What happened?
Twelve years!
You hit me with a cricket bat!
Ha! Twelve years!

Sunday, September 30


Daily News Stuff 30 September 2018

Tech News

Social Media News

Kids, Don't Try This At Home

Try it at someone else's home.

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Saturday, September 29


Daily News Stuff 29 September 2018

Special commemorative Jeff Flake is an Idiot edition.

Tech News

Social Media News

Video of the Day

That's Banzai.  He's not a shrub.

Bonus Video of the Day

This is completely stupid and pointless and surprisingly engrossing.

Bonus Bonus Video of the Day

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Friday, September 28


Daily News Stuff 28 September 2018

Slow news day, but I managed to dig up a few items for you.

Tech News

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Crikey, it's a lemon!

Bonus Video of the Day

Waaait a second...

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Post contains 245 words, total size 3 kb.

Thursday, September 27


Daily News Stuff 27 September 2018

Tech News

  • Arm has announced the Cortex A76AE, a safety-oriented processor for autonomous vehicles (and presumable other advanced automation). (AnandTech)

    It supports lockstep operation similar to the old Tandem Nonstop mainframes. Each instruction is executed on two independent cores, and if the results diverge it's immediately treated as an error. It scales up to 64 total cores.

  • Memory prices may drop 5% this year. (Tom's Hardware)

    Woo. Leaving them at 3x their low point from four years ago.

  • The Asustor A4004T is a cheap 4-bay NAS with 10 gigabit Ethernet. (Serve the Home)

    10GbE sounds like overkill for a small cheap NAS, but in fact four drives like the current BarraCuda Pro in RAID-5 can deliver a peak transfer rate of about 8Gbps.

    Also interesting that there are now low-cost embedded Arm processors with built-in 10GbE, which is what this device uses. Oh, and it's normal 10GBase-T - Cat6a - not some weird crap.

  • Delicious 1700lb giant turkeys once roamed Madagascar. (Inverse)

    Lina and Gourry ate them all.

  • Sydney's Olympic Park (site of the 2000 Summer Olympics) is hosting trials of driverless shuttle services. (ZDNet)

    So far hardly anyone has been horribly killed.

  • Kairosoft has some sort of new RPG out.

    Only in Japanese right now, but they are much quicker than they used to be at translating games into English.

  • That Linux code revocation thing?  Not going to happen.  The Software Freedom Conservancy said no, so I went and read the GPLv2 myself, and I have to agree with them.  By contributing code to a GPL project you agree to the license, granting other users an irrevocable license so long as they also agree to the license.

    You could sue over it, but you'd likely fail.

    So terminal cancer it is.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

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Post contains 416 words, total size 5 kb.

Wednesday, September 26


Daily News Stuff 26 September 2018

Tech News

Video of the Day

Would have been cute to link this in 144p but I'm not that cruel.  Mostly.

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Special Breaking News Stuff Bulletin For 26 September 2018

This just in: In a move of surpassing idiocy Twitter has banned calling people "bots" or "Nazis".

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Tuesday, September 25


Daily News Stuff 25 September 2018

Tech News

Social Media News

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a draft executive order to regulate social media floating around the White House.  (TechDirt)

    But it's just a draft, and officials have officially disavowed any intent to put it into action.  There's speculation that Yelp might be behind it, but I have no idea whether such speculation is any better informed than the rest of the nonsense sloshing around Washington this week.

  • If you need a laugh this absurdly stupid take on the split between the open internet and the we-will-drag-you-off-to-Siberia/Manchuria-at-3AM internet might do the trick.  (TechCrunch)

Video of the Day

Ra ra Raspucat!

Bonus Video of the Day

A pathologist reviews Cells at Work.

Picture of the Day


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Monday, September 24


Daily News Stuff 24 September 2018

Tech News

Social Media News

Remember how I said on Friday that everyone on social media had gone stark raving mad?

Oh sweet innocence of youth...

I think this post sums things up pretty well:

Video of the Day

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Post contains 299 words, total size 4 kb.

Sunday, September 23


Daily News Stuff 23 September 2018

Tech News

  • Australia's godawful mathematics-denying encryption bill has been passed to a joint committee for review, rather than being set on fire and flushed down the toilet as is proper. (ZDNet)

  • Chrome is a google Cloud service with a browser attached.

    Particularly noteworthy:
    Chromium is apparently also affected by this.
    This extends even into the open source version. This is an extension of how I got locked out of YouTube for eight years. And of course, Google's terms of service forbid you getting around that by having multiple accounts.

  • Intel's Optane 905P is now available in useful capacities. (Serve the Home)

    More interesting, STH notes that their own server is now using an Optane drive for their databases.

  • Paul Thurrott (he's on Windows Weekly, um, weekly, on the TWiT network) takes a look at the Intel version of the HP Envy x2, another take from HP on the detachable design like the Spectre x2 I just got. (ThurrottTM)

    Paul reviewed the Arm version previously and found that it was a beautiful, elegant, functional system that completely sucked for getting anything done because the Arm CPU was painfully slow running Intel software under emulation.

    The new Envy version has a lower resolution screen than the Spectre, and a slower CPU, and less memory and storage, but has LTE support and is aimed at delivering all-day battery life.

    He also reviewed the Spectre x2 last year for those interested in a comparison.

Social Media News

  • China has banned Twitch streaming. Unexpectedly. (Tom's Hardware)

  • Ahaha! Ahahaha! Ahahahahahaha!
Ah.  Hmm.  [Looks at what operating system is running this blog.  Starts frantically buying books about OpenBSD.]

Longer discussion at lulz.com and apparently a medium-sized civil war has broken out on the kernel developers' mailing list.

Video of the Day

This fits The World God Only Knows even better than Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.

Picture of the Day


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Saturday, September 22


Daily News Stuff 22 September 2018

Tech News

  • HP's Spectre x2 (2017) is really good.  If you can find one at, say, a 66.25% discount, go for it.

    The screen is great, the sound is surprisingly good for a notebook, it's fast and (if you get the 1TB model) has a ton of room for stuffs.  It charges very quickly - it can fast charge to 50% capacity in half an hour.  The bezels are large by 2018 standards, but you need something to hold onto in tablet mode, so I won't ding it for that. 

    The keyboard is a remarkable creation - incredibly light but at the same time a great surface to type on.  Attaching it to the tablet part is a piece of cake - you wave it in approximately the right direction and powerful magnets pull it in and two little tabs guide it into the right place.  The back of the keyboard is some kind of woven plastic, rather than the aluminium and glass of the tablet part, which gives you a solid grip on the whole thing.

    The pen is interesting too - I didn't realise it could sense proximity and not just touch.  Hover the pen over the screen and it will register a cursor at that location.  This is why it originally did nothing at all before I discovered the tiny battery compartment in the box in the other box.

    Few minor downsides: The trackpad buttons take a little getting used to; they're rather firm.  The fan will spin up under load and make a steady hissing noise as though you'd left your pet snake in the microwave, and if you keep it under load the notebook gets quite warm.  The USB-C ports are awkwardly located in the middle of the sides of the tablet part, and a USB charging cable is bulkier than the typical power cord for a small laptop, so it's left sticking out inconveniently to the side.

    Overall initial impressions though are extremely positive, and I'm very grateful to the anonymous benefactor who bought that domain from me and funded this out-of-budget purchase.  (I'll know who it is eventually, but they don't have a website up yet.)

    Into stock and out again
    Off to HP's store I go
    Includes a keyboard and a pen
    Great for taking notes you know.

    Terabyte of SSD
    $1350 for your sins
    I have two, could make it three -
    He who dies with most toys wins.
    One other thing I've found: For some reason, CPU virtualisation (VT-x) is disabled by default in the BIOS.  A quick trip to the BIOS settings fixed that and all was well, but I thought for a moment I'd mistakenly installed the 32-bit version of VirtualBox.*

  • Lenovo has their own mini laptop out, the A285.  (AnandTech)


    This has better specs in some respects: A Ryzen Pro CPU (up to the 2700U, so four CPU cores and 10 graphics cores), up to 16GB RAM and 512GB of SSD, four USB ports, HDMI, and wired gigabit Ethernet.

    Touch screen is optional but the non-touch option is garbage - a cheap 1366x768 TN panel - and should be avoided at all costs.

    Also, it has PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys, which the Spectre x2 does not.

    No price as yet.  Lenovo's prices change daily anyway.

    Update: Found the price.  US$990 for the crap version no-one should ever buy.  Useful models start at $1140.

  • Intel is ramping up its 14nm production to offset delays in 10nm which is now three years behind schedule.  (Tom's Hardware)

  • You won't believe this one simple trick to calculate billions of digits of pi using the wrong formula.  (PDF)


    This formula is wrong.  But it is accurate for the first 42 billion digits.

  • An artist drew copies of some of Andy Warhol's Polaroids by hand, crumpled them up, drew copies of the crumpled versions, created t-shirts with printed copies of the drawings of the crumpled drawings of the Polaroids, and packed them for sale into replica Campbell's soup cans, and got a C&D letter and not from the Warhol estate either.  (TechDirt)

  • PyPy, the Python compiler written in Python, is a marvellous beast, delivering typically twice the performance on the same code and sometimes much more, at a cost of only the occasional horrendous memory leak that takes out your entire server not that this has ever happened to me more than, say, fifteen times in the space of a week.

    Anyway, the one goat in the ointment was that calling traditional Python C extensions from PyPy was slower than molasses in Boston in January 1919.

    This has now been fixed.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Clearly this is the one from Flatline.

Anime Music Video of the Day

Been wasting my time posting on Twitter...

Picture of the Day


* There is no 32-bit version of VirtualBox.**
** If VT-x is disabled (or your CPU is ancient and doesn't support it) VirtualBox will only show 32-bit options for virtual machines, because it can do that even without VT-x.  It will do the same if you are on 32-bit hardware, running 32-bit Windows, or have Hyper-V or VMWare installed on the same machine, which is kind of a pain because you don't know what is going on.

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