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.

Thursday, January 31


Daily News Stuff 31 January 2019

Tech News

  • Intel closes out January with a bang by launching their 28 core Xeon W-3175X for $2999. (AnandTech)

    Which is a lot of money - and a lot more than the competing 32 core Threadripper 2990WX at $1799 - but a lot less than expected.  After all, it's the same chip as the Xeon 8180, which runs around $10,000, just with some interconnects disabled.  (Other Linus dropped one of those and busted it.)

    This is also the one Intel showed off last year overclocked to 5GHz with an external 1hp water chiller. The version they are actually shipping is slightly more restrained: 3.1GHz base and 4.5GHz max boost frequency, and a 255W TDP.

    About that TDP... While it's basically the same on paper as the 2990WX, AMD stick firmly to that limit, while the Intel part draws 380W at stock under full load. Overclocking naturally does nothing to help this.

    On Final Fantasy XV, the W-3175X is 2% faster than a Ryzen 2700X, so the latter is probably still our recommended configuration.

    More realistically, if you're rendering in Corona it's 20% faster than the Threadripper 2990WX, but is slightly slower in Blender and dead even in POV-Ray. So even if money is no object, you still need to check out the benchmarks for your specific application.

    Also, since this is clearly the fastest part Intel can produce, it gives AMD a nice big target to shoot at when they roll out Threadripper 3 towards the middle of the year.  Well, there is that dual-chip 48 core part they're planning, but that is basically two of those $10k parts on a module with a few cores disabled.  I don't think Intel wants to sell that into the desktop market.

    Oh, and there are exactly two motherboards available that support this CPU, only one of which is available in retail, and they cost around $1700.

  • AMD had a great year. (PC Perspective)

    Revenue up, margins up, expenses up - well, that's not ideal all else being equal, but revenue climbed $1.2b compared to expenses climbing by just $280m. And a healthy profit at the end.

    And that's before the server sales really start to kick in, which should start this year with Zen 2 and Rome.

  • Speaking of which, if the Xeon W-3175X is too rich for your blood but you like the idea of more than four memory channels, Gigabyte has an EPYC workstation motherboard in standard ATX size. (Serve the Home)

    Only one DIMM per channel, but there are 8 channels, and they literally could not fit any more.

    Three 1G (including the dedicated BMC) and two 10G Ethernet (the 10G is SPF, though), 16 SATA ports, four full PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and one x8, one M.2 slot, and two USB 3.0. No USB 3.1 or audio; it's really a server board in a workstation format.

  • Apple is facing a lawsuit over that FaceTime bug because we can't have nice things. (Tom's Hardware)

  • Build your own Linux distro in 10 minutes! (Phoronix)

    Because why not?

  • Is Intel courting high-speed networky favourite Mellanox? (The Next Platform)

    Signs point to yes.

Social Media News

Picture of the Day

Embrace the healing power of blep.

Video of the Day

Embrace.  Well, okay, that was more of a mlem.

Disclaimer: Any reproduction, retransmission or rebroadcast without the expressed, written consent of Major League Baseball is strictly prohibited.

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YouTube Is A Cow

I might start putting videos below the fold.  The main page is getting really slow to load.

The new design (early preview) will fix that because you'll need to click on articles to open them, so videos won't pre-load.

Update: The new design loads instantly, but when you click to view an article, every video on the page, including all the hidden ones, tries to load simultaneously.  Ugh.

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Wednesday, January 30


Daily News Stuff 30 January 2019

Tech News

Social Media News

  • Facebook has been paying teenagers so it could spy on them.  (Tech Crunch)

    Over 18, that's one thing. If an adult says "You pay me, I let you see my data", that's a valid transaction.  Under 18, go directly to jail.  Do not pass Go.

    Tech Crunch has all the details - they've done some great work on this story - and it looks like Facebook seriously fucked up here.

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day

Don't worry, he only eats vegetarians.

Disclaimer: Not to be taken internally.

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Tuesday, January 29


Daily News Stuff 29 January 2019

Tech News

  • Humble Bundle has cookbooks.

    Whether you want to make anteater stew, turtle soup, whatever the heck that thing is pie...  Okay, yeah, they're O'Reilly.  Programming cookbooks for Python, SQL, JavaScript, Raspberry Pi and Arduino, Docker, R, Scala and more.

  • HP's 10th generation ProLiant MicroServer gets a look-at.  (Serve the Home)

    I have an old one of these - third generation or something like that, using an AMD Bobcat family CPU.  The starting price is actually very cheap.  I'd like to see a 2.5" version though.

  • Apple's FaceTime had a tiny little bug that lets anyone spy on anyone else.  (Bleeping Computer)  [Updated]

    Basically you could trick the other end into thinking the user had answered the call.  Nice work, guys.  We figured this out in the 19th century, but nooo.

    The hack worked via a new group call service; Apple have switched that service off until the bug has been fixed and the service has been tested seventeen hundred different ways.

  • Which online storage is right for you?  (ZDNet)

    I have both Dropbox and Google Drive - the latter mostly because I ran out of space for my email.  The problem with Dropbox is you can only get more than 1TB by upgrading to their business plans, which require a minimum of three users.

  • Apple death watch, India edition: iPhone sales in India plummeted almost 50% from 2017 to 2018.  (ZDnet)

    Apple sold 1.7 million units in India in 2018 - out of 150 million total smartphone purchases.  The OnePlus 6 sold 1 million units there in 22 days.

  • Star Control: Origins returns to GOG.  (One Angry Gamer)

    I picked it up at half price from the Stardock store during the DMCA takedown, but haven't had a chance to play it yet.  Probably in March or April.  2023.

    The article also shows a list of the claims behind the DMCA takedown notice, which include obviously uncopyrightable items such as hyperspace, radar, and autopilot.  

  • The headline reads "Uber partner Bell unveils flying taxi".  (Tech Crunch)

    Bell?  Wait, that Bell?  Yes, you guessed it, the "flying taxi" is a helicopter.

    Okay, it's a four seat autonomous electric quadcopter, so it is something new.  And the fact that Bell is building it suggests that it might actually be real, given that they've been building helicopters since the 1940s.

  • Nvidia issued guidance that they weren't going to meet their revised revenue forecasts and their stock price went splut.  (WCCFTech)

    They went all-in on AI and ray tracing with the RTX range, and bumped up prices because those new features make the chips large and expensive to manufacture.

    Only problem is, pretty much nothing exists to use those features yet, and they probably won't see truly mainstream support for another two or three years.  

    Plus Nvidia had a lot of old cards left in the channel after the crypto mining  bubble burst.  AMD managed that event better in that respect, but on the other hand, during the bubble AMD cards were simply unobtainable.

    I think what Nvidia is doing will pay off big in the long run, particularly looking at the specs of TSMC's 5nm node.  It's just going to take a while.

  • Speaking of Nvidia, here's their Titan RTX in case you just discovered a bunch of early Apple stock certificates in your grandparents' attic.  (Tom's Hardware)

  • And speaking of TSMC, a chemical contamination at one of their plants may have ruined as many as 10,000 wafers.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is in a plant that produces 16nm an 12nm chips, not the latest 7nm, but it could affect Xbox and PlayStation shipments, mid-range phones, and...  Nvidia graphics cards.  It's not a huge shortfall but there's a long lead time in wafer production so it's bound to cause scheduling problems.

Social Media News

Picture of the Day

Bonus Picture of the Day

Disclaimer: No entry except tram.

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Monday, January 28


Daily News Stuff 28 January 2019

Tech News

  • Julia turns 1.1!

    Wait, when did it turn 1.0?  And do they have an option for static compilation yet?  (I know that means specialisation doesn't work, but still...)

    Update: There is a static compiler!

  • Huawei has launched the View 20, which I mentioned previously...  Sometime.  (AnandTech)

    This has a 48MP main camera, and the latest Kirin 980 with Cortex A76.  A 6.4" 1080x2340 display, a big 4000mAh battery, 6/128GB or 8/256GB, a 25MP front camera (why?) and a headphone jack.

    That might be a suitable replacement for my old Xperia Z Ultra if I had any money to spare.  (My Z Ultra still works, but it overheated at some point and the battery swelled by half a millimetre or so and the back popped off.  So I'm a wee bit cautious about continuing to use it.)

  • Raspberry Pi's CM3+ is a Raspberry Pi 3B+, minus all the I/O ports, on a DDR2 SO-DIMM module.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Nothing to do with memory, it's just a cheap, standard connector that's the right size and has the right number of pins, so you can build a board with all the I/O and then pop the CPU and its attached RAM and flash straight into it.

  • How to outperform anything with anything else.

    The answer is: Cheat.  The example shows Python outrunning carefully optimised C++ code, but it does that by cheating.

    90% of programming is knowing how to cheat.

  • SK Hynix says DDR5 will be here next year and DDR6 is already in development.  (Guru3D)

    Their initial DDR5 chips run at 5.2GHz, with plans to hit 6.4GHz by 2022.

  • Steam aren't the only company randomly censoring games.  Sony are at it too.  (One Angry Gamer)

    Thanks Sony!  Where would we be without you to save us from the terrifying outline of already-censored cartoon boobs?

  • Samsung is ditching plastic packaging.  (Tech Crunch)

    Prepare for more day one dings and scratches on your future appliance purchases.

Social Media News

  • The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.

    Or in this case, Cameroon.  (TechDirt)

    The Cameroonian military is jailing journalists for publishing fake news.  Much as I'd like to see the mainstream media dropped into a supermassive black hole, I don't want to see them in jail.

  • More GDPR bad news may be on the way for Google.  (Tech Crunch)


Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Speaking of anime, Re:Slime is pretty good, but the ops and eds are not.  They needed Megumi Hayashibara.

Video of the Day

This video is pretty cool, shame about the encoding quality.  Hey, wait.  (Whacks YouTube with a stick.  Coughs up 1080p60.)  There you go!

Update: And it went away.  The entire account got splatted.  Found another copy in 720p.

Bonus Video of the Day

Other Linus has been trying to build a six-user video editing workstation for months, not because it is in any way remotely practical or cost-effective, but because videos of computers failing in interesting ways get a lot of hits.  Also, he has a habit of dropping fragile $7000 components, so these things can turn without warning into the IT crowd equivalent of a slasher film.

Does he succeed this time?  It's worth a look, because this rig resembles Doc Brown's workshop more than it does the usual neat RGB-lit builds that feature on YouTube tech channels.

Disclaimer: Zakenna yo!

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Sunday, January 27


Daily News Stuff 27 January 2019

Tech News

Social Media News

  • We need a word for that feeling you get when you're reading an article that is really getting stuck in to Facebook for their shady activities and and are just about to post a link to it when you realise the author is a hard left conspiracy nut.

  • New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo was apparently sick the day they covered the Bill of Rights in Clown College. (TechDirt)

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Let's dig up a few OVA classics today, shall we?

Picture of the Day

[Goes to upload a picture.  Where is my Images folder?  WHERE IS MY IMAGES FOLDER? Oh, it's right there.  WHY CAN'T I UPLOAD TO IT?  Don't look at me, you wrote this thing.  Oh, huh.  If you reduce your site's main page from 10 posts to 5 because of the number of YouTube videos you've added, it has the side-effect of reducing the number of folders shown per page as well.  Which is fine except when it comes to that dropdown list.

I can fix that in the template with a hard-coded limit of 1000 or something.]

Disclaimer: Doggone it Roy Gene, how many times do I have to 'splain it to you?  When I tell you to put a rock under the wheel, I mean a rock.  Now look at that what you have there is no bigger'n a grapefruit.

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Saturday, January 26


Daily News Stuff 26 January 2019

Tech News

  • Intel's single functional (mostly) 10nm CPU gets reviewed.  (AnandTech)

    And when I say reviewed I mean it - 14 pages, and some of the individual pages would make Tolstoy blush.

    Quick summary though: Eh.

  • Samsung has a 15.6" 4k OLED laptop display on the way.  (AnandTech)

    100% DCI-P3, 600 nits, HDR10, and a 120,000:1 contrast range are the key points, all areas where OLED has a huge advantage over LCD.  I have three high resolution laptops (one Dell 4k and the two 3000x2000 HP models I picked up at fire sale prices last year) and they're great, but the Dell is neither particularly bright nor possessed of an especially impressive colour gamut.  

    How well Samsung has dealt with the problems specific to OLED we have yet to see.  These should start appearing in laptops around the middle of the year, but it might be wise to hold off for a bit if you're spending your own money.

  • Intel's volumes are down but average selling price is up, suggesting that this is not part of an economic downturn, but rather AMD nibbling away at their low end products.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This holds true across the board - notebooks, desktops, and servers.

  • Samsung is forging ahead with its full-custom Arm chips.  (WCCFTech)

    The new Exynos 9820 will feature two of Samsung's M3 cores, as well as two A75 cores (which were the high-end standard core until recently) and four A55 low-power cores.

    The previous 9810 had some design issues that prevented it from living up to its potential, so it will be interesting to see how Samsung fares this time around.  Neither Arm themselves nor companies like Qualcomm seem to be interested in chasing Apple in the high-performance wide-issue full-custom space, leaving Samsung alone, apart from companies like Fujitsu who are putting Arm into supercomputers and would set your pocket on fire if they got anywhere near the smartphone market.

  • Asus' VivoMini VC65-C1 is a small - bigger than a NUC, but still small - PC that can play 4K Blu Ray disks. (AnandTech)

    Up to 6 cores and 32GB RAM (maybe 64GB or even 128GB depending on stuff), one M.2 slot and two 2.5" drive bays. 8" square and 2" tall. Oh, and no external power brick - it has direct AC in.

  • Websocketd lets you turn absolutely anything into a websocket server.

    Awk?  Snobol?  Fortran IV?  No problem!

    Mind you so does Caddy so it's probably best just to use that.  The author of Caddy mentioned that he got the idea for that feature from Websocketd.

    Websocketd GitHub.

  • Badger is an LSM database library with built-in versioning.  Versioning is used in transaction management, with stale versions normally getting eliminated once a new transaction is committed, but Badger allows you to keep them around and query them.

    Want to see the last five versions of that post you just accidentally overwrote? [This never happens - Ed.] Badger can dig those out for you.

    Badger GitHub.

  • The Microsoft 365 online service has been renamed to Microsoft 363.  (Bleeping Computer)


  • The full specs for Motorola's upcoming G7 range have been leaked.  By Motorola.  (CNet)  [Warning - autoplay video with sound]


Social Media News

  • Court documents show that it wasn't just a couple of individuals in customer support denying refunds to under-age purchasers of in-game items, it was Facebook corporate policy.  (Reveal)

    They even had a term for it: Friendly fraud.

    This is not going to go well for Facebook.

  • Need to get your blep and blop fix in one convenient place?  Pro tip: You can combined subreddits with a + to create instant custom multireddits.

Video of the Day

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Pictures of the Day

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Friday, January 25


Daily News Stuff 25 January 2019

Tech News

  • JMAP is a modern email protocol that doesn't suck.

    It works over HTTPS (okay) and uses JSON (yay!)  It's stateless where IMAP and POP are stateful, but that's probably a win on balance.

    There are a couple of Python libraries already, though not yet in the robust state of libraries for protocols that were laid down in 1986.

    JSON lacks support for some data types (dates and times) but it is simple, fast, and robust, where formats like XML or YAML are none of those things.

  • A DNA voltmeter for organelles.

    Just the thing I need.

  • Apple has laid off 200 employees from their automotive division.  (Mashable)

    The whole project never made any sense anyway. 

  • There's a steganographic JavaScript advertising attack in the wild and targeting Mac users.

    It downloads an image that looks like a plain white rectangle and a snippet of JavaScript that decodes the hidden content.  Once decoded, it tries to convince you to download a fake update to Adobe Flash which contains the real payload - the Shlayer trojan.

    All the rigmarole is to hide from real-time virus scanners, and it worked, for a while.

  • Chrome has added new protection against downloads not specifically requested by the user.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The existing protections are already a significant nuisance when trying to get your purchases from Humble Bundle, but given the story immediately above I guess we'll just have to deal with it.

  • A look at modern big iron: The Dell EMC PowerEdge MX.  (Serve the Home)

    It's basically a whole lot of PCs on a very fast backplane.  A single-width compute sled can contain 56 cores and 3TB of RAM, and a double-width sled twice as much.  Eight (or four) such sleds fit in a 7U rack module, which can weigh up to 400 pounds fully populated.

  • NumPy has a remote execution bug.  (Bleeping Computer)

    NumPy is a very widely used Python library for scientific computation.  Turns out it uses Python's Pickle library by default when saving data, which has been known to be unsafe for about a trillion years.  The problem is even documented by NumPy...  Just not actually fixed.

  • Fucking magnets, how do they work?  (Quanta)

    Turns out that is actually a good question.

  • NekoMiko gets a pervert patch to bypass the shutoff valve that was blocking steamy content.  (One Angry Gamer)  [Potentially NSFW]

    Steam has gotten censorious again - nobody seems to know why they keep changing their minds, and Valve aren't talking - and blocked a whole bunch of games (the above site calls this waifu holocaust 2.0).  So the developers are publishing a tame version and then making a patch file publicly available.

    Also, that site was loading while I was typing this in another Chrome window, and it popped up an alert, stole the input focus while I was typing, and disappeared the alert before I had a chance to see what it said.

    What the actual fuck was that, Google?  Never, ever, ever do that.

  • Google has appealed to the Supreme Court to smack down the idiots in the appeals court who overturned the original (and correct) ruling in the original trial of Fuckheads Who Want to Copyright API Definitions v. The Rest of the Universe.  (

  • Some researchers working to make the BGP protocol more robust managed instead to crash a number of routers at major internet providers.  (ZDNet)

    Then two weeks later they did it again.

    I mean, point made, but could you maybe not experiment on a live patient?

Social Media News

  • The Huffington Post just laid off their entire opinion section.  (CNN)

    All together now: Isn't that everything they do?

  • BuzzFeed meanwhile is laying off 15% of its employees.  (CNN)

    The truly shocking thing here is that BuzzFeed has 1450 staff.  Doing what?  Posting "10 reasons why your cat may be an alien" and "Donald Trump takes orders from Mars and we have the documents to prove it (in Martian)"?

  • Why is all this happening?  Newspapers have been in decline for forty years and their responses to this decline have been to make themselves more and more isolated, irresponsible, and unreliable, and to blame everyone else for their own failings.  The thread is a fascinating mix of historical fact and wilful ignorance.  But it can be summed up in one picture.

    Not that newspapers were ever trustworthy, on the whole.  The ghost of William Randolph Hearst is laughing heartily.

Video of the Day

Gawker is gone.  Again.  It lasted six and a half minutes this time.

Bonus Video of the Day

Does it spark HONK?

Wait, Alex is Australian?

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Some people look at old anime that has been remastered in 1080p and ask why.

Fair enough.


I was planning to do Magic Knight Rayearth, but the HD clips of the season one opening have been stomped.

Well, okay.

One more, unrelated.

Picture of the Day


Disclaimer: So, logically--
- If she weighs the same as a duck...
- she's made of wood.
- And therefore?
- A witch!

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Thursday, January 24


Daily News Stuff 24 January 2019

Tech News

Social Media News

Video of the Day


Everything you ever wanted to know about the sea cucumber.

The terrifying alien being silhouetted by the Aurora Australis above the Antarctic Peninsula.

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

The animation got a lot more fluid as the series progressed.  

Picture of the Day 

Disclaimer: Darling no baka!!!

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Wednesday, January 23


Daily News Stuff 23 January 2019

Tech News

Social Media News

Anime Op/Ed of the Day

Picture of the Day


Disclaimer: It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself—anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offence. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.

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