This wouldn't have happened with Gainsborough or one of those proper painters.

Friday, May 03


Daily News Stuff 3 May 2024

Water in the Fire Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Every map of China is wrong.  (Medium)

    If you overlay satellite data on maps of China, nothing seems to line up properly.

    This is because all recent map of China are wrong - deliberately so, with locations shifted by anything from 50 to 500 meters.

    And nobody in China is permitted to correct the errors.

  • There's another critical security vulnerability in GitLab.  (Ars Technica)

    GitLab is great.

    Under no circumstances should you run your own instance connected directly to the internet.

  • Nurses say hospital adoption of half-cooked AI is reckless.  (TechDirt)

    I'm sure they do, and I'm sure it is, but this article not only provides no evidence whatsoever for these claims, it doesn't even provide any coherent claims.

  • Kobo's 2024 e-reader models are user-repairable.  (Liliputing)

    In the sense that a moderately experienced user with a $20 screwdriver set can open them up and replace the screen, battery, and motherboard, and the front and back parts of the case if the damage is physical rather than electronic.

    Which is not everything, but is certainly something.

Disclaimer: Which is not nothing.

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Thursday, May 02


Daily News Stuff 2 May 2024

Snake Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: <disclaimer.h>

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Wednesday, May 01


Daily News Stuff 1 May 2024

But The Truck Broke Down Edition

Top Story

  • After years of telling motherboard makers to set PL1 = PL2, Intel now says not to do that, and also that it never said to do that.  (AnandTech)

    On Intel CPUs, PL1 is the long-term power level; PL2 is the short burst power level.

    On a high-end chip rated at 125W, PL2 is something like 253W.  On the top of the line 14900KS, it is increased to 320W officially, and 400W or more unofficially.

    This produces great benchmark results but unfortunately fries the chips.

    Of course, if you throttle the chips back to the official official power limits, all the existing benchmark results become fairy tales.

    So if you're looking for a high-end CPU right now, go AMD.

    If you're looking at a mid-range CPU like Intel's i5-14500, none of this is likely to matter.  It's a good chip.

Tech News

Disclaimer: But the truck broke down
It couldn't climb the hill
So they gave me twenty bucks
Off my next grocery bill.

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Tuesday, April 30


Daily News Stuff 30 April 2024

The Price Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Behind you!

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Monday, April 29


Daily News Stuff 29 April 2024

Nobody Asks Edition

Top Story

  • What happens to TikTok?  (The Verge)

    The author of this article is either delusional or drunk, but in any case, the answer is it dies and is forgotten within a week.

Tech News

  • MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria talks AI hype and database evolution.  (Tech Crunch)

    To clarify: He says that AI is mostly hype:
    "My life has not been transformed by AI,” he said. "Yes, maybe I can write an email better through all those assistants, but it’s not fundamentally transformed my life. Whereas the internet has completely transformed my life.”
    In fact, most of what he says here is refreshingly sensible:
    "There’s probably like 17 different types of databases, and probably about 300 vendors,” Ittycheria said. "There’s no customer on this planet that wants to have 17 different databases. The complexity that creates, and the cost of learning, supporting and managing those different technologies becomes overwhelming. It also inhibits innovation, because it creates this tax of complexity.”
    I'm still meh on MongoDB's license structure, but I recognise the necessity to prevent Amazon simply draining their blood and discarding the lifeless husk.

  • Huawei's Pura 70 contains SMIC 7nm technology, and also unicorn farts.  (The Register)

    SMIC doesn't have 7nm technology.  It has 14nm with multi-patterning.

  • The US is reviewing the risks of China gaining a lead in RISC-V technology.  (Reuters)

    I'm sure they are, but it's irrelevant.  RISC-V is an open standard; anyone can create their own implementations of it.

    If you don't like that, build something better yourself.

  • American Airlines still hasn't properly fixed its Y2K problems.  (BBC)

    A 101-year-old frequent flier keeps being assigned a baby seat.

Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Sunday, April 28


Daily News Stuff 28 April 2024

The Changer Things Are Edition

Top Story

  • There's never been a better time to get into Fallout 76.  (Ars Technica)

    There's never been a worse time to get into Fallout 76 either.  There's never been a time to get into Fallout 76.
    Fallout 76 is good now.  Actually, it’s always been good.
    Oh, really?
    Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess.  (Ars Technica)
    But baby that was years ago.  I've left it all behind.
    Redownloaded it - like an idiot I got it at launch - to see if it had aged well.

    Went though character creation, all good, then my character couldn’t move. At all.

    Looked it up online and the fix was — SIX YEARS after launch — to manually edit some config files.



    Still trash.
    As strong as the rest of your reporting, huh Ars Technica?

Tech News

  • Speaking of which, if you're bored you can watch the Ars commentariat tie itself into knots explaining why Germany's move from clean, safe, reliable nuclear power to the dirtiest of dirty coal - they burn lignite - is good for the environment.  (Ars Technica)

    Or not.  Actually, I'd recommend not.  Though some of the comments are good:
    Not sure what these numbers mean.  According to Wikipedia consumed energy in Germany was 76 percent fossil in 2023 (including a lot of lignite which is amongst the dirtiest coals).  Also to note, over the years Germany has imported more and more energy from France (biggest nuclear park) to compensate for the closure of their own nuclear plants so in a way they have just outsourced their nuclear.  And last, electricity prices in Germany are amongst the most expensive in Europe.  All this sounds a little less shiny than the article?
    They could try burning Ars readers but they're probably too wet.

  • The Eurocom 780W AC Power Adapter review.  (AnandTech)

    780W is unremarkable for a computer power supply these days, though this has some nice features like running on mains power anywhere from 90 to 264 volts, and being able to sustain a 25% overload - right on 1000W of power draw - almost indefinitely.

    That's 20 volts out at 50 amps.

    Because this is a laptop power supply.

  • Proxmox 8.2 is out.  (Serve the Home)

    Proxmox VE is a pretty neat server virtualisation and management system based on a customised Ubuntu kernel.  I've been meaning to set it up at home for a long time, but it's been a while since I had a standalone server that wasn't in use.

  • Speaking of which, I've spent the weekend engaging in necromancy.

    Apart from the new Asus laptop (the one that refused to talk to the nice 2TB Team MP44 I bought for it) and the three cheap Beelink mini-PCs I bought to build a Linux cluster, I also had four old laptops sitting around.

    So I got everything assembled in what is nominally the music room (and in fact does contain an Akai midi keyboard) and I'm working through a long list of hardware upgrades that I already have the parts for, and an even longer list of software upgrades.

    At the end of it I'll have eight - probably nine, actually - working computers instead of just the one.

    It's all fun and games as usual.  I couldn't remember the password on one of the laptops, so I stuck in the Windows 10 install drive and told it to reinstall.

    The Windows installer reported that it couldn't find the SSD.

    Fortunately I had another identical laptop that I could log in to, so I created a recovery drive from that, and with that I could reinstall Windows.

    Those two will soon have 64GB of RAM and 4TB of SSD each.  The laptops and their upgrades have been sitting around waiting for me to have time to attend to them since February.

    Of 2022.

  • The walls of Apple's garden are tumbling down.  (The Verge)

    You do know that you could just not buy iPhones, right?

  • Speaking of which, I also set up my Moto G14 today.

    Great screen.

    Works well.

    1080x2400 screen, 50 megapixel camera, two A75 plus six A55 cores, which is fine for me, though I'd avoid anything that was A55 only, and a headphone jack and microSD slot, which many phones at ten times the price don't have.

    Dirt cheap - I paid about $110 on sale for the 4GB / 128GB model.

    This is to replace the Oppo phone I've been using as my on-call pager because that one died of battery bloat.

    I'd recommend it but it's not available in the US.

    Also it talks when you boot it up, which I could do without.

  • Tech gadgets are adding AI whether you like it or not.  (Ars Technica)

    Actually, the case cited doesn't even involve adding AI.  It's a new Logitech mouse with a dedicated AI button...  Which pops up a menu on Windows.

    That's it.

  • Poisoned myself with tonight's dinner - beef with black bean sauce.  I checked the allergens list for the sauce on the supermarket website, but I didn't check the label itself, and it turned out to have gluten in it.

    Result: Very minor stomach grumbles.  Clearly not much gluten.  If I hadn't thought of it I'd have just assumed I ate too much.

    Good to know my sensitivity level though, since I strictly exclude gluten from my normal diet.

Disclaimer: That is, indeed, it.

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Saturday, April 27


Daily News Stuff 27 April 2024

Final Precipitate Edition

Top Story

  • DOS 4 is now open source.  (Hanselman)

    I never owned a DOS PC, but I know that DOS 4 was the one everyone hated.

    Anyway, you can now download it yourself.  Warning: It does uses as much as 92k of RAM.

Tech News

  • 90% of Java services have critical or severe security vulnerabilities...  (JVM Weekly)

    ... Or security reporting is a pile of crap.

    This article explains why it's mostly the latter.  Not entirely, but mostly.

  • A long-dead worm is still active on at least 2.5 million PCs worldwide.  (Ars Technica)

    The worm, created by China, was tied to a single specific IP address as its command-and-control hub.

    For reasons that remain unclear, whatever server was originally attached to that IP address was shut down.  So security researchers bought the address, granting them complete control over every one of the infected systems.

    All they are doing so far is watching.

    All they are doing so far.

  • China's annoying little brother North Korea is targeting developers with fake job interviews that involve downloading and running malware.  (Bleeping Computer)


  • Leaving Rust game development.  (Loglog)

    When you point out that a building is on fire, and the universal response is "That sounds like a you problem", it's time to get out of Dodge.

    Not that Rust is bad.  Just that the people creating Rust are.

  • The Second Circuit has upheld a New York law forcing ISPs to offer 25mbps broadband for $15.  (Ars Technica)

    Cut the entire state off from the internet and let them eat each other.

  • Columbia has a Nazi problem.  (The Verge)
    "Why didn't anyone tell us that genocide had consequences", cried sophomore Adolfia Hertler.  "We're not hurting anyone, we just want to kill Jews."
    Well, the article doesn't actually say that, but it should.

  • Apple stopped increasing the base RAM in its desktop systems...  In 2012.  (WCCFTech)

    Back then, of course, you could upgrade the memory yourself.

    This is no longer the case, and Apple charges ten times retail price for its own upgrades.

  • TSMC is bringing optical interconnect to multi-chip modules starting next year.  (AnandTech)

    The first version will run at 1.6 terabits per second - 200 gigabytes per second, or about three times the speed of a full-size PCIe 5 slot - and will increase to 6.4 terabits per second the following year.

  • Swapped out the 2TB Team MP44 I bought for my new laptop with a Samsung 970 Evo Plus (also 2TB) and Windows installed without complaints, though I had to do it twice to get rid of the forced Microsoft sign-in.

    In theory the MP44 is a better drive - it's PCIe 4.0 rather than 3.0 and offers twice the read and write transfer rates of the 970, though that doesn't actually matter in this case because this laptop only has PCIe 3.0, and I only bought it with future reuse in mind - but while the laptop recognises and formats the drive, any attempt to install Windows dies in the first few seconds.

    I corralled all my old laptops while I was doing this setup, and one of them has a 4TB SSD because I happened to have a spare one back in 2022.  Since the new laptop is much faster and has much more RAM, I might pull that drive out and put it into the new laptop.  Which means, yay, reinstalling Windows on both of them.

  • All my Hololive plushies have arrived: The CouncilRyS BEEGsmol ones designed by Sana, and the re-issues of the Myth plushies and Myth mascot plushies.

    These came in two small boxes and one enormous one.  I thought they'd messed up my order.


    The Myth and BEEGsmol plushies are about the size of your hand.  The mascot plushies are the size (and approximate shape) of a basketball.

  • Also found my Pi 5 while I was sweeping the house for computer components.

    At least least I didn't misplace my Pi Pico; I would never have found it again.

    And I found a USB Blu-Ray drive I didn't know I had.  Apparently I bought the exact same model twice, because I have two identical drives still in their boxes.

Disclaimer: Which is 8,695,652 copies of DOS 4 per second, which should be enough for anybody.

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Friday, April 26


Daily News Stuff 26 April 2024

Narbuncular Numbats Edition

Top Story

  • Elizabeth Bathory eat your heart out.  Or someone else's.  Probably a peasant's.  Three women have contracted HIV after receiving "vampire facials" at an unlicensed spa in New Mexico.  (Ars Technica)
    The woman's case led investigators to VIP Spa, which was unlicensed, had no appointment scheduling system, and did not store client contact information. In an inspection in the fall of 2018, health investigators found shocking conditions: unwrapped syringes in drawers and counters, unlabeled tubes of blood sitting out on a kitchen counter, more unlabeled blood and medical injectables alongside food in a kitchen fridge, and disposable equipment-electric desiccator tips-that were reused. The facility also did not have an autoclave-a pressurized oven-for sterilizing equipment.
    I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.


Tech News

Disclaimer: Potat.

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Thursday, April 25


Daily Tech News 25 April 2024

Ceremonial Pudding Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Snap is the worst thing since systemd.

    If you are running LXD, and you install it with Snap, MAKE SURE TO PIN THE VERSION OR IT WILL DIE.

  • Meanwhile, Ubuntu 24.04 is here.  (Techzine)

    The beta version was delayed by a week due to the near-catastrophe with the xz hack, while the team at Canonical (makers of Ubuntu) rebuilt every single package to ensure that no trace of the hack was left.

    I had expected the release of the live version to be likewise delayed, but it has shipped on time.

    While I wouldn't install it on a production server just yet, the 22.04 release was remarkably trouble free.  And I do have a couple of Beelink mini-PCs waiting to be set up.

    (Ubuntu releases twice a year, and the even-number year April releases are LTS - guaranteed free support for five years with paid support for another five beyond that.)

  • IBM is buying Hashicorp for $6.4 billion.  (Tech Crunch)

    Hashicorp does...  Stuff.  I dunno.  Docket strangulation, something like that.

  • Stellar Blade is here and the perpetually outraged classes have a new game to be perpetually outraged about.  (WCCFTech)

    In this case, they're mostly outraged that the game represents impossible standards of feminine beauty, a claim somewhat weakened by the fact that the in-game character looks almost exactly like the motion-capture actress who worked with the animation team.

    WCCFTech, which is not a game review site, gives it 9 out of 10.

    The actual game review sites hate it because they're all run by the perpetually outraged classes.

  • The man who destroyed Google.  (Where's Your Ed)

    The man running Google Search for the past five years - replacing the man who built Google Search for the previous 20 - was previously head of search at Yahoo.

    Which was such a success that they had to replace it with Bing.
    Raghavan's story is unique, insofar as the damage he's managed to inflict (or, if we're being exceptionally charitable, failed to avoid in the case of Yahoo) on two industry-defining companies, and the fact that he did it without being a CEO or founder.  Perhaps more remarkable, he's achieved this while maintaining a certain degree of anonymity. Everyone knows who Musk and Zuckerberg are, but Raghavan's known only in his corner of the Internet. Or at least he was.
    Did Google Search fall or was it pushed?

    A little of both, it seems.

Disclaimer: Or rather, a whole lot of both.

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Wednesday, April 24


Daily Tech News 24 April 2024

Biscuit Eve Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Don't eat pink or brown snow either.

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