Why did you say six months?
He's coming.
This matters. This is important. Why did you say six months?
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Thursday, June 20


Daily News Stuff 20 June 2019

Talkin' Bout Shaft Edition

Tech News

  • Everyone's favourite SSD controller company with a dumb name has announced a controller for the USB standard with a dumb name - with a dumb name.  (AnandTech)

    Phison's PS2251-17 is a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 interface directly to flash, delivering up to 1.3GB/s.  Which is a bit slow for USB 20, but a lot faster than SATA.

    I'll take it.

  • A Google partner company hoovered up the content of lyrics site Genius.  (TechDirt) 

    Genius caught them red-handed by using alternating patters of regular and fancy apostrophes to embed a message in Morse Code.

    But -

    First, only 100 songs out of 1.5 million have been identified as having been copied. 

    Second, Genius doesn't own the copyright to the lyrics.  They license them, and Google's partner also has a license.

    Third, a previous court ruling on the use of "trap streets" in street directories held that trap streets in themselves were not copyrightable, so by that precedent neither are Genius's apostrophes.

    And fourth, Amazon and Microsoft have the same copied lyrics.

  • Why Google+ failed.  (OneZero)

    Not necessarily correct, but a worthwhile look at why Google's design choices may have doomed the network from the start.

  • Intel most definitely either is or is not outsourcing some 14nm production to Samsung.  (Tom's Hardware)

  • Infinity nines, HPE?  (Serve the Home)

    I guess you can write an SLA promising 100% uptime, so long as the penalties for missing the target still leave room for profit.

    Basically, though, this is a network storage array where everything is redundant and hot-swap.  Dual-attach SAS drives mean even a backplane failure leaves you up and running.

  • Australian prices for the Intel 660p have come down to Earth with a thump, and are now within a couple of percent of US prices (allowing for exchange rates and sales tax).  Time for a 2TB upgrade!

Video of the Day

There's a new Shaft movie out, it seems.  It's supposed to be both fun and faithful to the 70s original.  It has a 95% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes - and a 33% critic score.

Rotten Tomatoes now insists that you verify your movie tickets before they count your vote in the viewer score.  So that 95% is from a verified audience.

Disclaimer: <rant mode="penn jillette">He's a complicated man AND nobody understands him but his woman.</rant>

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Wednesday, June 19


Daily News Stuff 19 June 2019

Hot Fix Sundae Edition

Tech News

  • There's a serious flaw in Linux networking that lets attackers remotly DOS or even crash your server.  (Ars Technica)

    Fortunately there's a simple mitigation; it just slows down new connections slightly.  No impact if the network is robust, a few tens of milliseconds if there's packet loss.  

    Poke poke.

    And we're safe.  In theory.

  • PCI Express 6.0 is on its way.  (AnandTech)

    This will be double the speed of PCIe 5.0, which will be double the speed of PCIe 4.0, which is double the speed of PCIe 3.0 that everyone currently uses.

    Yes, this is a dramatic acceleration of upgrades.  We were all stuck on PCIe 3.0 far longer than anyone had planned, and the PCI-SIG committee is trying to catch up again.

    PCIe 6.0 uses the same signal rates as 5.0 but encodes two bits per clock using four voltage levels - a technique called PAM4 and used in high-speed networking - much the same as MLC flash encodes two bits per cell by having two intermediate levels between empty and full.

    This means it can work with similar materials and designs as PCIe 5.0, while keeping full backward compatibility.  The downside is that it makes the controller circuitry a lot more complicated; you not only have to deal with intermediate levels, you have to deal with intermediate levels accurately and consistently within 60 picoseconds.

    The final spec is due in 2021 and first products in 2023, but I wouldn't expect this to reach consumer systems for a while.

    The impetus for this is terabit networking, which requires a ton of expansion slot bandwidth.  And the impetus for that is cloud-scale virtualisation: If your interconnect is fast enough your entire datacenter becomes one huge massively fault-tolerant server that you can dynamically subdivide to suit needs that change from one second to the next, without needing the level of over-provisioning that currently entails.

  • Facebook is gearing up to launch its own currency, spinning off a new subsidiary called Calibra to focus on financial services.  (Tom's Hardware)

    All I have to say is Danger, Will Robinson!

  • Australia has blocked HorribleSubs and hundreds of other sites.  (TechDirt)

    Nobody tell them.

  • Apparently President Trump is allowed to block people again.  (Tech Dirt)

  • Out of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers 500 run Linux.  (ZDNet)

  • Apple Stores suck.  (ZDNet)

  • Don't link accounts.  (ZDNet)

    Important note: Even if your online storage provider promises that all your files are encrypted and safe from hackers, even if that's true, it doesn't help if the hacker has your login.

  • Google plans to spend a billion dollars on worker housing.  (Thurrott.com)

    Or they could move offices to somewhere that isn't a blighted far-left hellscape.  Just a thought.
    You code sixteen apps, what do you get?
    Another year older and deeper in debt.
    Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go -
    I owe my soul to the Google Play Store.

Video of the Day

A review of a computer you've never heard of...  Unless you read Daily News Stuff.

Disclaimer: Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

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Tuesday, June 18


Daily News Stuff 18 June 2019

You Have No Place On Our Platforms Edition

Tech News

  • Gab filed a complaint concerning Apple with the DOJ.

  • Apple banned Gab's developer account.

    Now, "following" is a weasel word that implies because of but only actually means chronologically later than.  But this game of antitrust "notice me senpai" is getting out of hand.

  • Ireland plans to ban new petrol and diesel engines by 2030.  (BBC)

    Shocking news from 2030: The importation of used vehicles from Europe into Ireland continues to soar...

  • Navi has landed...  In the Linux kernel.  (Phoronix)

    Over 400,000 lines of open source code have been posted by AMD for inclusion in an upcoming kernel release.

  • It turns out that Hedetniemi's Conjecture is false.  (Quanta)

    This is a graph-colouring theorem - similar to the Four Colour Map Problem - and has been a standing question for 53 years.  The entire proof is just three pages long.

Anime Music Video of the Day

It's been here before but they keep making me repost it.

Disclaimer: You shall not pass Go.  You shall not collect $200.

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Monday, June 17


Daily News Stuff 17 June 2019

No One Ever Learns Edition

Tech News

  • If architects designed buildings the way Node.js developers design code, it wouldn't even take a woodpecker.

  • Benchmarking Intel's Xeon Gold 6242.  (Serve the Home)

    Not exactly cheap, but still delivers 80% of the performance of the Xeon Platinum 8260 for half the price.

  • A courageous response to a dirtbag hacker.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Not being facetious.  I don't know who Bella Thorne is, but she's a brave and level-headed young lady.

  • Google is in a twisty maze of little trap streets, all different.  (Thurrott.com)

    What Google did here might be legal in the general case (precedent is well-established) but adds fuel to the fire for anti-trust investigators who are already not particularly well-disposed.

  • Developer conferences suck.  (ZDNet)

    So does that article, once it gets past the section criticising Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google.  So does Salesforce.  They are at least as bad as the consumer-oriented tech giants.

In anime news, Log Horizon is more original than I'd thought.  Our main hero is an evil scheming rules-lawyering bastard, but he fights for what is right.

Disclaimer: Live by the Node, die by the Node.

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Saturday, June 15


Daily News Stuff 16 June 2019

Thank You For Your Feedback Edition

Tech News

  • The New York subway runs on OS/2.  (Tedium)

    And graft.  Mostly graft.  The parts that actually work, though, those run on OS/2.

  • Inside a Supermicro 48-port 100GbE switch.  (Serve the Home)

    We find: A power supply, six cooling fans, and a 48-port 100GbE switch chip.

    Also, could they not have made the whole case just one inch deeper?

  • YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest's ham-fisted censorship efforts are drawing attention beyond the usual tech circles.  (PJ Media)

    YouTube explained to James O'Keefe what triggered the censorship: It was the inclusion of a key piece of documentary evidence proving Pinterest's own fraudulent censorship.

    Democracy dies in Darkness, they say, and new media and old media alike are here to make sure of it.

Video of the Day

This guy is no dummy.

Disclaimer: Thank you for your feedback.  It will be given all due consideration and then shot through the gizzard and left out back next to the dumpster.

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Daily News Stuff 15 June 2019

Frantically Googling Error Messages Edition

Tech News

  • Wait, M.4 is a thing?  (AnandTech)

    No, as it turns out.  They've just jammed two M.2 connectors next to each other.

  • SD Express is on its way with chips for cards from Phison and chips for readers from Realtek.  (AnandTech)

    Basically a single lane of PCIe 3.0, so speeds close to 1GB/s, and supports device sizes up to 128TB.  Which will be great right up until you sneeze and you lose the entire corporate database cluster.

  • Ethiopia shut off the internet.  (Tech Crunch)

    In Ethiopia.

  • Returning to the Moon could cost US taxpayers $30 billion.  (Tech Crunch)

    Which means...  Carry the twelve...  You could colonise the entire Solar System and the seventeen nearest stars for less than than the price of the Green New Deal ($93 trillion).

  • A 64 core Threadripper could be coming later this year unless it isn't.  (WCCFTech)

    This week's WAN Show (Other Linus' weekly news show) talked about how this seems impractical and expensive for such a niche product.  But even more than with Threadripper 1 & 2, this will just be an alternate power profile for an Epyc chip.  Allow it to draw 250W instead of 180W, and let your packaging designers go nuts.

    It's the same socket as Epyc, same chiplets, same substrate.  Gen 1 had a fixed limit of 4 memory channels, but now with the I/O die they don't even need to do that.  Epyc could run just fine on Threadripper boards and vice versa, with a suitable BIOS.

  • If you need to run BBC Basic on your CP/M system today is your lucky day.

  • AMD's X570 chipset has been making all the noise recently but B550 and A520 are also on their way.  (Digitimes)

    These don't support PCIe 4.0; they are updated versions of the B450 and A320 (I don't think there was ever an A420).  But you get 20 lanes of PCIe 4.0 from the CPU regardless.

  • So just how fast is PCIe 4.0?  On, for example, that upcoming Phison SSD controller? (Tom's Hardware)

    They actually got their hands on a sample device and were able to run a full suite of tests, using an adaptor card that converts PCIe 3.0 x 16 to PCIe 4.0 x 8 (since PCIe 4.0 motherboards will be scarce for another three weeks).

    It hit 5GB/s in one test, but while it did well overall the faster interface alone was not enough to make it the unqualified winner.

  • It's 2019.  Why aren't Docker and LXC/LXD secure by default?  (Bleeping Computer)

    And MongoDB, Redis, Elasticsearch...  It's not enough to have a guidebook to securing commonly used infrastructure; it must install that way automatically and have a guidebook to punch holes in the security model only when needed.

  • Huawei has put its Mate X on hold following Samsung's trouble and the fact that no-one will buy it anyway.  (Thurrott.com)

  • YouTube censored a video discussing Pinterest censoring links to conservative blogs.  (One Angry Gamer)

    I have no particular need to see Glenn Reynolds naked but at the same time I'm pretty sure Instapundit doesn't prominently feature nudity.

    This comes a day after Twitter suspended Project Veritas for reporting on the same incident.

    They're all playing "Notice me senpai!" with the DOJ.

The Net Interprets Brain Damage As Censorship And Routes Around It

First they came for Tim Pool, and we all laughed because he's already on three other platforms.

Anime Trailer of the Day

Apart from the first half of season two - which is where I got stuck the first time - the show is generally strong.  Worth getting past that part, even if just for the Froppy episode.

Picture of the Day


Look, I'm not saying no, I'm just saying there are certain practical considerations.  Art by @tao15102

Disclaimer: Git projects built by small teams should not be more than a gigabyte.  What are you people putting in there?

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Daily News Stuff 14 June 2019

Glub Glub Glub Edition

Tech News

  • The Atari VCS is almost here.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Hidden inside the retro-ugly case is a Ryzen embedded APU - just a tiny one, with 2 cores / 4 threads and Vega 3 graphics.  So, basically, 20 times as fast as a Playstation 2.

    $249 with 4GB RAM, $279 with 8GB.  ETA March 2020.

  • Russia will ban all VPN providers who are any good.  (TechDirt)

    Which comes as no surprise to anyone.

  • Is content moderation impossible at scale or is Twitter just run by idiots?  (TechDirt)

    We report, you facepalm.

  • Modern web-based documentation systems SUCK.  Give me back Word!  Give me back Ami Pro for that matter.

Video of the Day

Two tech journalists talk tech.

Disclaimer: Bleh.  It's been one of those weeks.  One of our MongoDB servers died Tuesday; our GitLab server exploded today.  No data lost but I could have done without the excitement.

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Thursday, June 13


Daily News Stuff 13 June 2019

A Page With Slug "Name" Already Exists Edition

Tech News

Music Video of the Day Inspired by Jay

Disclaimer: A page with slug "mint" already exists.  A page with slug "draft" already exists.  A page with slug "_randomsequenceofcharacters234831352" already exists.

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Wednesday, June 12


Daily News Stuff 12 June 2019

North And South Edition

Tech News

  • Possibly the coolest little tech tidbit of the day is from AMD again.

    The new Ryzen 3000 family consists of one or two CPU chiplets (up to 8 cores each) and an I/O die handling memory and PCIe 4.0 and some built-in SATA and USB and other functions.  The chiplets are connected to each other using AMD's Infinity Fabric 2 at 50GB/s.  On the 12 and 16 core chips the two CPU chiplets are connected directly to each other, and each is also connected to the I/O die. 

    [Update: Apparently, unlike earlier Epyc and Threadripper chips, the CPU chiplets only talk via the I/O die, and that handles all the routing.  That saves a lot of traces on the package, at the expense of latency.  But there's no practical way to route 28 interconnects on a 64 core Epyc anyway, which is what would be required.  First generation Epyc only requires 6 such links.]

    The I/O die connects to the X570 chipset over PCIe 4.0.  Like the I/O die, the chipset includes a bunch of PCIe 4.0, SATA, and USB.

    Very much like the I/O die, in fact, because it is the I/O die.  The I/O chip on the motherboard is the exact same chip as the one on the CPU.

    Which in theory means that both the CPU and the X570 have some tricks up their sleeves that weren't previously discussed.

  • All those messy Star Control lawsuits and countersuits have been settled amicably for a jar of honey and a pint of mead.  (PC Gamer)

    As Brickmuppet notes, I am never facetious.  I don't need to be.
    "We added a section in which I'll be working with Paul on beekeeping. He's going to send me some meade, I'm going to send him some honey. I don't think the lawyers were particularly enthusiastic about us incorporating some of this into the agreement. I did a tutorial video on beekeeping I was going to send over but got stung in the video, so thought better than to actually send it."

  • I had to enable notifications on Tohru because we were adding them to our apps at my day job.  Holy crap those are annoying.

In anime news, the first half of season two of My Hero Academia is pretty much what I feared.  The sports carnival arc contained maybe five episodes of content and eight episodes of dehydrated water.  Season one covered four story arcs in the same amount of time.

It gets better immediately after that, though.  The internship arc and subsequent episodes have the same mix of more-or-less rational educational procedure and heroic adventure as season one.

Disclaimer: The stars are in auspicious alignment, the various significant moons are in the correct houses, and ambient psychic energies are in balance.  All is well, and the universe is at peace.  Well, actually 2/3 of our civilization has been decimated by the Ilwrath, but besides that all is well.  It is good to see you again.

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Tuesday, June 11


Daily News Stuff 11 June 2019

Maybe The Pig Will Learn To Sing Edition

Tech News

Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Screw you Epic Game Store.

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