It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?
Thursday, February 28
End of Summer Edition
Quick one today because I have to be elsewhere.
- Xiaomi is teaming up with Light - makers of that weird 16-camera camera - to make multiple multiple camera phones. (AnandTech)
Where "multiple" can mean as many as 18.
- Lenovo has a 595 gram 14" portable monitor. (AnandTech)
Only 1080p though, so meh.
- The FTC fined dietary supplement company Cure Encapsulations $12.8 million for posting fake reviews on Amazon. (Tom's Hardware)
Pretty Cure Review Stars was not the most popular season of the franchise.
- Hyperloop says it can get people from Sydney to Canberra in 22 minutes. (ZDNet)
Which is great because it means you can be back in Sydney in 44 minutes.
Wednesday, February 27
- Oppo also showed off a foldable phoneblet - just a prototype in this case. (Ars Technica)
It looks a lot like the Huawei Mate X, with a wraparound screen on the outside and a hand grip thingy.
- Samsung's Exynos 9820 vs Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855. (Ars Technica)
The Galaxy S10 range uses Samsung's own CPU in many parts of the world. How does it compare? It's... Okay.
- USB 3.2 should show up this year. (Ars Technica)
To make things simpler, 5Gbps USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 will be renamed USB 3.2 Gen 1, 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 will be renamed USB 3.2 Gen 2, and the new 20Gbps standard will be named USB 3.2 Gen 2x2.
Guys? USB 5, USB 10, USB 20.
- Supermicro motherboards can host persistent rats in their BMC. (Tom's Hardware)
This is one of the reasons everyone doubted that Bloomberg story - if you want to hack servers, it's much simpler to do it in software.
At the moment the cure is to simply update the BMC firmware before deploying or re-deploying a server.
- Zero Server.
It allows you to build your application without worrying about package management or routing. Write your code in a mix of Node.js, React, HTML, MDX, and static files and put them all in a folder.Take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.
- Amazon Personalize is a new AWS API that provides the same recommendation engine used by the Amazon online store.
The marketing team at my day job asked me to whip up a quick recommendation system. I gave them a search engine instead, since I wasn't in the market for busywork for a dozen generations of grad students.
- ASRock Rack's X470D4U is a Ryzen (AM4) server motherboard.
MicroATX form factor, which is fine. Supports either up to 64GB of RAM, or 64GB RAM modules. Since it uses unbuffered memory and 64GB unbuffered modules don't exist yet, it's not entirely clear which.
6 8 SATA ports, 2 NVMe slots (x4 and x2), 2 + 1 GbE ports (the extra for the BMC module), 2 USB 3.1 ports, and VGA. Three PCI slots, the first slot with bifurcation support for a riser card.
A couple of extra SATA ports would have been nice, but still a pretty nice board. With the upcoming Ryzen 3000 chips this year it will allow a new wave of cheap and very fast servers with ECC memory, and blow Intel out of the water.
Update: It does have a couple of extra SATA ports. The spec sheet is a bit confusing. 6 ports off the chipset and two extra ports off an Asmedia controller. On the board picture (now included) it's much clearer.
- And then everyone got the clap. (Bleeping Computer)
Thunderclap attacks devices with Thunderbolt ports because Thunderbolt directly exposes the internal PCIe bus. IOMMU is supposed to prevent this, but only MacOS universally supports it and even there it has flaws.
- SK Hynix detailed its upcoming 16Gb DDR5-6400 memory chips. (AnandTech)
Okay, so... Unless JEDEC have changed things, 6400MT/s is the top speed specified for DDR5, and manufacturers are planning to launch at that speed. I think something needs to give, guys.
Social Media News
- China is exporting censorship. (TechDirt)
It's cheap, if not quick, to get books printed in China. Now they're fucking over their printing industry by censoring every page, even for books printed in foreign languages and destined for foreign countries.
- British regulators call for more regulations. (TechDirt)
In this case, they want to regulate social media to prohibit fake news.
Not, you will note, the actual purveyors of fake news, i.e. politicians.
- Cloudflare is running a canary farm. (Tech Crunch)
Quis canariat ipsos canares?
Detective Pikachu Movie Trailer of the Day
Tuesday, February 26
- Micron's 960GB BX500 SSD is just $119 at Newegg. (Tom's Hardware)
The link in the article says $199, but I checked and $119 is correct.
This is a low-end drive, but it's 3D TLC flash, not cheaper QLC, and should work just fine in most applications.
You can also get a 512GB Intel 760p - a pretty good M.2 NVMe drive - for
- Extinct Formosan clouded leopard spotted in Taiwan. (Taiwan News)
Spotted all over, in fact.
- Micron says me too. (Globe Newswire)
The object in question being another 1TB microSD card. Available Q2, no pricing yet.
- Need 512GB of RAM on a mini-ITX motherboard? Supermicro has you covered. (Serve the Home)
8 core Epyc 3251, four DIMM slots (two channels on the 3251 though), four SATA ports, four 1GbE ports (plus another one for the BMC), two USB 3.0 ports, VGA out, one M.2 slot, and a x16 PCIe slot. 66W system power at full load, which isn't bad at all.
Social Media News
- You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia," but only slightly less well known is this: "Never run a social media company in Europe." (IPKat via TechDirt)
- Rotten Tomatoes has wiped out their pre-release "want to see" ratings across the entire site after Captain Marvel got splortched with a rating of 27%. (One Angry Gamer)
Instructional Poster of the Day
Monday, February 25
- Huawei's Mate X also folds - the other way. (AnandTech)
It has a Kirin 980 CPU, a 2480x2200 8" screen, 8GB RAM, 512GB flash, a proprietary "fuckYouCard" slot, and costs €2299.
More pictures. (Huawei)
- TCL also showed off a folding OLED display. (AnandTech)
Just the display, not a complete device.
- LG's G8 and V50 are fairly normal phones. (AnandTech)
Snapdragon 855, 6GB RAM, 128GB flash, three rear cameras (main, tele, wide), USB-C and headphone jack. 3120x1440 display, 6.1" on the G8 and 6.4" on the V50.
- Nokia's 9 is also a thing that exists. (Ars Technica)
Or will be soon. Snapdragon 845 - last year's model - 6GB RAM, 128GB flash, a 6" 1440p-ish screen (I couldn't find exact numbers), and five 12MP cameras.
- Is matter conscious? (Nautilus)
No. The question is stupid and the people asking the question are stupid. If you read that article, you will also become stupid. Don't read it.
The comments are also stupid.
- Linus stuck Linux back in the oven for another week. (Phoronix)
This is the big five-o.
- SanDisk has announced 512GB and 1TB microSD cards. (BusinessWire)
$200 for 512GB and $450 for the 1TB SanDisk Extreme. It looks like they're also planning faster Extreme Plus and Extreme Pro models, which will get expensive.
The downside is I can no longer tell people that any 1TB microSD card they see is a fake and they shouldn't waste their money.
The upside is I can add 1TB of extra storage to my laptop.
Teaser Trailer of the Day
This might be a thing. The Golden Compass came out and sank without trace, so I'm happy someone is taking another shot at it.
Sunday, February 24
- Need a nominally portable battery pack that can charge your iPhone 47 times? ChargeTech has you covered. (AnandTech)
It weighs 5.4kg (12lbs) and has a 462 Wh battery. It could also charge a 2018 MacBook Air 9 times with a little left over.
- TSMC will begin mass production of 7nm+ in March. (PC Perspective)
This partly applies EUV to existing 7nm manufacturing. It's not a huge advance, but it does provide somewhat higher transistor densities and some reductions in power consumption (on the order of 10%).
This will be followed quickly by their 5nm process, which uses EUV throughout, and provides substantial improvements in transistor density - a 5nm chip could be close to half the size of the equivalent 7nm chip.
- DNS is doomed. (ZDNet)
Well, doomed-ish. ICANN is urging everyone to move to DNSSEC.
Problem: No-one uses DNSSEC. At my day job we own two TLDs, and deal directly with various registries and registrars, and the uptake so far is minimal.
- Premiere Pro had a TINY AUDIO GLITCH. (ZDNet)
Fixed now, but that might not be entirely satisfactory if your sound equipment or hearing are already permanently damaged.
Social Media News
- Is Patreon angling to be acquired by Facebook? (Tech Crunch)
That would make sense of their recent abject fuckery.
Shiba Inu Video of the Day
Saturday, February 23
- Nvidia has launched the GTX 1660 Ti much to no-one's surprise. (AnandTech)
It's about 25% faster on compute than the GTX 1060, with 50% more memory bandwidth (replacing GDDR5 with faster GDDR6). This makes it a solid upgrade over the 1060 and an easy winner over AMD's similarly-priced RX 590. In some titles it even beats the GTX 1070, which was a very solid mid-range card.
It lacks the ray-tracing and AI features of the recent RTX launches, but for most games that makes no difference. If you want a reasonably-priced card for 1080p or 1440p gaming, this looks like the one to get. For 4k it's underpowered and short on memory.
AMD will likely drop pricing on the RX 580 and 590 soon to keep them relevant. The other card they have up their sleeve is the Vega 56, which is comfortably faster than the GTX 1660, but is likely too expensive to manufacture to allow substantial price cuts.
- HP seems to have spilled the beans on Intel's Cascade Lake server chips. (Serve the Home)
They look just like the current Wombat Lake [insert correct name here] range, so this is the most boring leak ever.
- V is a new language that blah blah blah why can't curly bracket languages just die already.
It compiles 1.5 million lines of code per second per thread (on what CPU?) and, um, there's nothing on their GitHub yet.
- Redis Labs changed its "open source" license again. (Tech Crunch)
The existing license wasn't open source, but apparently wasn't not open source enough, so they changed it. Again.
It's important to keep in mind that Redis Labs doesn't produce Redis, though they help fund its development, and Redis is still truly open source under the three-clause BSD license. The Redis Labs license only applies to Lua modules like their search engine and Bloom filter, which are, well, meh.
- Redis itself is proceeding unchanged, with no major changes planned except for access control, which will be welcome.
Social Media News
- Pinterest has started censoring wrongthink.
The Guardian, of course, applauds.
Now in this case they are censoring anti-vaccine bullshit, but that's not really any better. Take a stand for the truth, don't give the conspiracy theorists even more to chew on.
- Chase Bank is reportedly booting comic book creators. (One Angry Gamer)
If they have the wrong politics, of course.
There may be more to it, but if there is, Chase refuses to say what.
Friday, February 22
- Intel's spin-transferable torque magnetoresistive random access memory (BOB) is ready for mass production. (Tom's Hardware)
This is a non-volatile memory technology with similar performance and rewrite endurance to regular DRAM, but able to retain data for weeks without power. Device capacities so far have been fairly sad, though, in the low megabits.
- Hayabusa-2 just touched down on Ryugu, the asteroid it reached in June last year. (BBC)
This is the one that previously launched two little hopper robots to explore the asteroid.
- Israel's first Moon mission is on its way after a successful SpaceX launch. (Mashable)
The 600kg automated probe was built entirely with private funds, and will reach the Moon in April. That's a fairly leisurely pace, but requires a lot less fuel.
The rocket also launched an Indonesian communications satellite and a satellite-tracking satellite built by the USAF.
This is the third launch of this particular booster, and it is due to fly again in April.
- More details on Arm's N1 and E1 cores. (Serve the Home)
While Arm is planning for partner devices with up to 128 cores, the current developer board has a rather underwhelming total of two.
Social Media News
- Companies have pulled YouTube advertising and YouTube itself has disabled comments on tens of millions of videos (Tech Crunch) over a story that may be mostly bullshit. (YouTube)
The fuss is over comments on videos now. Next year it will be likes of comments on videos. After that, who knows?
Key point: YouTube will now pull advertising from your videos (and wreck your income if that's what you do for a living) if they don't like a comment.
IZMV of the Day
Thursday, February 21
- The men who sold the Moon. (IEEE Spectrum)
- Samsung announced their new small tablet. (AnandTech)
Snapdragon 855 CPU, 7.3" 2048x1536 AMOLED display, plus a 4.6" 1680x720 rear display, also AMOLED. 12GB RAM, 512GB UFS 3.0 flash storage, three front cameras (selfie, video, and "live focus"), three rear cameras (video, wide angle, telephoto), USB-C, headphone jack, and the other usual bits.
Oh, and it folds up.
And unlike the iPad, it's supposed to.
- Samsung also announced the Galaxy S10, S10+, S10 5G, and S10e. (AnandTech)
They're phones. Similar internals and camera arrangements to the Fold tablet, with the top models adding a fourth rear camera for 3D. Headphone jack is present on all models, and all except the S10e have a new under-screen fingerprint sensor.
Prices start at $750 for the 6GB/128GB S10e, heading up to $1600 for the 12GB/1TB S10+. Prices for the S10 5G not announced just yet.
- Arm announced their new N1 server and E1 embedded CPU ranges based on derivatives of the A76 mobile core and A65 automotive core respectively. (AnandTech)
The N1 core measures 1.2 to 1.4mm2 on a 7nm process, and uses 1W at 2.6GHz.
Unlike the mobile parts, which group CPU cores into clusters of two or four, these designs use a mesh arrangement like Intel's server parts. Arm has prepared a reference design with 128 N1 cores, but it can also be implemented using chiplets with smaller core counts.
The E1 is a lower-performance part, but is less than 0.5mm2 and uses less than 200mW at 2.5GHz. It uses a similar mesh arrangement to the N1, with a 16 core reference design expected to use less than 15W (including I/O, memory, and network controllers).
- Oh, that microphone. (Tom's Hardware)
Don't worry about it.
- BenQ has a new professional 4K display. (AnandTech)
32", HDR10, 95% DCI-P3, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, HDMI, usual stuff. And it also has a built-in KVM switch that apparently can also control a second monitor.
I have two Dell all-in-ones with 4K screens. Each has HDMI out and HDMI in, so I have them cross-linked so each can be the second monitor of the other. But to do that switch I have to press four buttons - monitor 1, monitor 2, keyboard, mouse - and wait for them to all sort themselves out. Not very fluid.
- An uncountably infinite number of MÃ¶bius strips cannot be packed into an infinite 3D volume. (Quanta)
Well, that explains why I can't get my suitcase closed.
Infographic of the Day
- That chemical contamination incident at TSMC could result in as much as $550 million in lost revenue. (AnandTech)
If you thought you were having a bad day...
- Intel launches new, higher-clocked Pentiums to take on the latest Athlon processors from AMD. (Tom's Hardware)
Wait. My calendar must need rebooting or something.
- Grand Canyon Park Museum offered visitors a taste of radiation. (NPR)
Uranium ore is pretty safe unless you eat it. Mostly alpha radiation. So don't eat it.
A previous version of this story didn't explain that the proximity to uranium ore described was unlikely to cause health problems, and it referred to uranium instead of uranium ore.Uranium metal is a different matter, but don't eat that either.
- Autocomplete using Markov chains.
Hah. I could add that to the new version of Minx. Have it write blog posts for you.
- A look at AMD's EPYC 3201. (Serve the Home)
This is an 8 core embedded server CPU; the EPYC 3000 series goes from 4 cores and 4 threads to 16 cores and 32 threads. I haven't seen AMD's plans for this range for 2019, but a "low end" embedded server CPU with 32 cores and 64 threads would be something.
- Apple may be supporting iPad apps on the Mac in a couple of years unless they don't. (Thurrott.com)
- How to optimise your piglet. (Badoo.com)
"No matter how hard you try, you canâ€™t make a racehorse out of a pig. You can, however, make a faster pig.â€
â€Šâ€”â€ŠA comment in the Emacs sourcecode.
Social Media News
- "Bots" and "astroturfers" took to the streets to protest the EU's garbage-tastic copyright legislation. (TechDirt)
Tuesday, February 19
- Take the last nope train to fuckthisshitville.
When I write tweets like this, some read it as "Gary hates JS". I like React and prefer it to all alternatives including HTML. I like and use TypeScript. Etc. That doesn't require me to think that "hello world" having 1,568 dependencies containing 1,119,218 LOC is a good idea.â€” Gary Bernhardt (@garybernhardt) February 18, 2019
By comparison, every Python app I have ever written put together, including the tens of thousands of lines of production code at my day job, doesn't have 1,568 dependencies.
- Apple's 2018 Macs have a - Apple's 2018 Macs have a - Apple's 2018 Macs have a serious audio glitch. (CDM)
- Deep learning may need a new programming language. (VentureBeat)
It's called Prolog.
- MIT's Vault is a cryptocurrency that doesn't require you to download the whole goddamn blockchain to participate.
This is a problem with Bitcoin and Ethereum that - long term - will entirely block their growth. Unless they fork their blockchains to newer technology, which is possible but laden with drama.
Picture of the Day
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