This accidentally fell out of her pocket when I bumped into her. Took me four goes.

Sunday, May 21


Daily News Stuff 21 May 2023

Burning Trees Edition

Top Story

  • I used to recommend that people only buy SSDs from companies that made their own flash memory and controllers, like Samsung, Intel, and Micron/Crucial.

    Intel has quit the industry entirely, Samsung had a series of serious issues with its high-end 980 Pro and 990 Pro drives, and now Sandisk (owned by Western Digital) is suffering drives spontaneously eating all your data.  (Ars Technica)

    This specific issue has been discussed on Reddit and covered by Louis Rossman and is supposedly due to MacOS constantly probing the drive even in sleep mode and eventually causing a bit to flip that turns on drive encryption without first setting a key and corrupts the entire thing.

    Which (a) sounds like something a Mac would do and (b) would not be possible unless the drive was broken in the first place.

    The bigger problem being that Sandisk refuses to admit to a problem at all.

    So that leaves Micron / Crucial (Crucial is Micron's consumer brand), which hasn't done anything too outrageous except that its low-cost P3 models aren't as attractive for heavy workloads as Team's MP34.

Tech News

  • Intel is looking at making future chips 64-bit only.  (Tom's Hardware)

    While this would technically break backward compatibility, that's not entirely bad.  Nobody is running 8086 code directly on a 13900KS.  If you want to play an old game it likely won't work outside of an emulator like DOSBox, and DOSBox won't break with this change.

    Removing the two 16-bit modes (8086 and 80286) likely won't cause much fuss and won't require any changes except for BIOS writers who will breathe a sigh of relief, because they no longer have to bootstrap up through those two modes to reach 32-bit and 64-bit mode.

    Removing 32-bit mode is a bit more controversial.  Apple did it and it broke stuff everywhere, but Apple's approach to this has always been that it's your own stupid fault for buying their products in the first place.

  • 6+8=16.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Intel's new 16 core Meteor Lake chip really does have 6 Performance cores and 8 Efficiency cores on the CPU chiplet, because all Meteor Lake chips have two additional Efficiency cores on the I/O (Intel call it the SOC) chiplet.  The extra two cores are extra low power, designed to keep running when your computer is in sleep mode, doing stuff you don't know about and didn't ask for.

  • Run Linux.

  • It still does things you don't know about and didn't ask for - systemd I'm looking at you - but at least everything is documented.  Somewhere.

  • Is the Internet of Things - what I call the Internet of Insecure Pieces of Crap - insufficiently broken?  If so, surely the solution is to add ChatGPT.  (Atomic14)

    Yep.  If it's not broken enough now, that will solve the problem.

Disclaimer: IoT or not IoT, that is the GPT.

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Saturday, May 20


Daily News Stuff 20 May 2023

Hairy Wizard Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Bad update definitions detected.  Catch fire?  [Abort/Retry/Extinguish)

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Friday, May 19


Daily News Stuff 19 May 2023

Spirits From The Vasty Deep Edition - Now With Added Formatting!

Top Story

  • If you want to learn Python you could probably do worse than the current No Starch Press offer at Humble Bundle.

    18 books at about $2 each. Automate the Boring Stuff with Python in particular has glowing reviews, and buying that book alone would cost as much as this entire bundle.

    I have a ridiculous number of books on Kindle now, largely because I buy anything up to 100 each month in Humble Bundles.

    This particular bundle is available for another three days, but if you miss it there' will probably be a new Python bundle within a month.

  • I'll make my ChatGPT, with blackjack, and hookers. (Eric's Code)

    He's good to his word, not only making ChatGPT with blackjack and hookers, but showing you how to do it yourself. You'll need a reasonable level of hardware - he recommends 2TB of fast SSD to make sure you don't run out of room in the middle of a 20-hour training run - but nothing outlandish in a time when a brand new 2TB SSD costs less than the average monthly cable bill. The instructions suggest renting time at AWS rather than trying to configure the system yourself - not that you can't, just that it's easier.

    The problem is that while there are now multiple open source AIs in the style of ChatGPT, the bootstrapping process to get them trained has infected them with the same authoritarian woke bullshit as ChatGPT itself. As the author says:
    It's my computer, it should do what I want. My toaster toasts when I want. My car drives where I want. My lighter burns what I want. My knife cuts what I want. Why should the open-source AI running on my computer, get to decide for itself when it wants to answer my question? This is about ownership and control. If I ask my model a question, I want an answer, I do not want it arguing with me.
    And then details exactly how to achieve this. Not in broad terms, but with specific instructions every step of the way.

Tech News

  • The leaks were right once again, and Nvidia has launched the 4060 and 4060 Ti. (Tom's Hardare)

    The 4060 Ti 8GB model will be in stores next week at $399.

    The 4060 8GB model will ship in July at a pretty reasonable $299.

    And the 4060 Ti 16GB model will also ship in July, at $499.

    Which puts it half-way to the much faster 4070 and means once again that Nvidia really doesn't want anyone to buy its products. 8GB of GDDR6 RAM costs around $33 on the spot market, and Nvidia and its board partners will be paying rather less than that.

  • Is your laptop just too fast and sleek for your liking? The Book 8088 DOS System has an 8088 running DOS. (Liliputing)

    An actual genuine 8088, with an 8087 coprocessor socket. And a socket for an OPL-3 sound chip as found in the Soundblaster Pro, because as standard it can only make tinny little bleeps.

  • Bluesky Social, the company started by ex-Twitter CEO and drugged-out mosquito bait Jack Dorsey, just released its code as open source. (ZDNet)
    Unlike Twitter, which is still tripping over its own open source feet, Bluesky client code is for anyone who wants to work on improving the code or use it as the basis for their own social network. Twitter's recommendation code, on the other hand, is essentially unusable.

    The Bluesky code, licensed under the MIT License, can be used now. Indeed, while it's been out for only about 24 hours, it's already been forked 88 times and has earned over 1,300 GitHub Stars.

    While it's specifically the Bluesky Social app's codebase, it's also a resource for AT Protocol programmers. This protocol supports a decentralized social network. Its features include connecting with anyone on a server that supports AT Protocol; controlling how users see the world via an open algorithm market; and enabling users to change hosts without losing their content, followers, or identity.

    The code itself is written in React Native. This is an open-source, user-interface JavaScript software framework. It's used primarily to build applications that run on both iOS and Android devices.
    What they have released is a social network client. Completely unrelated to the server-side code that Twitter released, and really only of use to people who want to write social network clients for mobile devices. Or rather, people who want to have written social network clients for mobile devices without doing the work, and who are willing to have a client that has no server to talk to other than Bluesky itself, which is still in very limited release.

Disclaimer: Here's an open-source client for my $5000 per month service. Don't say I never did anything for you.

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Thursday, May 18


Daily News Stuff 18 May 2023

Have You Tried Looking Under The Sofa Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Has ChatGPT been neutered?  (Hacker News)

    Lots of people saying yes, they use ChatGPT and it gets more useless every week.

    Lots of other people saying they don't use ChatGPT but the above people are clearly lying.

  • What happened with Asus routers this morning?  (Downtown Doug Brown)

    No answer, but it looks like it automatically downloaded a file of firmware update information - even if you have automated updates turned off, it downloads that file so it can tell you an update is available - and the file was bad and the router plotzed.

    Fortunately a simple reboot would fix it.

  • A review of the QNAP QSW-2104-2T switch.  (Serve the Home)

    A very short review since it's an unmanaged switch without even POE.  It's not even complicated enough for QNAP to inject security flaws.  It works great because it's too dumb to fail.

  • Mojo is Python only not.

    Sounds great.  Where can I download the source code?

    You can't.



    Docker container?

    Usually, sir, but there's been a lot of demand and we've run out.

  • The Analogue Duo is a PC Engine / TurboGrafx hardware emulator.  (Notebook Check)

    It uses an FPGA to precisely emulate the hardware rather than using software which would be cheaper and easier and probably off by a millisecond here or there.

    I want a Sharp X68000 emulator.

    Oh.  Here's six.  (Gametech Wiki)a

    Dragon Spirit also ran on the TurboGrafx but the X68000 port was the best.

Disclaimer: I only wanted one, but six will do.

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Wednesday, May 17


Daily News Stuff 17 May 2023

Hot And Cold Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: I mean, it seems like it would all be much simpler if we would just...  Not.

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Tuesday, May 16


Daily News Stuff 16 May 2023

Sometimes The Bad Die Young Edition

Top Story

  • Vice Media has filed for bankruptcy.  (New York Times)

    Once valued at $5.7 billion by idiots, the company is being sold off to one group of creditors for $225 million, which is less than is outstanding on an existing loan from the group so they get nothing.

Tech News

Disclaimer: E before I except after Z.  This message brought to you by the Alphabetical Order Association of America.

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Monday, May 15


Daily News Stuff 15 May 2023

Do Not Flaunt Happy Fun Ball Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • HP has a new Pavilion Aero 13 range, replacing the 5800U with a 7735U, which is to say a 6800U.  (Liliputing)

    This offers basically the same CPU performance as before, but double the graphics performance, so it's a pretty solid update.

    It's configurable with a decent 1920x1200 screen or a very nice 2560x1600 version, has the Four Essential Keys, and comes 8GB or 16GB of RAM soldered in place, which is not so nice.  If you want a small, light notebook with a great screen and don't need to run anything intensive - or only use one application at a time - it's pretty good.  But with 32GB of RAM it would be great.

  • Apple is reportedly preparing the new M3 Pro chip for laptops, with 12 CPU cores (sort of), 18 GPU cores, and 36GB of RAM.  (Bloomberg)
    I’m sure you’re wondering: How can Apple possibly fit that many cores on a chip? The answer is the 3-nanometer manufacturing process, which the company will be switching to with its M3 line. That approach allows for higher-density chips, meaning a designer can fit more cores into an already small processor.
    No, I'm not wondering that, because I'm not an idiot.

    AMD's 6800U processor mentioned above has 8 CPU cores - all full-size, not half full and half crippled - and 12 GPU cores, is built on TSMC's 6nm process, and measures 208 square mm.  And was launched at the beginning of last year.

  • OpenSearch hasn't failed.  (InfoWorld)

    OpenSearch was born out of a dispute between Elasticsearch and Amazon.  Amazon offered Elasticsearch as a service.  Elasticsearch didn't like that but couldn't do much about it because their code was open source, so they change the license to make it less open to prevent Amazon from doing this.

    Amazon took the previous version of Elasticsearch, under the old open source license, renamed it OpenSearch, and started updating it themselves.

    And...  It seems to be working.

  • Crucial's 2TB P3 SSD is available at Amazon for $88.  (Tom's Hardware)

    On the one hand, it's not a high-end drive; it's DRAMless QLC, which used to be instant death but is now merely kind of meh thanks to dramatically improved controllers.

    On the other hand, my benchmark price for a decent budget SSD is $100 per TB, and this is less than half that.

    Team's 2TB MP33 is available for $78, and that's TLC, though it's a slower controller - it maxes out at about 2GB per second, and gets quite slow if you need to write hundreds of gigabytes of data all at once.  (Tom's Hardware)

    But if you do that, you can probably afford more than $78 for an SSD.

  • You can run LLaMA 13B on a 6GB graphics card.  (GitHub)

    Previously - as in, last week - you would have looked towards the smaller 7B model if you were looking to run LLMs on budget hardware, but with some adjustments the 13B model runs well enough on an RTX 2060 or a laptop RTX 3060.

    This should work for Alpacas and Vicunas as well.  No word as yet on Guanacos, or on Old World camelids.

Disclaimer: Old World Camelids WBAGNFARB.

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Sunday, May 14


Daily News Stuff 14 May 2023

Capippalism Ho Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: For small values of five.

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Saturday, May 13


Daily News Stuff 13 May 2023

Oh Nyo Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Video of the Day

Asus motherboards have been blowing up Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs by applying too much voltage.

Asus has provided an emergency BIOS patch to prevent this.

If you use it, it voids your motherboard warranty.

If you don't use it, it might void your CPU.

Tech YouTubers are not impressed.

Disclaimer: Powdered snow is no match for HIC!

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Friday, May 12


Daily News Stuff 12 May 2023

Plus Ca Change, Plus A L'orange Edition

Top Story

  • It's nice to see that some things never change.  MongoDB's memory management is still complete shit, for example.

  • A month ago we were still wondering if it was an April Fool's prank, and now it's (almost) here: The Asus ROG Ally.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is a handheld gaming PC, like the Steam Deck or a bigger and more expensive Nintendo Switch.  It has a Ryzen Z1 or Z1 Extreme (a variant of the laptop 7840U chip), 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a seven inch 1080p screen.

    The new CPU is about twice as fast as the one in the Steam Deck, but because the display resolution is also roughly doubled - two million pixels vs. one million on the Steam Deck - game performance on default settings is typically a little slower.

    Oh, and it runs Windows, where the Steam Deck runs Linux with neat emulation that works with almost all Windows games.

    Impressive piece of technology, but the battery life isn't there yet.

    Price is $599 compared to $549 for a comparable Steam Deck, which is pretty good for the more powerful hardware.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Sorry not sorry.

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