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

Thursday, May 25


Daily News Stuff 25 May 2023

Where There Isn't Brass There's Also Muck Edition

Top Story

  • Another day, another mid-range video card launch.  Today it's AMD's Radeon 7600.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is basically an RDNA3 respin of the previous generation's 6650 XT, with 2048 shaders and 8GB of VRAM on a 128-bit bus.  That's the same memory configuration that hampers yesterday's 4060 Ti from Nvidia, and really isn't acceptable on a video card that costs $399.

    The reason I'm willing to cut AMD some slack here is that their card costs $269.

    Which even in these trying times is still less than $399.

    Personally I'd buy the current 6700 over the 7600 - it's the older RDNA2 architecture, but has 10GB of RAM on a 160-bit bus, giving it a bit of an edge.  But the 7600 is an okay card at an okay price.

    Which is to say that it's a miracle of modern technology, with 13 billion transistors in a chip smaller than your thumbnail, and we should be amazed that it exists at all, never mind that it's available so readily and so cheaply.

    (My first computer had a Motorola 6845 video chip running at 3.5MHz and could be persuaded to display somewhere between 10 and 12 colours if you were really persistent.)

Tech News

Unfamiliar Kettle Video of the Day

So it looks like our electric dolphin left VOMS because (a) another company waved a lot of money at her and (b) that other company has basically left its Japanese operations in the hands of a former drug-dealing Yakuza dragon who is close friends with said dolphin.

I heard the name mentioned over the past week but I've been too tied up with work to keep up to date with Vtuber corporate hijinks even when it involves some of my favourite talents.

Disclaimer: Voice, check.  Kettle, check.  Dayo, check.  English/Japanese, check.  Nope, no idea who she is.

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Wednesday, May 24


Daily News Stuff 24 May 2023

Where There's Brass There's Muck Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Nvidia, Making Sure We Don't Have Nice Things Video of the Day

In some cases the 4060 Ti actually manages to lose to the 3060 Ti, which is impressive just not in the way Nvidia would like.

Disclaimer: We made nice things, but you can't have them.

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Tuesday, May 23


Daily News Stuff 23 May 2023

New Broom Who Dis Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Daylight, the LGBTQ+ neobank, is unexpectedly shutting down at the end of June.  (Tech Crunch)
    In a blog published today, [founder and CEO Rob] Curtis said he felt like "now is the right time to exit this market before the feds show up" and told customers that their "money is safe and will be fully accessible for transfer through 30 June probably."
    This is my shocked face.

  • In more unexpectedly news China is calling in its loans to unemployed nations who never had a chance of paying them back.  (Fortune)

    Well, not that shocked.

  • Another day, another demarcation dispute: Journalists are in an uproar after a fake Bloomberg account on Twitter posted false news stories before they could.  (Tech Crunch)

    Look at me.  I am the fake news now.

  • TSMC is putting "bombs" in its machines.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Well, sticky notes that say "bomb" on them, so if the maintenance crews don't find them they get a demerit rather than blown into tiny pieces.

    These machines are the size of a house and if not maintained properly can cost tens of millions in lost production and repairs, so a sticky note that says "bomb" seems an entirely reasonable precaution.

  • The Minisforum UM790 Pro is now on sale.  (Notebook Check)

    This is a mini PC - the size of a sandwich, if you put lots of filling in your sandwiches - with AMD's latest Ryzen 7940HS CPU.  8 Zen 4 CPU cores and 12 RDNA3 graphics cores, which makes it three times as fast as the laptop I'm using right now, both for processing and graphics.

    Prices start at $519 without memory or storage, and go up to $789 with 64GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.  It has room for a second M.2 SSD, as well as two HDMI ports, four USB 3 ports, two USB 4 ports (which can also handle video, but are at the front of the system making that a little inconvenient), and 2.5Gb Ethernet.

    A pretty nice system at a good price.  Except that you have to order it from AliExpress.

Disclaimer: Open...  Three cases of store-brand sesame oil?  I didn't order that!

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Monday, May 22


Daily News Stuff 22 May 2023

I Don't Like It Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: I see you've been redecorating...

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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.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:04 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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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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