A cricket bat!
Twelve years, and four psychiatrists!
I kept biting them!
They said you weren't real.

Monday, June 10


Daily News Stuff 10 June 2024

Clockwork Orrery Edition

Top Story

  • How a single ChatGPT mistake cost us $10,000.  (Asim)

    The error is actually fairly subtle, but it's another one of those cases where multiple individual bad ideas* combine to create a disaster.

    In this case, the account ID for new users was not assigned when the user was created, but in each worker thread when the server was started up.

    Nobody saw this during testing because they were restarting the server all the time, and each restart generated a new pool of available user IDs.

    But the moment things were working...  They stopped working.

    * Interpreted, weakly dynamically typed languages, database definitions in generic code, and using fucking ChatGPT, for starters.

Tech News

  • Designing a Lego orrery.  (Marian)

    Just the Earth-Moon-Sun system, though there's a preliminary idea at the end of doing a simpler version for the entire solar system - just doing planetary orbits and leaving out orbital inclinations, axial tilts, and moons.

    Putting all of those features in, building it out of Lego, and keeping it accurate would make it extremely complicated.

    Also, quite large.

  • Over a thousand malicious extension to Microsoft's Visual Studio Code have been discovered with hundreds of millions of total installations worldwide.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The idea behind Visual Studio Code is that it's a useless piece of garbage but is easy for people to extend.

    Which is like selling homes that are just a frame of 2x4s vaguely nailed together, covered with tarps and some exposed drains and wiring.

    Cheap.  Easy to upgrade.  Hilariously unsafe.

  • HP shipped a bad BIOS update that bricked many of its ProBook laptops.  (Tom's Hardware)

    And of course it was an automatic update, so you'd just wake up one morning, running late for work because your alarm didn't go off, and find that your computer had committed suicide during the night.

    Or, worse - since these are business laptops - you work in corporate IT, and you have a hundred dead laptops to deal with all at once, and all that HP is offering is a motherboard replacement that costs nearly as much as a new laptop.

    Oh, and the BIOS file HP installed?  Wasn't even a BIOS file.  But the automated update tried to install it anyway.


Watching season two (the real season two, not the second half of season one which Funi tried to call season two) of Mushoku Tensei, a.k.a That Time a Slime was Reincarnated.  I rewatched the first season over the weekend and it held up well enough.  The main character starts out unlikeable but he knows it and works to improve.  Mostly.

And now we get to find out what was going on with that Cyber Sylphie we briefly glimpsed late in season one.

I tried watching a recent series called Re:Monster - that's really its name - and it was just like Re:Slime (not really its name) if that series had been written by a fourteen year old boy on a quest to tick off every unfair stereotype of fourteen year old boys.  Not recommended for everyone.  

Ignore the 4.5 stars on Crunchy and read the reviews instead, which are scathing.  The main character's progression is exactly the reverse of Rudeus from Mushoku Tensei.

Scale Model Solar Systems R Us Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Do not install James Joyce's Ulysses when the system requests a firmware update.  It has been reported that this may negatively affect your user experience.

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Sunday, June 09


Daily News Stuff 9 June 2024

The Man Who Sold Mars Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Random Vtuber Video oft the Day

Find yourself a girl who looks at you the way Alana does at a Kentucky Ballistics video.

Disclaimer: Nana Asteria banned from Louisiana for crimes involving sesame oil and putting mayonnaise on rice.

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Saturday, June 08


Daily News Stuff 8 June 2024

On Beyond Zebra Edition

Top Story

  • Just in time for the weekend, there's a new critical security vulnerability in PHP.  (Ars Technica)

    Sysadmins worldwide panic.

    On Windows.

    Sysadmins worldwide go back to sleep.

    If you have Chinese or Japanese language packs installed and run PHP on Windows, Windows itself will helpfully slip unsafe characters past the normal security mechanisms and into database queries where they will wreak havoc.

    There are several fatal design flaws working together to make this a problem, and none of them are unique to PHP.

    Though PHP is still awful and nobody should use it for anything, ever.

Tech News

Random Anime Music Video of the Day

Song is Hall om mig by Nanne Gronvall.  Anime is Princess Tutu, the greatest story ever told about a duck who saves the world through the power of ballet.

It's like...  Someone took Swan Lake, turned it inside out, shook out all the parts, and put it back together, only somehow better and also even more weird.

Disclaimer: No ducks were harmed in the filming of this video.  Much.

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Friday, June 07


Daily News Stuff 7 June 2024

To Infinity And Beyond Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Probably steal all your coins and make off with Princess Peach.

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Thursday, June 06


Daily News Stuff 6 June 2024

Oops They Did It Again Edition

Top Story

  • Microsoft has effectively destroyed computer security altogether.  (Ars Technica)

    Not directly the subject of the article (which is about Microsoft Recall, again), but of the pinned comment.

    The point being that Recall is such a huge security risk, that even if you disable it (or never install Windows 11 in the first place), you have to assume that anyone you share a document with has been or will soon be hacked.

    Which is bad.

Tech News

Disclaimer: If we took the bones out it wouldn't be crunchy, would it?

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Wednesday, June 05


Daily News Stuff 5 June 2024

Down And Out At OffKai Expo Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Here's a 2800W power supply for your new...  Arc welder, maybe?  (Tom's Hardware)

    Exactly what power source that is supposed to plug in to is unclear.  An Australian 15A socket would work, but they're not common.  In the US maybe a 30A socket.

  • Intel's 144 core Xeons are here.  (Serve the Home)

    Unfortunately these will be competing with AMD's 192 core chips, and AMD's cores are faster.

  • There is nothing new under the Sun: Cable and telecom companies are suing the FCC over net neutrality...  Again.  (Ars Technica)

    I support net neutrality, because the cable and telecom companies cannot be trusted.

    I do not support the FCC creating this regulation, because it is a naked power grab.

    It requires standalone legislation from Congress, who can be trusted to do nothing.

  • China's internet is disappearing.  (New York Times)  (archive site)

    One third of the Chinese web has shut down since 2017, and almost everything published online in the country between 1995 and 2005 is simply gone.

    Even major natural events like the 2008 Sichuan earthquake are being progressively erased.

    In the West, the internet is forever.  Everything is archived, particularly things we might wish to be forgotten.  When Ragtag Archive - more than a petabyte of vtuber streams, much of it from channels now closed - was facing closure last year, a swarm of volunteers came together to preserve it.

    Less so in China.

  • Australia's Bookburner General has dropped her lawsuit against Twitter.  (Twitter)

    Never mind.  There will be another one along yesterday.

Disclaimer: Bookburner, bookburner, burn me a book, light me a fire, build me a pyre...

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Tuesday, June 04


Daily News Stuff 4 June 2024

This Post Is Sponsored By Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Up to.

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Monday, June 03


Daily News Stuff 3 June 2024

No Edition

Top Story

  • The rumors were correct, and at Computex Taipei today AMD announced new CPUs due in stores next month.  (AnandTech)

    The Zen 3 based eight core 5800XT (a minor speed upgrade over the 5800X) and sixteen core 5900XT (a major upgrade over the twelve core 5900X) will refresh the AM4 platform.

  • Oh, and Zen 5 will also be out next month.  (AnandTech)

    These will arrive in the form of the 9600X, 9700X, 9900X, and 9950X, with TDPs ranging from 65W for the first two, to 170W for the 9950X.

    The 9600X and 9700X use 40W less than their Zen 4 predecessors, and the 9700X uses 50W less.  

    At the same time they're an average of 16% faster on real tests, and twice as fast in some specific cases.

  • Server CPUs are coming soon as well, with up to 192 cores.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Not so secret anymore, you foolish mollusc!

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Sunday, June 02


Daily News Stuff 2 June 2024

Disempenguinated Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: If pain persists, double the dosage.

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Saturday, June 01


Into The Tessereactor

I think the Minecraft modpack is done.  There's nothing I know of to add, and nothing that is causing problems.

It will be uploaded to Curseforge soon, and I'll upload the file here as well - the modpack definition file is only about 600K.

The goal of this is a "vanilla plus plus" feel; that everything in the modpack is something Mojang might add if Microsoft weren't terrified of upsetting the players.  So there are no crazy magic mods, and no dramatic changes to the look and feel.  It doesn't add to or change any of the status bars, and you start the game empty handed looking for a tree to punch just as always.

But there's a lot of stuff in there; even without the special tricks it has ten times as many different creatures and twenty times as many items as base Minecraft.

The focus is on exploration, building, and crafting, rather than combat or role-playing.

Some highlights:

Building and Crafting

  • Create, along with a number of add-ons
  • Chipped, which alone adds about seven thousand new decorative blocks - and seven new workstations for creating and modifying them
  • Chisels and Bits, which lets you use a chisel to carve Minecraft blocks into any shape you fancy
  • Domum Ornamentum, which lets you take two Minecraft blocks (including blocks from other mods) and a pattern, and create a new block combining them


Without going totally crazy, there are a lot of new dimensions, including:
  • The Aether (with add-ons)
  • The Bumblezone
  • The Everbright
  • The Everdawn
  • The Feywild
  • The Twilight Forest
  • The Undergarden
Meanwhile the Nether and the End have been upgraded with Incendium and Nullscape and several other mods.


Again, a lot of new beasties, many of them not automatically hostile.
  • Bugs Aplenty
  • Cane's Wonderful Spiders
  • Creeper Overhaul
  • Critters and Companions
  • Enderman Overhaul
  • Exotic Birds
  • Grimoire of Gaia, which includes a number of hostile mobs so they are set to only start showing up after 28 days in game
  • More Mob Variants, which includes all the new wolf types coming in 1.21
  • Nether Depths
  • Nether Overhaul
  • Productive Bees
  • Unusual Fish
  • What the Gecko


  • Villages and villagers have received a major upgrade combining about thirty different mods and resource packs - though they're still kind of dumb because the AI upgrade I tried made the game crash
  • Food and drink are completely overhauled, with Aquaculture, Croptopia, Farmer's Delight giving a huge range of crops and cooking options, and the Let's Do series bringing wine, beer, spirits, tea and coffee, and candlelit dinners
  • New measures to protect and enhance your pets - plus a lot of new pets to find
  • Easier travel with Small Ships, Immersive Aircraft, and from Tameable Beasts several new steeds to ride - some of which can fly

It works within the default 4GB heap allocated by the Curseforge loader, and runs fine in 16GB of RAM even with a bunch of other stuff active.

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