The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.

Sunday, January 21


Daily News Stuff 21 January 2024

Pal Is As Pal Does Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: You could also try eating live hornets.  I'm told is the big new thing.

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Daily News Stuff 21 January 2024

Pal Is As Pal Does Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: You could also try eating live hornets.  I'm told is the big new thing.

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Saturday, January 20


Daily News Stuff 20 January 2024

World Of Pals Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: VisiCalc support is available in Apple II emulation mode.

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Friday, January 19


Daily News Stuff 19 January 2024

It's A Pal World After All Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: It is a wise squirrel who knows where he put his nuts.

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Thursday, January 18


Daily News Stuff 18 January 2024

UI BEAM Edition

Top Story

  • Can special lightbulbs end the next pandemic before it starts?  (Vox)

    1. It's Vox.
    2. Betteridge's Law.
    3. Uh, maybe?

    They're talking about zapping rooms with far-UV light when they're not in use, which basically, uh, works.  Far-UV is not particularly friendly to your skin or eyes, so there certainly safety considerations.  And installing it is not particularly cheap.

    But between the disease and the response the US lost about $14 trillion to COVID, so it sounds like it's worth a shot.

    Just try to keep it away from idiots.  (MSNBC)

  • Or you could go outdoors, where the UV light is free, and you can't sue anyone.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Blern.

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Wednesday, January 17


Daily News Stuff 17 January 2024

Only Potatoes Edition

Top Story

  • Apple has unveiled its response to the Epic lawsuit that ended with the company being required to allow developers to use third-party payment providers.  (MacRumors)

    Some notable features:

    1. Developers are only allowed to use third-party payment providers with the express written permission of Apple.  Requests for permission may be filed by registered mail that must be sent and received on the sixth Sunday of any given month.

    2. When a user is redirected from the developer's application to an external website to process a payment, the application is required to warn in 40 point text that the user "will probably be devoured by wolves" upon leaving Apple's walled garden.

    3. Apple still insists on a 70% cut of any payment made by any means at any time, from anybody, to anybody.  Bobby didn't forward Apple their cut, and Bobby's store burned down the next day.  While he was in it.  Don't be like Bobby.

    I am exaggerating only slightly.

Tech News

Now There's a Voice I Haven't Heard in a While Video of the Day

Good to hear she's doing well.

Disclaimer: Bah!  (waves paw)

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Tuesday, January 16


Daily News Stuff 16 January 2023

The Worst Laid Plans As Well Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: By comparison, I pay A$7 for a loaf of gluten-free bread.

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Monday, January 15


Daily News Stuff 15 January 2024

Message In A Bottle Edition

Top Story

  • FAQ to the Future: How we defeated deepfakes.  (MSN / LA Times)  (lolcow division)

    Apart from the obvious failure - the article is actually titled "An FAQ from the future" - and the manifold technical absurdities, the glorious idea promoted by the article is a digital Ministry of Truth:
    The newest phones, tablets, cameras, recorders and desktop computers all include software that automatically inserts the FACStamp code into every piece of visual or audio content as it's captured, before any AI modification can be applied. This proves that the image, sound or video was not generated by AI. You can also download the FAC app, which does the same for older equipment. The FACStamp is what technologists call "fragile": The first time an image, video or audio file is falsified by AI, the stamp disappears.
    This of course is totally voluntary - for about five minutes:
    A bipartisan group of senators and House members plans to introduce the Right to Reality Act when the next Congress opens in January 2029. It will mandate the use of FACStamps in multiple sectors, including local government, shopping sites and investment and real estate offerings. Counterfeiting a FACStamp would become a criminal offense. Polling indicates widespread public support for the act, and the FAC Alliance has already begun a branding campaign.
    Scratch a journalist, find a fascist.

    Never fails.

Tech News

  • Framework's accountant got phished.  (Hot Hardware)

    If you have an open pre-order for a Framework laptop, be wary of emails purporting to be from Framework asking for money.  The data leak was caught in half an hour and if you were on the list you've probably already received an email from Framework telling you to be wary of emails from Framework.

  • A ship carrying silverware has sailed.  (DPL Docs)

    The D programming language was created in 2001 as a successor to C that did things right, producing simple elegant code like this:

        result = reduce!((a, b) => (b <= pivot) ? a + b : a)(chain(a1, a2));

    No, I have no idea what that does either.

    Anyway, after spending 21 of those 22 years fighting among themselves (as far as I can tell) the D community has split and created OpenD (pronounced OpenD) as an open version of D.

  • Yes, there's not much news today.  How could you tell?

  • Penrose allows you to create diagrams just by typing in text.  (Penrose)

    The text is a program that tells Penrose what to draw, but still, it's pretty neat.  Oversold, but neat.  And free.

  • IO Crest has a six-port version of their four-port 2.5Gb Ethernet card.  (Serve the Home)

    Great if you want to build a home datacenter and need multiple network segments with different routing and filtering rules and don't for some reason want to go with second-hand Cisco gear.

  • Tech layoffs are a thing of the past, part eleventy: Google's latest round of layoffs are just the beginning.  (The Verge)  (archive site)
    Since 12,000 people were axed a year ago, smaller layoffs have continued to roll through the sprawling conglomerate at a steady clip, creating a feeling of unease. Not all of these prior cuts have been covered publically [sic], such as a roughly 10 percent downsizing of the public policy group in mid November.
    Only 10%?  Would anybody notice if you fired the entire public policy group?

    Google lost its way in 2014, and there's no sign that it will ever find it again.

Disclaimer: Yes, I am still salty about the Nexus 7.  How could you tell?

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Sunday, January 14


Daily News Stuff 14 January 2023

Give A Mouse A Credit Card Edition

Top Story

  • Why is my LG washing machine downloading 3.7GB of data a day?  (Twitter)

    This is rather like giving your eight year old your credit card details and wondering why your house is full of Lego.  Why did you do that if you didn't want that result?

    And also like it in that you can't remove the WiFi settings from your LG washing machine once it's been set.

    So don't do that.

    (I have an LG washing machine.  It has WiFi.  Its total downloads to date are zero.)

Tech News

  • Bought a couple of Beelink mini-PCs on sale - the 5560U model.  I have memory and SSDs sitting around that I can use in them, and the entry level model with 8GB RAM and a 500GB SSD was pretty cheap.  Their cheapest 5560U model is $289 on Amazon US right now, but the price I paid was closer to $200.

    Plan is to run Linux on them so I don't have to mess around with Windows 11's problems with virtualisation anymore.

  • Those new desktop APUs from AMD - what they call their CPUs with advanced integrated graphics - come with a catch.  (WCCFTech)

    Two catches.  Three catches.

    First, there's no PCIe 5, since they're laptop chips and PCIe 5 eats power.  PCIe 5 isn't all that much use though; graphics cards don't use it at all, and the SSDs that do are expensive and run hot.

    Second, there are fewer PCIe 4 lanes, so if you get the 8600G or 8700G you can only have 8 lanes to your graphics card.  Still, that's enough for most tasks, and if you end up wanting more performance you can upgrade to something like a 7900 while keeping your motherboard, memory, and so on.

    Third, if you get the low-end 8300G or 8500G chips, you only get 4 lanes to your graphics card, and 2 to your SSD.  That's not good.  Avoid those.

    The 8500G looks to have essentially the same specs as the 8600G at $50 less, but longer term you might regret it.

  • I also bought a new breadmaker.  I threw out the old one when I moved, since it had been sitting in the cupboard unused for about ten years after I was diagnosed with celiac disease.

    And there are plenty of gluten-free bread mixes available now, right?


    Two.  There are two.  At least, available locally.

    I can get gluten-free flour for a quarter the price I pay for gluten-free bread, though, and yeast is yeast.  I used to love experimenting with different types of bread, and I'd like to do that again.

  • The best of CES.  (The Verge)

    Any other year these wouldn't even have rated a nomination, much less an award.  They'd be in the "also appearing" wrap-up that nobody bothered to read.

  • The creator economy is ready for a workers' movement.  (Tech Crunch)

    We'll go on strike!

    That's right!  You'll have a national TikTok and Instagram influencer strike on your hands!

    And whom will that inconvenience?

  • The Funimation dub for Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is infamously awful - or should I say AWFL - not so much for the voice acting as for the translation, which inserts the usual incoherent grab bag of left-wing complaints where they don't belong.  (Not that they belong anywhere.)

    So a fan redubbed it with a proper translation using AI.  (Niche Gamer)

    Looks like an entire useless communist-infested industry is dead.

Disclaimer: Pipipipipipipipipi!

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Saturday, January 13


Daily News Stuff 13 January 2024

Not As Think As Some Drunkle Peep I Am Edition

Top Story

  • Well, that was probably the lamest CES ever.

    The one bright spot was - oddly - Nvidia's "Super" series of video cards.

    The 4070 Super is 20% faster than the 4070 at the same price.  The 4080 Super is not even 5% faster than the 4080, but is $200 cheaper.

    And the 4070 Ti Super is 90% of a 4080, but $400 cheaper.  True that it's no longer competing against the 4080, but the 4080 Super, so it's only $200 cheaper, but it's still a top-of-the-line gaming card (excluding the 4090 as a semi-professional card) at an only mostly insane price.

  • Still trying to get a Calliope Mori limited edition case from Hyte, and the Amelia Watson case is supposed to launch this month, and they look to be launching three Nijisanji-branded cases as well.

    I'd particularly like to get the Calli and Ame cases because there are matching custom keyboards available, and there's no Pomu in the Nijisanji lineup so I'm less worried about those.  But Hyte seems determined to save me money.

Tech News

  • Space X has revealed why the second Starship test flight blew up: Too much fuel.  (WCCFTech)

    They loaded extra fuel to simulate the mass of a payload, and were in the process of venting liquid oxygen when the fire and resulting explosion happened.

    So the take-away here is don't do that.

  • The FiiO CP13 is a portable cassette player that charges over USB-C.  (Liliputing)

    It costs $165, which is not cheap but is also not remotely in the crazy audiophile price range, making it doubly odd.

    This is one of the standout products of CES.  That's how lame it was.

  • Do 480Hz monitors actually make any perceptible difference at all?  The answer may surprise you.  It's yes.  The answer is yes.  (The Verge)

    The difference is small, but it is perceptible to normal humans.   I'd rather see reasonably-priced 5K monitors - again, the difference is small but perceptible - but at least they aren't chasing stuff that makes no difference at all.

  • Just thinking about those Neuro-sama videos I posted the other day.

    Sure, she's kind of dumb - "The architecture and landscape suggest Scandinavia, probably Sweden" when looking at a palm tree - but let's consider what she can do, albeit not consistently:

    - Respond to verbal instructions
    - Talk
    - Read
    - Remember things
    - Identify foreign languages including non-Latin alphabets
    - Analyse images
    - Use Google

    She correctly identified Portugal from a road sign when I was guessing Spain, and northern Italy the same way when I was guessing Switzerland.

    If she were a five-year-old she'd be a prodigy, though clearly still a five-year-old.

    What Vedal is doing here is more interesting than the combined efforts of OpenAI and Amazon and Google.

Disclaimer: Also, she's funny, which OpenAI and Amazon and Google definitely are not.

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