at all.

Tech News


Disclaimer: Slightly less bleh. Not not bleh, but not bleh either.

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Friday, November 17

Geek

Daily News Stuff 17 November 2023

Only 317 Shopping Days Before Michaelmas Edition

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  • Running Signal - an encrypted messaging app with hundreds of millions of installs worldwide - costs $40 million a year.  (Wired)

    That's not a lot on the scale of major platforms, but the breakdown is interesting.

    Nearly half of it goes on salaries and benefits.  Signal has a relatively small engineering team but keeping engineers working in a major US city is expensive.

    $1.7 million goes to pay for 20 petabytes of data transfers for voice and video calls.  

    And $6 million is spent just on the verification messages sent via SMS when new users sign up - a markup of around 50,000% over the real data costs incurred by mobile carriers.


Tech News

Disclaimer: Bleh.

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Thursday, November 16

Geek

Daily News Stuff 16 November 2023

Stochastic Garret Edition

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  • Is my toddler a stochastic carrot?  (New Yorker)

    No.  Your toddler is actually capable of learning.

    This piece of art is a better discussion of the risks, benefits, and underlying mechanisms of generative AI than I have seen coming from almost anyone in the industry.


Tech News


Disclaimer: I once saw Julienne and the Stochastic Carrots open for the Stones at the old Palladium.

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Wednesday, November 15

Geek

Daily News Stuff 15 November 2023

Pay For Your Own Damn Camp Edition

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Tech News



Disclaimer: The ugly is out there.

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Tuesday, November 14

Geek

Daily News Stuff 14 November 2023

Flying East For The Spring Edition

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Tech News



Disclaimer: And I'm not sure why we need those when we have so many of the regular kind.

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Monday, November 13

Geek

Daily News Stuff 13 November 2023

One Step At A Time Edition

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Tech News



To Worm or Not to Worm Video of the Day





Disclaimer: Tomorrow we discuss the Worm of Theseus.

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Sunday, November 12

Geek

Daily News Stuff 12 November 2023

Any Keyboard So Long As It Sucks Edition

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Tech News

  • AMD could be looking to Samsung's 3nm process for some of the chips coming next year.  (WCCFTech)

    This would make sense, from a perspective of not putting all your eggs in one basket hanging directly over a hungry snake, and also from a perspective of not buying all your eggs from one egg shop.

    Samsung's 3nm process isn't quite as good as TSMC's, but that's like saying a Ferrari isn't quite as good as a Lamborghini, when the third option is an Edsel.


  • Monaspace is a monospace programming font superfamily from GitHub.  (GitHub)

    Good monospaced fonts used to be scarce; in the last couple of years there's been a flood of them.  This particular font provides five styles, seven weights, twenty-six widths, and twelve degrees of slant

    This has a couple of interesting features, including ten sets of ligatures - where adjacent characters are combined into a more complicated glyph - and what they are calling "texture healing".  If you have the letters imi in that sequence, in a normal monospaced font that looks ugly because the i characters are wide and the m character is squished.  Texture healing keeps everything in the monospaced grid, but lets the m fill the entire width of its cell while each i is moved to to give the m more room.

    If your application properly supports TrueType/OpenType fonts, it doesn't need to know anything about this; it uses a trick built into TrueType that us normally used to support variants of Arabic characters - in Arabic, letters can look different depending on where they are located in a word.

    You can play with it on the GitHub page and it certainly seems to work.


Disclaimer: 18 Essential Keys Should be enough for anybody.

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Saturday, November 11

Geek

Daily News Stuff 11 November 2023

Migraine Mania Edition

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  • Apple says 8GB of RAM on a Mac is equivalent to 16GB on a real computer.  But how does an 8GB Mac perform objectively on simple tasks?  Poorly.  (WCCFTech)

    If you leave your browser open with a bunch of tabs while using Lightroom, expect things to take 2.5x longer.  If you're using Final Cut Pro to edit video, up to 4x longer.

    There's absolutely no excuse for the existence of a $1600 laptop with only 8GB of RAM.  16GB of RAM is barely adequate for running any serious desktop task these days.

Tech News

  • Childhood vaccine rates are falling right across the US.  (Ars Technica)

    Some of the commenters even understand why.  Many of the childhood vaccines really are safe and effective, and we don't want a return of polio.

    But whenever the usual suspects try to blame conservatives, they run head-first into the fact that Mississippi has the highest vaccination rates in the US, and Hawaii one of the lowest.


  • Microsoft now wants to give you a quiz when you close OneDrive.  (PC World)

    There needs to be a write in option for fuck off and stay there.


  • Comments might be down for a few minutes between 2AM and 4AM Eastern tomorrow.  I'm setting up database replication on the server in preparation for some upgrades I'll be making to the blog.


Disclaimer: Good news is no news.

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