What is that?
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?

Monday, June 10


Daily News Stuff 10 June 2019

Scarlett Ohana Edition

Tech News

Video of the Day

Dave from Computing Forever got three hits in that now-infamous New York Times infographic: Once as himself, once as his cartoon version, and once as a screenshot of a video he made on Anita Sarkeesian and Carl Benjamin (a.k.a Sargon of Akkad).  Philip DeFranco only made the list once.

Disclaimer: Keep your friends close and your enemies in formaldehyde.

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Sunday, June 09


Daily News Stuff 9 June 2019

A Swing And A Miss Edition

Tech News

  • The traditional news media have declared war on YouTube.  Yesterday it was Vox, and now it's the New York Times, with their dramatic piece on how squishy leftie Philip DeFranco radicalised some random guy.

    That's not the story they intended to run, but the incompetence of the New York Times knows no bounds.  DeFranco is unamused.

    And the "radicalisation"?  The guy dated a girl who was an evangelical Christian.

    The funny thing is that YouTube holds all the cards in this game, but has so far folded on every hand.

    The New York Times "fixed" the libellous graphic by removing Jimmy Kimmel.  But not Philip DeFranco.

    As I said, no bounds.

  • India is considering jailing cryptocurrency users for 10 years.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Having written apps using the Ethereum blockchain, I wholeheartedly approve of this measure.  As a good start.

  • Google's Stadia will kill your download cap.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Reason #97 not to use it.

  • Apple has announced iPadOS, a fork of iOS that supports modern operating system features.  (ZDNet)

    Like files, mice, and expandable storage.

    Of course, Apple being Apple, no iPad has ever had a an SD card slot, so the only way you can have expandable storage is by leaving it sticking out of the Lightning or USB port ready to be snapped off in the first minor accident.

  • E3 is on, but it's not a hardware year, and no interesting games so far.  I did mention Baldur's Gate III?  Yes, I did.  So...  Nothing.

Disclaimer: You must gather your party before venturing forth.

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Saturday, June 08


Daily News Stuff 8 June 2019

More Faster Please Edition

Tech News

  • So, what if you're in Australia and you want more than 100Mbps internet access?

    The short answer is tough cookies. The longer answer is that some providers do sort of offer higher end plans. (LifeHacker)

    Aussie Broadband has 150/100 starting at $150 per month and 250/100 starting at $170 per month - but only for FTTP and FTTB connections.

    If you're on FTTC (which I will be) much less FTTN or HFC, you're completely out of luck.

    iiNet (my ISP) offers gigabit symmetric fibre but at $900 per month on a 36 month contract it's not quite what I'm looking for.  (ZDNet)

  • Dropbox increased all its plans by $2 per month ($3 in Australia). (The Verge)

    On the other hand, the 1TB plan now provides 2TB, the 2TB plan provides 3TB, and the 3TB plan goes up to 5TB.

    I was intending to upgrade from 1TB to 2TB, so this will actually save me money. For more typical customers who use 5% of their storage, not so great.

    Dropbox (and my own local backups) reduced my recent drive failure from a disaster into just a darn nuisance.  And a reminder: If you have multiple computers, Dropbox can sync across your local network as well.

  • Long time and abruptly former Ars Technica contributor Peter Bright a.k.a Dr Pizza was reportedly arrested by the FBI in a sting operation. (The Daily Dot)

    Do not read the linked article if you have blood pressure problems.

  • 32GB DIMMs are here and not insanely expensive. (Tom's Hardware)

    Around $156 for regular size and $169 for notebook (SO-DIMM) at 2666MHz. That puts it right at the price of two 16GB modules.

    Now I just need to check if they'll work in Tohru and Rally. Though really, since I have two of them, 32GB will be plenty.

  • The organiser of that Google walkout just walked out. (Tech Crunch)

    Maybe she can find a job at Vox or BuzzFeed.

  • In sad news that is actually sad Maker Faire has laid off all its staff and is ceasing operations. (Tech Crunch)

  • An NPM package name generator.

    Your NPM package could be named haemadynameter

    Um.  Okay.

  • Graphcore's C2 IPU provides two AI processors, each with 1216 cores, each capable of around 100GFLOPs.  (Serve the Home)

    That's over 200TFLOPs per card, and you can link 8 cards together in a single server, for...  A lot.

    Each chip has 900GB/s of off-chip bandwidth and 90TB/s of on-chip bandwidth.  Also a lot.

Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Don't read the comments.  If you're wise, you won't read the articles either.

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Friday, June 07


Daily News Stuff 7 June 2019

How Is It June Already Edition

Tech News

  • In fairness to the calendar, last October seems like three years ago.

  • Millions of Linux servers are exposed to local and potentially remote exploits due to a bug in the Exim mail server.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I had three servers with Exim installed.  One had quietly installed a patch already, one wasn't actually receiving email anyway and has now been shut down and its duties redistributed, and one can't be updated right away due to configuration problems and has had Exim completely disabled in the meantime.

  • Need a tablet?  Need it cheap?  Walmart's Onn 8" model is just $64 and basically works.  (9to5Google)

    Nothing fancy: 2GB RAM (adequate), 16GB flash (inadequate, but it has a microSD slot), 1280x800 screen (less than I'd like, but acceptable), Android 9.  Unspecified 1.33GHz quad-core processor, probably a MediaTek MT8163 which is adequate and certainly faster than the Snapdragon S4 found in the Nexus 7 (which I still use).

    A 10" model with the same general specs is available for $79, or $99 including a detachable keyboard which probably isn't very good but also isn't very expensive.

    As long as it supports adoptable storage (and I doubt Walmart would have gone to the trouble of breaking it as Sony and Samsung have) you can add 64GB for about twelve bucks.

  • Google doubles down on bad, Firefox doubles up on good.  (TechDirt)

    Google is an ad company, not a technology company.

  • A backdoor in Optergy Proton (who what?) allows hackers to shut down entire office buildings.  (Tech Crunch)

    With, basically, a mouse click.

  • Joyent is shutting down its public cloud.

    Joyent was an early player in the cloud computing game, basing its infrastructure on Solaris, which had much better containerisation at the time than did Linux.

    They are also the criminals responsible for Node.js.

  • Crystal 0.29 is out.

    Nothing major, but a number of bug fixes and quality-of-life enhancements.  Crystal is like Ruby, only compiled, and without all the weirdness like packages that globally redefine true to false.

  • Nim 0.20 is out.

    This is effectively their 1.0 release candidate, so I will be taking a closer look.  Nim is to Python as Crystal is to Ruby, but it compiles via C++ intermediate code rather than LLVM intermediate code.  How much that matters I'm not sure.

  • Lies, damned lies, and benchmarks: Who to believe in the NAMD benchmark result kerfuffle.  (Serve the Home)

    Quick answer: Nobody.

  • Why is the base model Mac Pro so expensive?  (ZDNet)

    Because (a) Apple can get away with it and (b) no, that's all.

    On the other hand, it is unabashedly a Pro machine, unlike most of Apple's other "Pro" products.  (VodkaPundit)

    The problem is it is aimed exclusively at video editing.  Nothing else.  You can see this in not just the price and the co-announced 6K monitor, but in the complete absence of storage options.

    If you're a developer / designer / engineer or work in some other role where you need a powerful and flexible computer that isn't outrageously expensive, Apple have nothing for you.  They still have nothing for you.  And they have shown that they won't.

  • Streamlab's YouTube channel was terminated.  (One Angry Gamer)

  • CNet's editor-in-chief is working tirelessly to demonetize small independent YouTube channels.  (One Angry Gamer)

    There comes a time where journalists might well be considered the enemy of the people.

  • Xurious' electronic music channel was terminated.  (One Angry Gamer)

    Instrumental electronic music.

    I found this list on Facebook showing the extent of the mess YouTube has created in a single day.


    Varg (Thulean Perspective)
    The Great Order
    Cultured Thug
    Mr Allsop History
    Patrick Slattery
    NBU Media
    Cybεr Nazι
    Nordic Frontier
    Alτ-Rιght Tankιe
    Hora Vero's Archive
    Stay Woke


    Steven Crowder
    Revenge Of The Cis
    Martin Sellner
    James Allsup
    Red Ice TV
    Jesse Lee Peterson
    Tailed Feature
    Ford Fischer
    Dan Dicks
    Luke Ford
    The Golden One
    Dr Shaym
    Mad Black
    E. Michael Jones
    Press For Truth
    The Alternative Hypothesis
    Tailed Feature
    Know More News
    The Red Elephants
    Andy Warski
    Deep Fat Fried Podcast
    Nightwave Radio

    Videos Deleted

    Owen Benjamin
    Count Dankula
    Gavin McInnes
    Red Ice TV
    Black Pigeon Speaks
    American Krogan
    Angelo John Gage
    Drunken Peasants
    Press For Truth
    J.F Gariepy
    Dire Wolf Media
    American Renaissance
    Ryan Dawson
    E Michael Jones
    The Higherside Chats
    Bre Faucheux
    Mr Allsop History
    TRS Radio
    Ryan Dawson
    Zero Schizo
    No Apologies
    Uncle Chang

    Some of these people are likely total jerks, but we're talking about YouTube, the original and still the number one don't read the comments! site on the internet.

    Meanwhile Bitchute is opening the champagne.  (Brickmuppet)

  • Return of the Return of the Miniature Giant Space Hamster: Baldur's Gate III is on its way.  (Ars Technica)

Disclaimer: Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!  Raaarrgh!

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Thursday, June 06




Going from 15/2 ADSL to 100/40 fibre.  And it's actually cheaper than my existing plan.

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Daily News Stuff 6 June 2019

Voxpocalypse Edition

Tech News


Disclaimer: Banned, banned.  You're all banned.

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Daily News Stuff 5 June 2019

Snow In Queensland Edition

Tech News

  • SEO is mostly nonsense and often a scam.  But when your iOS app disappears from common searches in the App Store and your income is cut in half, it's what you need.

    It was a bug in the App Store search engine.  If you had the full 30 characters in your app's subtitle field, the last word didn't get indexed at all.  Oops.

  • Orico has a nice little USB M.2 NVMe enclosure.  (PC Perspective)

    Instant external 900MB/s drive for $42.99.  Plus the NVMe drive itself.  Perfect if you plan to upgrade your existing NVMe drive and only have the one slot in your PC.

  •  Intel announced their Cascade Lake Xeon W (workstation) lineup.  (Tom's Hardware)

    8 cores for $749, 12 cores for $1398, so unless you need 6 channel RAM, stick with Ryzen.

  • YouTube said that hurt feelings don't warrant an account suspension and the relentlessly regressive media are up in arms.  (Tech Crunch)

  • Democrats in the US House of Representatives have launched an antitrust probe into Facebook, Google, and the rest of the Bay Area Mafia.  (CNet)

    This will achieve nothing.  Or at least, nothing good.  Not that an investigation isn't warranted, just that these people are idiots.

  • The SEC is suing Kik over its ICO.  (ZDNet)

    They would have gotten away with it too, if not for these meddling feds.

  • "Digitalised" is not a word you worm-eating flightless socialists.  (ZDNet)

  • Amazon has a little tool on RAM module pages that tells you if they work in your computer.

  • DigitalOcean supports importing custom images.  So I can pre-build a server under, say, VirtualBox, upload it verrrrryyyy slooooowwwwly  (yeah, still on ADSL here), and spin up instances on demand.

    This warrants further examination.  Specifically, it should make it easy for me to configure the main storage as ZFS and not just network volumes.  At the $40 node size that's 160GB of free and very fast storage that I otherwise can't use the way I want.

    A working image will probably be around 500MB, which I can upload in about an hour.  I'll try with something very minimal first.

  • ASRock's X570 Creator is their latest Ryzen motherboard with Thunderbolt 3.  (AnandTech)

    This looks like the normal retail version of the over-the-top X570 Aqua.  It still has 10Gb Ethernet, dual PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, support for DDR4-4666, and WiFi 6.  Plus DisplayPort input from your graphics card so that it can be routed out via Thunderbolt.

  • CockroachDB says not you Amazon AWS / Microsoft Azure / Google Cloud.

    If you open source your database with the plan to make money on services, it doesn't sit well when huge and enormously profitable companies pick up your source code and also all your paying customers.

  • Host your own servers, people.

    In fairness to GitHub, they fixed it.

  • Host your own off-site backups people.

    In fairness to DigitalOcean, they fixed it.

  • The Australian Federal Police raided the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  (ABC)

    This is the rather more gentile Commonwealth style of police raid where they show up in suit and tie and ask for you at reception.  Still a potentially worrying infringement on freedom of speech, which is not specifically written into our constitution.

    On the other hand, our ABC is itself a government entity.  Yes, it's supposed to be editorially independent, but there's a good argument for it to simply cease to exist.

Disclaimer: Tragedy of the commons, call your office.

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Tuesday, June 04


Daily News Stuff 4 June 2019

Make Cheese Grate Again Edition

Tech News

  • Apple announced their new Mac Pro.  (Tom's Hardware)

    From 8 up to 28 cores, up to 1.5TB of DDR4 ECC RAM on six channels, 8 PCIe slots, graphics from Radeon 580 to dual Radeon Vega II Pro Duo (effectively four Radeon VII cards with 32GB RAM each), a 1.4KW power supply, and zero drive bays.

    It takes two non-standard Apple flash blooples; not even M.2.  No 2.5" bays, no 3.5" bays.

    It does have 10GbE and Thunderbolt 3.

    They have a new 32" 6K display to go along with it.

    Price for the system starts at $5999 with 8 cores, 32GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and Radeon 580 graphics, which seems just a tad high.  The 6K monitor is another $4999.  The stand for the monitor is $999.

    I can get a Dell Ryzen 2700X system with 256GB SSD (standard M.2) and Radeon 580 graphics for under A$1500 - about US$1050 - including tax and delivery.  It does only come with 16GB of RAM, though, so Apple has that going for them.

    And you can't grate cheese with the Dell.

  • Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 7cx, a cheaper version of their 8cx Arm laptop processor.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This one is aimed at Chromebooks rather than Windows.  Since there already are a number of Arm-based Chromebooks, this is likely to actually work.

  • Samsung has licensed AMD's Navi architecture for use in mobile devices.  (PC Perspective)

    Qualcomm's Adreno was also bought from AMD originally - it's an anagram of Radeon.

  • Facebook was right not to delete the doctored Nancy Pelosi video.  (TechDirt)

    Well...  Yes.

  • DigitalOcean's free-ish CDN seems to actually work.  It's only wired up to their Spaces storage though; you can't stick it in front of your virtual server.

    It's about 1ms away from every server I tested from (Sydney, Dallas, San Francisco), and 15ms away from my house.  That's pretty good. 

    And it's the cheapest CDN I know of apart from Cloudflare - who are a bit of a pain because they take over all access to your website.  2¢ per GB for storage and 1¢ per GB for traffic, anywhere in the world.

    So I'll definitely make that part of the rollout as we move over to DO in the next couple of months.

  • Department of Insufficient Redundancy Department.  (Google)

    Google's outage was caused by a mistaken network configuration that routed all traffic for certain regions through specific network paths rather than using all available bandwidth.  The resulting congestion meant that engineers couldn't then access the equipment to revert the configuration change.

    One of those things that would take five minutes to fix if things were working, but you only need to fix it in the first place because things weren't working.  Like the time a fuel truck crashed and burst into flame directly outside the local fire station here - blocking the fire engines from leaving the building, and eventually burning it to the ground.

  • Apache Storm 2.0 is out.

    What is Apache Storm?  I have no idea.
    Apache Storm is a free and open source distributed realtime computation system.
    Nope, still no idea.
    A spout is a source of streams in a topology. Generally spouts will read tuples from an external source and emit them into the topology.
    That doesn't really help.
    All processing in topologies is done in bolts.
    Right, glad we've got that straightened out.
    Storm guarantees that every spout tuple will be fully processed by the topology. It does this by tracking the tree of tuples triggered by every spout tuple and determining when that tree of tuples has been successfully completed.
    Push off would you, there's a good chap.  I'm trying to have a relaxing bath.

  • Why you can't buy an Intel Xeon Platinum 9200 and no-one else can either.  (Serve the Home)

    You can't buy it because they'd cost at least $20,000 a piece.  No-one else can buy it because no-one is building systems for it because no-one wants it because it's a 400W bandwidth-constrained monster.

  • Windows 10 will continue to require only 32GB of storage.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Unless you want to actually use it, that is.  I have a (very small, very cheap) laptop with 32GB of storage.  The only way I can update it is to wipe it clean every time.  Otherwise it doesn't have enough space.

  • Catalina Sidecar Sue and other stories.  (Six Colors)

    Sidecar is a new Apple technology that lets you use an iPad as an additional monitor on your Mac.  

    But... Doesn't that make it a touchscreen Mac?

    Also, iTunes is now Music.

    Reference, since this one's a bit oblique. Catalina is the new version of MacOS.

  • ASRock has brought Thunderbolt support to AMD.  (AnandTech)

    The insanely expensive X570 Aqua with its built-in water cooling will have it, but it's also an option on the X570 Taichi and apparently built-in to the X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX TB3 which is, yes, a mini-ITX board.  (TechPowerup)

    This is good.  Probably.

  • America and Japan have pushed back against the UN pointing out that human rights do not extend to the realm of fiction.  (Niche Gamer)

    I'd be in trouble if they did.  I nuked France any number of times in Civilizations I through IV.  Never really spent enough time with V to get nukes.

Disclaimer: Do not taunt happy fun Gandhi.  Gandhi is subject to an integer underflow error and may spontaneously switch to maximum possible hostility for no reason.

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Monday, June 03


Daily News Stuff 3 June 2019

Oh No It Isn't Edition

Tech News

Anime Opening of the Day

I've only watched the first (short) season, plus two episodes of the second, and there's now five times as much so I'm going to give it another go.  The first season was great, but the start of the second season just felt flat to me at the time.  We'll see.

Update: Just re-watched the first seven minutes of the first episode of the first season.  It is really good.

Disclaimer: No.  Bad dog.  No biscuit!

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Sunday, June 02


Daily News Stuff 2 June 2019

Rackmount Of Babel Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: {{disclaimer}}{{^disclaimer}}ENODISCLAIM: Disclaimer not found.{{/disclaimer}}

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