You know when grown-ups tell you everything's going to be fine, and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better?
Everything's going to be fine.

Friday, September 08


Daily News Stuff 8 September 2023

Again B-Ark Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Git yer pitchforks!  Pitchforks only $99.99!  What a deal!

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Thursday, September 07


Daily News Stuff 7 September 2023

Excuse For A Bean Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Toyota shut down 14 factories because they ran out of disk space.  (Tom's Hardware)


  • Samsung's 2TB 980 Pro is now available for $99.  (Tom's Hardware)

    18 months ago that was the price of an entry-level QLC 1TB drive.

    Maybe someone could send one to Toyota.

  • Also Samsung now offers a 4TB model of their 990 Pro.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That's $345, which is not particularly cheap, but would have been an amazing bargain just last year.

  • AMD's Radeon RX 7800 XT is here and it's pretty good.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Faster (mostly) and cheaper (mostly) than Nvidia's RTX 4070.

    It is a little slower than the previous generation's 6800 XT, so you wouldn't want to upgrade.  But the 6800 XT was a $649 card three years of inflation ago, and the 7800 XT is $499 now.  If you find a 6800 XT still on the shelves at around $500, that's worth considering, but they're fast disappearing.

    The 7700 XT is out too.  It's a great $399 card, but costs $449.  It's only another $50 for the 7800 XT, which is really a no-brainer unless the 7800 XT sells out...  Which is probably what will happen.

  • Clubhouse is trying to make a comeback.  (Tech Crunch)

    Clubhouse was the hottest place in town during the Wuhan Bat Flu Death Plague Global Super Ultra Lockdown when it was brand new, only available on iPhones, and invitation only.

    As soon as it opened up to more users - immediately after investment money flooded in - everybody left.

Disclaimer: Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.

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Wednesday, September 06


Daily News Stuff 6 September 2023

Bats In My Face Edition

Top Story

  • Just 14% of AI experts correctly say that AI cannot be regulated.  (Axios)

    Anyone with a half-way decent graphics card - or a high-end phone - can run their own LLM.  Right now.

    To be charitable, 14% of AI "experts" who responded to an idiotic Axios poll correctly say that AI cannot be regulated.

    9% believe that Joe Biden is the best person to regulate it, which gives you an idea of the kind of intellect we are dealing with here.

Tech News


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Tuesday, September 05


Daily News Stuff 5 September 2023

Blender Dysphoria Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Sapphire has shown off a Radeon 7800 XT card that isn't an awful blinged-up ultraviolet catastrophe.  (WCCFTech)

    It's a little chunky - a 2.5 slot model by the look of it - but otherwise unobjectionable.

    $499 unless Nvidia does something drastic in the next few hours.

  • Performance looks to be pretty good - but definitely wait for reviews.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The 7700 XT clobbers the 4060 Ti, and the 7800 XT is convincingly faster than the 4070, except for ray tracing benchmarks, and even there both cards actually win some of the comparisons.

    The one game where both the AMD cards lose badly is Cyberpunk 2077 with ray tracing set to medium or higher.  At the ray tracking "overdrive" setting the game is unplayable on either of the AMD cards - but the 4070 only manages 18 fps, so while much better it's still terrible.

  • Writing a C compiler in 500 lines of Python.  (Vgel)

    Not a complete implementation, but a working compiler nonetheless.

    It targets WebAssembly rather than any native instruction set, but the author thinks that actually made it harder, because WebAssembly is a very poor fit for C.

  • Why are Germany's wild boars radioactive?  (Washington Post / MSN)

    Because they eat radioactive truffles.

    And why are the truffles radioactive?

    Because they grow underground and cesium from nuclear testing in the 50s and 60s is slowly leaching through the soil, where the mushrooms absorb it.

    Result: Glowing green eggs and ham.

  • Invasive species cost humans $423 billion each year.  (The Guardian)

    Close the border then.

  • Llamas vs. chinchillas.  (GitHub)

    I'm sure this is very informative if you know what a cosine schedule is, but the article doesn't tell you.

    It's about the time spent training LLMs compared against the quality of the results, and it seems that smaller models are better at every point.

Disclaimer: And "plus size" is right out.

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Monday, September 04


Daily News Stuff 4 September 2023

Blackjack And Hookers Edition

Top Story

  • Having destroyed the original city, tech billionaires are planning to build their own San Francisco, with blackjack, and hookers.  (Associated Press)

    They've bought up 78 square miles of land between Travis AFB and Rio Vista in Solano County, about sixty miles northeast of San Francisco and safely out of shitting range.
    But Princess Washington, mayor pro tempore of Suisun City, said residents deliberately decided to protect open space and keep the area around Travis Air Force Base free of encroachment given its significance.
    I included that quote solely because of the mayor's name.
    She’s suspicious that the group’s real purpose is "to create a city for the elite” under the guise of more housing.
    Well, yes.
    "Economic blight is everywhere. So why do you need to spend upwards of a billion dollars to create a brand new city when you have all these other things that can be achieved throughout the Bay Area?” she said.
    I would assume this is because Solano County (a) is cheaper - though with median house prices around $600k, not cheap - and (b) has less crime, drugs, and human excrement, though again this is California so I might be incorrect there.

    Unfortunately for the project, while buying up all the land, the planners appear to have forgotten to buy the residents or the politicians:
    "You big wealthy Silicon Valley billionaires, you’re party to all of this. This is the kind of people you are? This is how you want to operate?” he said. "What they’ve managed to do is to totally poison the well.”
    In order: Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Tech News

Holotori Dance Music Video of the Day

It's Subaru - definitely not a duck - and the rest of the birds from Hololive.

Kiara (a chicken phoenix), Mumei (a towl owl), Reine (a turkey peafowl), and Lui (a flamingo hawk).

Only missing are Kaela (definitely not a penguin) and new girl Nerissa (technically not a raven).

Don't Call Them Gen 7 Music Video of the Day

Cry into your pillow, Kay Yu.  They're debuting talents faster than you can add them to the game.

Disclaimer: Holocanids next!

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Sunday, September 03


Daily News Stuff 3 September 2023

Daily News Stuff Edition

Top Story

  • A maker of "smart" chastity belts left users' details - including names and delivery addresses - exposed on the internet.  (Tech Crunch)

    The company's website itself was also exposed to hackers, so the researcher who discovered this, on getting no response from the company, edited the sight to add a warning.

    The company removed the warning, but did nothing to fix the vulnerabilities.
    The company sells a chastity cage for people with a penis that can be linked to an Android app (there is no iPhone app). Using the app, a partner — who could be anywhere in the world — can follow their partners’ movements, given that the device transmits precise GPS coordinates down to a few meters.
    Normally I'd mock the insanely woke "people with a penis" line, but in this one case it is apropos.

Tech News

  • PyPI is Tensorflow and noise.  (PyCode)

    PyPI is the Python Package Index, a central repository of freely available Python code.

    TensorFlow is a popular general-purpose machine learning library for Python.  Not just generative AI, but actual useful stuff too.

    TensorFlow is not just one of the largest libraries on PyPI; it is four of the five largest libraries on PyPI, totaling 8.8TB all by itself.  The other entry in the top five is LALSuite, a library for gravitational wave analysis, a relative lightweight at a mere 1.1TB.

    Which used to be a lot.  

    In total, PyPI contains over 200 billion lines of code, which still is a lot.

    And about 10,000 assorted API keys that aren't supposed to be there at all.

  • The Burning Man site has been cut off by rain.  (Reno Gazette Journal)

    Oh no.

    The original headline said something to the effect of roads being closed in both directions, which was a wonderful snark magnet, but sadly they fixed it.

  • AMD's 8000-series model numbers will be even more annoying.  (Guru3D)

    The 8040 range will be rebadged current 7040 models.  We don't yet know if there will be 8035, 8030, or 8020 models to muddy the waters as well.

    The 8050 family will be new Zen 5 chips with up to 12 CPU cores and 16 RDNA3.5 graphics cores.  Since Zen 5 is expected to be a major upgrade, these could be twice as fast for multi-threaded apps as current 7040 mainstream laptop chips.

    The 8055 family will replace the 7045 range - desktop chips fitted into a smaller socket and with reduced power envelopes, with 16 Zen 5 cores replacing 16 Zen 4 cores, and likely still just two graphics cores.

    And then there's Sarlak, which doesn't have a number because they're out of numbers.  This is the monster chip with 16 Zen 5 cores and 40 RDNA3.5 graphics cores.  

    To give you an idea of how that will cope with games, the PlayStation 5 has 36 older RDNA2 graphics cores - and just 8 Zen 2 CPU cores.

    No prices or dates yet, these are all 2024 products.

  • If you need to pack eight E1.S form factor server SSDs into your desktop PC, well, now you can.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The card from Highpoint costs $1500, but might still be the most cost-effective way to add 120TB of solid-state storage to your windows desktop, since E1.S drives seem to be surprisingly inexpensive.

Disclaimer: You could even store TensorFlow on it.

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Saturday, September 02


Daily News Stuff 2 September 2023

Bamboozled By Ea-nāṣir Edition

Top Story

  • At least three hundred, and possibly as many as five hundred people have been infected with Aeromonas hydrophila after competing in a Tough Mudder event.  (Ars Technica)
    Hundreds of people who participated in a recent Tough Mudder event—a very muddy obstacle course race—held in Sonoma, California, have fallen ill with pustular rashes, lesions, fever, flu-like symptoms, nerve pain, and other symptoms, local health officials and media outlets report.
    Sounds nasty.  How did this happen?
    The Sonoma event was reported to include 21 obstacles on one of the race days, including a mud-soaked crawl under barbed wire, rope climbs over a muddy slope, a knee-deep mud pool to wade through, and an obstacle called the "mine shaft" that one participant said smelled like manure.
    Crawl through barbed wire and then swim in mud.  Yep, that'll do it.
    "All necessary protocols were followed in preparation for, and during, the event," the spokesperson said, "except of course for not crawling through barbed wire and swimming in mud.  We didn't think of that."
    Uh huh.
    "Our thoughts are with those affected and we are actively investigating to understand exactly what occurred, so long as we get to blame someone else."

Tech News

Disclaimer: Your tablet is so fat...

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Friday, September 01


Daily News Stuff 1 September 2023

Don't Drive So Close To Me Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Possibly Not Entirely Awful Live Action Anime Adaptation Trailer Video of the Day

What this reminds me of more than anything else is Detective Pikachu, which was enjoyable enough overall, and visually amazing.

I'll give it a look even though I'm not a One Piece fan, having watched about 0.2% of the show.

Disclaimer: Slightly less, because I've watched two episodes out of 1073 and counting.

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Thursday, August 31


Daily News Stuff 31 August 2023

Undeducted Edition 

Top Story

  • OpenAI has disputed the claims in a class action suit brought by various authors such as Richard Kadrey, and "authors" such as Sarah Silverman, responding with your momma is a derivative work.  (Ars Technica)
    Authors claim generative AI is just a "grift" that repackages original works.
    The first half of this is self-evident.

    The second half is like saying steak is just repackaged carbon dioxide.  Yes.  Grass absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow.  Cows eat grass.  People eat cows.

    But the carbon dioxide is free, so it's irrelevant.

    In just the same way, authors - and "authors" - repackage the work of previous authors.  We accept this if they're sufficiently subtle about it, and the flavour comes out different, just like cows and grass.

    We don't expect grass to pay for the right to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, nor do we require authors to pay commercial licenses for the books they read as they learn to write.

    But if we are served a plate of alleged steak, and it is green and leafy, we tend to riot and burn the restaurant down.  Metaphorically.

    Much as I loathe OpenAI as a bunch of useless grifters, what they are doing is clearly fair use under US law.  Which doesn't mean they will win in court, and certainly doesn't mean that that the law won't end up changing.

    It just means that they are right.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Kemal Ataturk owned an entire menagerie of animals all named Abdul.

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Wednesday, August 30


Daily News Stuff 30 August 2023

Oops Left It In Draft Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Always make sure to wash your F15 Eagle thoroughly before feeding it pigeons.

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