Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.

Monday, August 21


Daily News Stuff 21 August 2023

Was/Were Edition

Top Story

  • Amazon workers are demanding "data" explaining why they should return to working in the office.  (Seattle Times)  (archive site)
    Workers who have asked the company to share data have been provided anecdotes and a consistent trope that innovation is more likely to happen in person.
    Which is true.
    That has left some workers feeling demoralized, distracted and undervalued as they struggle to stay focused and motivated, according to interviews and internal communications shared with The Times.
    Well, perhaps less true with a useless pack of mopes like this lot.
    An Amazon manager, who is based on the East Coast and asked to speak anonymously to protect their job, said it is "dehumanizing," and feels as if leadership doesn’t trust its employees to understand their reasoning. In Slack messages, employees anonymously posted that Amazon’s decisions were "dystopian" and creating "just a horrible situation."
    I was going to suggest simply firing them all, but after hearing this heartfelt message I would like instead to propose turning them into jam.

Tech News

  • The LG Gram Style is a great laptop except apparently for the touchpad.  (The Verge)

    It's light - 2.7 lbs is great for a 16" laptop.  It has a beautiful 3200x2000 120Hz OLED display.  RAM is soldered but at least there's 32GB of it, paired with an Intel 1360P CPU and 1TB of SSD.  The keyboard has the Four Essential Keys albeit in the form of a three-column numpad, which is an acceptable tradeoff.  And it has two USB-C ports, one USB-A, a headphone jack, and a microSD reader.

    Oh, and it changes colour depending on the angle.

    Around $1400 at Best Buy which, so it's not exactly cheap, but not insanely expensive either.

  • Good Omens season 2 is diverse!  (The Verge)

    But is it any good?
    The sheer breadth of representation across the second season of Neil Gaiman’s divine comedy is nothing short of miraculous.
    So that's a no.

    Not that you need to take The Verge's word for it: I've watched the whole thing.

    Season one, adapted from the classic book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, is great.  Not perfect perhaps, but technically excellent, well-acted, and faithful to the book.

    Season two, by Neil Gaiman alone, is technically excellent, well-acted, and quite passable up until the final episode which is an unmitigated disaster.

    Hopefully the writers' strike will go on forever and we'll never get a season three.

  • 1.4 billion people will need to "reskill" over the next three years as AI transforms the workforce.  (IBM)

    Skills most likely to be in demand include:

    * The patience to coax a coherent response out of an utterly broken AI system
    * Apologising to customers after the company's AI has screwed up their order
    * Fixing AI errors before they send the company bankrupt
    * Switching the AI off entirely without management knowing about it

  • Russia's Luna 25 automated lander has "ceased to exist" after colliding with the Moon.  (CNN)

    That'll do it.

  • After Elon Musk suggested that the block function would be limited to DMs, so many users left Twitter for Jack Dorsey's Bluesky Social that the newer platform buckled under the load.  (Tech Crunch)

    How many?

    So many!


    Five thousand.

    Yes, 0.0015% of Twitter's active monthly users was enough to make Bluesky cave in.

    While it's true that Thread's 100 million users didn't stay around for long, nor do much while they were there, at least the platform didn't collapse under them.

Disclaimer: Though there is time for that yet.

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Sunday, August 20


Daily News Stuff 20 August 2023

Every Way But Which Edition

Top Story

  • What is real and what is not in TikTok's mental illness plague?  (The Verge)

    What is the difference between someone pretending to be mentally ill for the social benefits and someone who is actually mentally ill?
    It was TikTok, in Robinson's eyes, that was driving the sudden rise in pediatric DID referrals. "It's possible that social media is revealing new ways for individuals with genuine DID to express themselves," he said in his lecture. But he also issued a warning: "however, it’s also very possible that social media and internet trends are contributing to increased DID claims that are not genuine." That is, people claiming to have DID might be mistaken, confused, or simply faking it.
    As a licensed professional, Dr Robinson is required by law never to give a straight answer.

    As a licensed unprofessional, on the other hand, I can tell you this: Everyone on TikTok is faking being crazy for social credit points.

    If you want to find people who are legitimately mentally ill, check the bios on Twitter.
    He started with a clip of a rainbow-haired DID system purchasing a personalized cake to celebrate their official DID diagnosis, something Robinson thought was "surprising," as it contrasted with the typically "hidden" nature of the disorder. He shared footage of a system cycling through eight elaborate neon outfits - complete with wigs and cat-like paws - attributed to their different alters, "overt changes" of appearance that Robinson felt were "not characteristic" of the DID patients clinicians see each day.
    Thanks doc, and no shit.  Identity disorders don't come with complimentary wardrobes.  These are adult-sized children who want to live in cartoon world.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Well, not that shocked.

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Saturday, August 19


Daily News Stuff 19 August 2023

Moosebrush Edition

Top Story

  • Microsoft: AI is a tidal wave of change as big as the internet.

    Also Microsoft: The Ottawa Food Bank is a top-ten must-see tourist spot when you travel to Canada. (Ars Technica)
    Consider going into it on an empty stomach.
    Thanks for the tip!

    To be fair, this is Canada, and after you've finished carving your initials into a moose and then fended off MAID Team Six while seeking treatment for the resulting moose bite there is not a whole lot to do.

Tech News

  • A key feature of NFTs that never actually worked no longer works. (The Verge)

    They're talking about royalty payments, which are supposed to pay the creator of an NFT (the article talks about the "artist", another disconnect) every time an NFT is sold, just like in the real world where such royalty payments are enforced by the Secret World Government's Unicorn Death Squads.

    Which is to say, nothing in the real world works this way, and it never worked for NFTs either. You could set it up to work on specific marketplaces, but anyone could just not sell their NFTs on those marketplaces.

  • AI could be the saviour software companies need. (Tech Crunch)

    Or unicorns, one of those two.

    Worth noting that when the article says "saviour" it means "insanely unethical tool for milking more money out of customers trapped in subscription plans for what used to be a one-time purchase".

  • In the market for a rather large and somewhat expensive tablet running Linux - and not the Android variety either, but a choice of distributions including Ubuntu and Mint? The StarLite Mk V might be what you're after. (Liliputing)

    With a 12.5" screen it's not pocket-friendly, but the 2880x1920 resolution is nothing to complain about, and that's paired with an Intel N200 CPU - so yes, it can also run Windows, 16GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of storage. Which is user-replaceable, like recent Microsoft Surface devices. It doesn't say but it's safe to assume it uses an M.2 2230 SSD.

  • Speaking of tablets that can also run Windows, the Lenovo Legion Go is one. (WCCFTech)

    This is a handheld gaming device - like the Steam Deck - but with detachable game controllers so you could in theory just use it as a tablet.

    It will be powered by AMD's Z1 CPU - all these devices are, except for the Steam Deck itself - and will come with... Uh, that's all the details we have.

  • Remember the days when phones came with headphone jacks and microSD slots, and even, sometimes, replaceable batteries? Nokia apparently does, because the G310 5G has all of those. (Liliputing)

    And it costs $186.

    It comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which are both adequate for a budget phone, and the CPU has two A76 cores and four A55 cores, which should also be fine. (A70 series cores are much faster than A50.)

    The main camera is a 50MP autofocus, with an 8MP selfie camera.

    And you can buy a replacement screen for $55 and swap it yourself if you happen to drop it.

    Only real shortcoming is that screen, which is a 720p model and not 1080p, but given all the other good points I think this could be a solid little device for anyone who wants a phone and not a status symbol.

    On sale in the US next week.

  • 25% of Gen Z is retarded. (The Verge)

    They don't trust mainstream media - wise - so they instead get their news from TikTok and find themselves distressed that nobody is investigating Katy Perry for murdering a nun.
    A recent study by Google’s Jigsaw unit, published alongside the University of Cambridge and Gemic, found this to be the case on TikTok as early as 2018 — the year it debuted in the US — with a participant investigating a rumor that Katy Perry had killed a nun.
    "They were disappointed to find no stories from major news sources that definitively answered this question,” the study says. "They went to TikTok and concluded that if Katy Perry fans hadn’t weighed in, the story must not be true. They trusted Katy Perry fans, who engaged with and reported on her activities daily, to know the truth.”
    So yes, there are even worse places to get your news than The Verge, incredible though that may seem.

Disclaimer: Trust only Authentic Daily News Stuff, your Number One Source for Daily News... Stuff.

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Friday, August 18


Daily News Stuff 18 August 2023

Parted Twice Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Nothing exploded today.  It was a good day.

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Thursday, August 17


Daily News Stuff 17 August 2023

Oh Not Edition

Top Story

  • LK-99: Not a superconductor.  (Nature)

    Ace already posted on this a couple of days ago but this article in Nature seems to explain what the Korean researchers were observing.

    Pure LK-99 is not a conductor at all, so what the were measuring was LK-99 "doped" with specific impurities.  And the important one looks to have been copper sulfide, which shows a phase transition and change in conductivity right at the point where the researchers thought they were seeing a transition to superconductivity.

    But it was just the temperature at which their sample's resistance dropped by a factor of 10, not by a factor of infinity.  Below that temperature the electromagnetic properties of their sample changed drastically, but it was still not actually a superconductor.

    So, no flying cars for another twenty years I'm afraid.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Some people look at things that are, and ask why.  I look at things that are and ask, what the fuck were you people thinking?  Were you thinking?  What even is this?

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Wednesday, August 16


Daily News Stuff 16 August 20203

Accidental Magnetism Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Now they know how many DMCA violations it takes to fill the Albert Hall.

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Tuesday, August 15


Daily News Stuff 15 August 2023

Jason Edition

Top Story

  • Large Language Models can generate valid JSON 100% of the time.  (Hacker News)

    If you install a plugin that smacks the LLM over the head with a ruler any time it tries to emit a character that would make the output invalid.

    It's like lining up an infinite number of monkeys and shooting all the ones that aren't typing out Hamlet.  Yes, it works in theory, but what are you going to do with all the dead monkeys?

Tech News

Disclaimer: And now, this.

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Monday, August 14


Daily News Stuff 14 August 2023

Nothing Will Come From Nothing Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: In which Pippa rants about Helen Keller for three hours and fifteen minutes.

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The Full Pippa

Don't thank me.

One of the problems with staying Pippinated is that her streams disappear more frequently than any other vtuber I follow.  Fortunately there are crazy people out there archiving everything, and here it is: The Full Pippa.

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Sunday, August 13


Daily News Stuff 13 August 2023

First Among Sequels Edition

Top Story

  • Some of the Hololive EN streamers have an expression: One guyed.

    It's when they're playing a game or trying to solve a technical issue and ask chat for help, and get a prompt and authoritative answer from one guy among the thousands watching that turns out to be completely wrong.

    ChatGPT is that one guy.  (The Register)

    Taking a look at ChatGPT answers to Stack Overflow questions - a devil's brew of epistemic closure if I ever saw one - researchers found that ChatGPT had no better than a 50% chance of being correct, and for the best and most authoritative answers - the ones that were accepted by the questioner as definitive - ChatGPT was wrong 77% of the time.

    I've said before that the entire model of ChatGPT is building an artificial arts student, but really it seems to be building an artificial confidence trickster.

Tech News

  • Intel's 14700K has been benchmarked, and is between 5% and 20% faster than the 13700K.  (Tom's Hardware)

    5% on single-threaded tasks thanks to a 200MHz speed boost; 20% on multi-threaded tasks thanks to four additional Efficiency cores.

    Nothing groundshaking but if they keep the same price it will be a worthwhile improvement.

    Big changes may be coming at the entry level, with the 14100 rumoured to have six Performance cores, up from four.  If true, and if the price again remains the same, that will be a great little chip.

  • Meanwhile on the great big chip front AMD is preparing to release Epyc Siena for low-end servers and Threadripper 7000 Pro for high-end workstations.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Siena will support up to 64 cores at a 200W TDP, while the new Threadrippers will offer up to 96 cores at a 350W TDP.

    The two families of chips will share the same SP6 socket, which is the same physical size but a different pin layout as the previous generation of Epyc CPUs.

  • SK Hynix has launched 24GB LPDDR5X-8500 memory...  Things.  (AnandTech)

    They're not modules in the sense of DIMMs, but each one contains 8 memory chips in a stack, so they're not chips either.

    Anyway, since they're 64 bits wide a laptop would need two of them, giving 48GB of RAM, which is enough even for me.

  • Mediatek's Dimensity 9300 meanwhile supports LPDDR5T-9600 memory, which is one louder.  (WCCFTech)

    And has four Cortex X4 cores and four A720 cores - four fast cores and four ultra-fast cores - with no slow cores at all.

    Sounds like a good chip for a laptop, actually.  Most phone chips only have one of the Cortex X series cores, which is fine for phone use but not so great in more demanding applications.

  • LPython is a Python compiler...  Ish.  (LPython)

    It seems to be designed primarily for type-annotated Python code, though it can run unannotated code as well, compiling it into C and thence to native code, rather like Cython.

    But it can also JIT-compile live code, rather like PyPy - or given that it uses decorators to do this, like PyPy's predecessor Psyco.

    And unlike Mojo, you can actually download it and try it out right now.

  • A look inside the Linux kernel.  (Seiya)

    The Linux kernel as of version 6.5 is 36 million lines long, too much for any one human to comprehend.  So this article doesn't try; it instead looks at Linux 0.01, the first public version, which is only 10,000 lines.

  • How the FBI goes after DDOS attackers.  (Tech Crunch)

    Very, very slowly.

  • Dinner tonight was the spécialité de la maison: Satay kangaroo with fried rice.

    Not bad.

Disclaimer: Not great for the kangaroo though.

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