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Saturday, October 31


Daily News Stuff 31 October 2020

Excess Frogs Edition

Tech News

  • Ducked out to pick up some more strawberry frogs (and some other items) before the potential trickle treaters, even though that meant missing the first fifteen minutes of Kiara's KFP construction stream.

    Got home just as the thunderstorm rolled in.

    I now have a lot of frogs to eat.

  • Big Navi gets benchmarked.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Not by Tom's Hardware, though - by AMD.

    The results are good across the board, with one case where even the base 6800 beats the RTX 3090.  But then, AMD picked and ran these benchmarks, so box of salt time.

  • eXoDOS is a collection of DOS games.  (eXoDOS)

    All of them.  Seven thousand so far, and they are gathering more as fast as they can find original media to copy.  About half a terabyte in total, but thankfully in individual directories and not one enormous bloody zip file looking at you BlueMaxima.

  • Mars has declared independence from Earth.  (The Independent)

    Good to get that sort of thing settled early.

  • Sony is looking to buy Crunchyroll for $1 billion.  (Nikkei)


  • A flock of drones is planting a billion trees across Canada.  (Fast Company)

    I mean, sure, why not.

  • Okay, that's it.  Time to launch these fuckers into the Sun.

    Yes, they are saying that if they suspend your account, then reverse the rule that led to your suspension, you might now permitted to beg for your account to be restored.

  • Trump's gonna be president forever.  (Washingtonian)

    In the clearest sign yet that he will be re-elected, businesses in Washington DC are busy boarding up their windows this weekend.

Korone's On First Video of  the Day

Disclaimer: Eternal life to the God-Emperor of Mankind.

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Friday, October 30


Daily News Stuff 30 October 2020

Go Back To East Virginia, Senator Edition

Tech News

  • The first independent benchmarks of Zen 3 are out.  (SiSoftware)

    Money quote:
    Executive Summary: Zen3 is ~25-40% faster than Zen 2 across all kinds of algorithms.  No choice but give it 10/10 overall!
    Looks like the 19% IPC gains that AMD cited were a conservative figure.

    They say that basically a 16-core 5950X can match a 32-core Threadripper 2990WX on most workloads.  That's a pretty significant gain for two generations, when even Zen 1 was a very solid architecture.

  • Intel has released some details of the upcoming Rocket Lake desktop parts.  (AnandTech)

    These are the companion chips to the...  Whateverthefuck Lake 11th generation laptop parts that have just started to appear.  That is, the ones that (a) have the new cores with better IPC and (b) aren't completely broken.

    Just one thing you need to know, from one of the slides: PL2=250W.  It's as power hungry as the 10900K.  Just buy AMD.

  • The 11900K scores a big win over the 10900K in a leaked benchmark unless it doesn't.  (WCCFTech)

    The leaked benchmark is UserBenchmark, though, which is complete garbage.

  • It's a terrible day in the neighbourhood.  (Tom's Hardware)

    If you want to buy a video card.

    I fear that the 6800 XT will turn out to be the new people's choice for crypto mining - it looks to be more efficient for that than Nvidia - and will be in short supply through all of next year.  We shall see.

  • Grubhub to restaurants: We're adding you to our database.  If you don't like it, sue us.

    Restaurants to Grubhub: Your proposal is acceptable.  (Eater)

  • Amazon is building more fulfilment centers in Australia.  (ZDNet)

    At some point they might cross the line into not being completely fucking useless.

    Australia's big retailers have really upped their online game.  I've started shopping online at Kmart recently, and its great.  Dirt cheap prices and free delivery in a couple of days.

    Amazon AU?  Still a big ball of meh, and you have to constantly worry about counterfeit crap because they are entirely unwilling to clamp down on it.

  • Google One's 2TB plan now includes a free VPN.  (WCCFTech)


    On Android.


    I recently upgraded to the 2TB plan and will probably drop Dropbox, because their application is garbage and constantly tries to delete all my files.

  • Old Spare Laptop stopped charging.  Stopped, in fact, powering itself from the charger at all.

    So I swapped it back to the other charger, the one that doesn't work.

    It is now charging.

  • I was looking for this quote, and couldn't find it, because I thought it was Heinlein.
    If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.
    It's certainly Heinleinesque, but it came from a government report, back in the day when people still expected someone to read those, even if it was just reporters looking for pull quotes.

Substandard Living Conditions Video of the Day

Amelia is the one I've actually paid to subscribe to, but Korone remains my favourite Hololiver.

Squirrel Nest Construction Video of the Day

I've caught up with the Hololive EN Minecraft streams, and the Hololive JP streams are in, well, JP, so I tried one of the the ID girls.  It's a mix of English, Japanese, and Indonesian (I assume bahasa Indonesia but I really have no idea).  But with the common element of Minecraft there's more than enough to follow along.  And Risu herself is a mix of Gura and Korone.

Also, every single one of the Hololive girls has a better comedic sense than the entire cast and writing staff of Saturday Night Live.

Disclaimer: Which, to be fair, is not saying a whole lot.

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Thursday, October 29


Daily News Stuff 29 October 2020

Out Of Frogs Error Edition

Tech News

  • I'll have to buy more strawberry Freddos.  Or just turn the lights off and pretend I'm not home.

  • Radeon RX 6000 is here. (AnandTech)

    Three initial high-end models:

    • 6800 with 60 CUs for $579
    • 6800 XT with 72 CUs for $649
    • 6900 XT with 80 CUs for $999

    All three models feature 128MB of cache and 16GB of 16GHz GDDR6 RAM on a 256-bit bus.

    The 6800 competes evenly with the RTX 3070 (or the 2080 Ti).  It costs $80 more than the 3070 but has twice the RAM.

    The 6800 XT competes evenly with the RTX 3080, is $50 cheaper, and has 16GB of RAM vs. 10GB.  It has 20% more shaders and is clocked about 10% higher than the base 6800, for just $70 extra, making it easily the best value here.

    The 6900 XT competes with the 3090; it seems from AMD's benchmarks that it's not quite as fast, but on the other hand it's $500 cheaper.

    All cards support ray tracing, new anti-aliasing methods, accelerate loading of textures from SSDs (like the Xbox and PS5), and, if you also have a Ryzen 5000 CPU, direct mapping of the entire VRAM address space.

    Hoping to build myself a Ryzen 5900X / Radeon 6800 XT system next year. We'll see how things work out.

  • Apple's A14 chip shows that 5nm is 50% denser than 7nm.  (SemiAnalysis)

    TSMC's earlier announcements indicated that 5nm was nearly 50% smaller than 7nm - that is, 100% denser - but the fine print noted that this only applied for logic transistors.  SRAM does not scale nearly as well to the new node.

    And a large part of modern chip designs is SRAM - the Radeon 6000 dedicates six billion transistors to its Infinity Cache.

  • I violated a code of conduct.  (Fast.AI)

    A speaker at a tech conference took the topic of "This previous talk was wrong and here's why."

    He got shipped off to the re-education camp for the crime of... Making two people uncomfortable.

  • Asteroid 16 Psyche is worth $10 quintillion.  (Observer)

    I think this one may have come up before, but a quick search didn't find it.  The asteroid appears to be one huge chunk of metal.  Imagine West Virginia only made entirely out of nickel.

    NASA is launching a mission in 2022 to claim it for the fatherland.  (JPL)  Uh, Terran Empire.  Something.

  • Nice doggo attacks evil AI.  (Embrace the Red)

    If you know the image scaling algorithm used by an object detection AI, you can steganographically embed one image in another, so that after rescaling only the hidden image is visible and the AI makes comical mistakes like nuking your entire city.

  • Old Spare Laptop has decided to start charging again.  I have no idea why.

  • This seems significant.

  • The Scottish National Party wants to criminalise "offensive" speech in private homes.

    Sargon has a few words.

  • Removing §230 will remove speech from the internet.

    Really, Jack?  Fucking really?

    Was it removing Section 230 that locked the Twitter account of the New York Post - which account is still locked?

    Was it removing Section 230 that banned Twitter users from linking the Post article - which ban is still in effect contrary to your sworn testimony before Congress?

    Repeal Section 230.  Let the internet burn.  I don't fucking care anymore.

Kettle and Dolphin Video of the Day

Turn on CC for English subtitles.

Haachama Will Rock You Video of the Day

Apparently Haato* lives in Australia.  I don't know if this explains anything or just makes it all the more confusing.

* Haato and Haachama are the same person.  Yes, this confused me too.

Miko Will Rock You Video of the Day

Possibly with an actual rock.

Fubuki Will Rock You Video of the Day

Alien space cat is here to rock everybody.  And to sing the guitar solo.

Pekora Will Rock You Video of the Day


Matsuri Will Rock You Video of the Day

Fortunately the comments contain a full transcription.

Disclaimer: It has been met with some controversy because it's insane.

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Daily News Stuff 28 October 2020

Halloweeneeneeneen Edition

Tech News

  • It's Radeon day.  No new leaks that I can see, and I'm not staying up for another pre-recorded launch.

    The interesting thing is that according to the leaks, these cards have less memory bandwidth than even the Xbox Series X, but are much faster.  No-one seems to know exactly how they manage that.

  • AMD recorded record revenue and profit for Q3.  (AnandTech)

    Against either Q2 or Q3 last year, revenues are up around 50% and margins are steady.  It looks like this quarter includes chips for the new Xbox and Playstation, but that should be continuing revenue and not just a one-time bump.

  • Nvidia's RTX 3070 is here and it's pretty good.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Great at 1080p, solid at 1440p, decent at 4k.

    Can you actually buy one anywhere?  No.

  • Starlink is now in open beta.  (Ars Technica)

    US and Canada only to begin with, but the plan has always been a global rollout.  The satellites don't stay put, after all.

  • GitHub's CEO is working directly with developers to get the YouTube-dl repo reinstated.  (TorrentFreak)

    Probably without some circumvention code, but that can be a downloadable patch from some other source.  While not perfect, this is better than we see from most companies, and evidence that GtiHub knows which side of its bread is buttered.

  • Don't buy an Oculus Rift.  (Polygon)

    If you ever delete your Facebook account - or, of course, they do that for you - all your purchased content disappears.

    Fuck Facebook generally.

  • Any sufficiently oversimplified security warning is indistinguishable from your operating system just plain being broken.  (Mr Macintosh)

    There's a certificate issue with some HP printer drivers for MacOS.  This can manifest itself in any of thirteen different error messages, all saying that the driver "will damage your computer".

I Wonder If You Can Tame Polar Bears Video of the Day

The Hololive JP Minecraft server is a busy place.

Disclaimer: I've already eaten half the strawberry Freddos.

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Tuesday, October 27


Daily News Stuff 27 October 2020

Mergers And Acquisitions Edition

Tech News

  • AMD is buying Xilinx in an all-stock deal worth $35 billion.  (AnandTech)

    Once again the rumours were spot on.

    I think this is probably a good fit.  An AMD APU with integrated FPGA could be a killer app in certain niche markets, and those markets are used to paying a lot for the hardware.

  • Zoom is censoring Zoom censorship.  (Buzzfeed)

    Who do they think they are, Twitter?

  • About 3% of Starlink satellites have failed so far.  (

    Failed dead, that is, not responding to commands and unable to manoeuvre.  That's a fairly normal attrition rate for new satellites, and is only a problem due to the pace of the launches.  I suspect that the Starlink satellites are planned so they will passively de-orbit in this situation; the article also suspects this but doesn't confirm.

  • Who the hell designed that piece of shit?

  • There's water on the Moon.  (NPR)

    So carry your harpoon.

Disclaimer: If you promise not to sue us you can shove one up your nose.

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Daily News Stuff 26 October 2020

Oh Edition

Tech News

  • Azerbaijan posted notices on social media of Armenian violations of the ceasefire.

    Unfortunately for their credibility, they accidentally hit Send five minutes before the violations were supposed to have happened.

  • 2020 ain't over until the parthenogenetic crayfish sings.

  • Twitter is now censoring warnings about Twitter censorship.

  • Given how noisy my all-in-one desktops can be under heavy load, and the performance of recent low-power chips like the Ryzen 4000U range, I've been wondering lately what it would take to move to entirely passive cooling.

    The answer is, quite a lot.  (AnandTech)

    The i5-8259U in this NUC is a 28W part, while the 4000U is (by default) a 15W part.  Still, a heatsink four times the size of the computer it is cooling is still quite a lot.

  • An analysis of the RIAA's DMCA takedown of YouTube-dl.  (Disaspora)

    One, it's not even a takedown notice.  And things just get murkier from there.

  • The Ryzen 5950X showed up on Passmark.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It's right in line with the 5600X score, and 16% faster than the 10900K on single-threaded tests - about the same margin the 10900K had over the 3950X.

    That makes it 85% faster on single-threaded tasks than my first-generation Ryzen 1700.

Clip and Tear Video of the Day

I really like how the Hololive team are often very good at video games but still scream like little girls and run around in a panic when anything goes wrong.  Like Flare and Matsuri testing out their new lightning weapon in Minecraft today - on a target that was standing right next to them.

Disclaimer: Panik!

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Sunday, October 25


Daily News Stuff 25 October 2020

Now Is The Spring Of Our Discontent Edition

Tech News

Spaceship Size Comparison Video of the Day

Disclaimer: All roads also lead away from Rome.

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Saturday, October 24


Daily News Stuff 24 October 2020

An Entire Day Without Unfortunate Events Edition

Tech News

  • I read the latest Penric and Desdemona story from Lois McMaster Bujold today, Masquerade in Lodi.

    The Penric stories are a series of novellas - typically around 100 pages each - set in what has come to be known as the World of the Five Gods.  (Goodreads)  It's the same world we first saw in The Curse of Chalion, which is still my favourite Bujold work.

    This is the ninth Penric story by publication order, and the fourth in internal chronology, and the Penric stories are set after the third Chalion novel and before the first.  So...  Just read them in publication order.  You can't go far wrong.

    My cardinal rule is prequels never work, but these aren't really prequels, just stories in the same world at different times.  Order doesn't matter greatly with the one proviso that you must read Curse of Chalion before Paladin of Souls.  They are the second and third acts in a play where the first act is told by implication, and coming in late on that particular narrative structure would not, I think, work too well.

  • Nvidia's RTX 3070 Ti might have been cancelled before it could be launched or perhaps not.  (WCCFTech)

    The problem is that AMD's Radeon 6000 looks capable of competing on an even footing with the RTX 3080. and Nvidia doesn't actually have any 3080s to sell even if they were to reduce the price to compete.

    Not sure exactly how a different but cheaper board using the high-end GA102 chip is going to help Nvidia, but at least they don't have to cut prices on a card that isn't available.

  • The cancellations may extend to the 20GB model of the RTX 3080 and the 16GB model of the 3070.  (Videocardz)

    This suggests even more strongly than the handful of leaked benchmarks that AMD has finally come up with a winner.  On the video card front.  They haven't set a foot wrong on CPUs for some time, barring a few BIOS and boost clock issues.

  • Oh, right.  I mentioned the Radeon 6000 benchmarks before but neglected to post the link.  (Videocardz)

    If accurate - and this close to launch, real benchmarks do start to leak - at least one of the new Radeon cards is faster than the RTX 3080 on everything except ray tracing.

  • The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter are getting hauled back to face Congress again.  (Tech Crunch)

    At this point they have no friends, and their only advantage is that Congress is full of idiots.

  • GitLab is down.  (GitLab)

    We depend on GitLab for all our development and developer co-ordination at my day job.  This outage affected us not at all, partly because it happened at 9PM on a Saturday, but mostly because GitLab is a free download if you prefer to run it yourself.

  • The RIAA just Streisaned YouTube-dl.  (GitHub)

    I presume there were a ton of forks of the project, but a DMCA takedown would also lock all the forks, which is yet another reason NOT TO FUCKING CENTRALISE THE ENTIRE OPEN SOURCE UNIVERSE ON ONE GODDAMN PLATFORM.

  • In 2020 levels of irony, Facebook has demanded that the NYU stop tracking their ads.  (ZDNet)

    The NYU Ad Observatory project uses a browser plugin to allow volunteers to track and share data on what ads they are presented.

    Facebook objected.

    I hope this goes to court.  I hope it goes all the way to the Supreme Court.  And I hope Facebook gets taken to the woodshed.

  • Everything old is new again: Xerox PARC has been awarded a new DARPA research contract, this time for monitoring ocean environments.  (ZDNet)

    I wasn't sure Xerox PARC still existed.  Hell, I wasn't sure Xerox still existed.

  • Patreon has banned QAnon.  (Business Insider)

    QAnon is a popular but baseless conspiracy theory that claims that someone in Washington knows how to do his job.  This notion has Facebook, YouTube, and now Patreon understandably terrified.

  • Microsoft should buy Cover Corp.  Seriously.

    In the past day:

    • Rushia is streaming Minecraft right now, and has been live for three hours so far.
    • Suisei and Kanata both start streaming Minecraft in 30 minutes.
    • Okayu starts streaming Minecraft in 90 minutes.
    • Aqua just finished a nearly five hour Minecraft stream an hour ago.
    • Haachama just finished a two-and-a-half hour Minecraft stream two hours ago.
    • Sora finished a three-and-a-half hour Minecraft stream three hours ago.
    • Botan finished a two-and-a-half hour Minecraft stream five hours ago.
    • Moona took Gura and Amelia on a two-and-a-half hour tour of the HoloJP Minecraft server eight hours ago.
    • Mio and Miko completed a four-and-a-half hour Minecraft collab sixteen hours ago.
    • Haachama did an earlier three hour Minecraft stream twenty hours ago.
    • Okayu did an earlier two-and-a-half hour Minecraft stream twenty hours ago.
    • Pekora did a four-hour Minecraft stream twenty-two hours ago.

  • That's 32 hours just of Minecraft content in one day, and that's with nine of the girls busy on a big EN/JP Among Us collab.

    I mean, I'd generally prefer that Microsoft not buy Cover Corp, but they seem to be the most benign of the corporate overlords available right now if that sort of thing were on the table.  They may be milking Minecraft, but they haven't ruined it.

  • Speaking of Microsoft and corporate overlords and fuck the Epic Game Store anyway The Outer Worlds is out on Steam.  (Steam)

    And it's half price, to boot.

Original Outer Worlds Official Launch Trailer Replay Video of the Day

While I Have Yet to Watch This, I Can Comfortably Predict It Will Be Complete Chaos Video of the Day

I have a sneaking suspicion my computer may suddenly drop dead in a few minutes.

Disclaimer: Because why not?

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Friday, October 23


Daily News Stuff 23 October 2020


Tech News

  • No, I wouldn't do that to you.

  • I have two Butchers and a Bujold to read this weekend.  As an indication of how busy I've been, I haven't yet read Peace Talks, let alone Battle Ground.

  • Intel's DG1 discrete graphics chip is shipping now.  (AnandTech)

    To laptop makers - it's not available as a card.  I don't think the laptops themselves have shipped yet, so no benchmarks.

  • Speaking of benchmarks, the Ryzen 5600X is fast.  (Tom's Hardware)

    If this is real, it's spectacular.  (CPUBenchmark)

    The multi-threaded performance looks entirely plausible, but the single-threaded performance is a surprise.  It is just one benchmark and it's perfectly possible that this benchmark runs particularly well on Zen 3.  But I've found that Passmark scores track very closely with Python code performance, so it's a useful benchmark for me.

    If it stands up, then AMD's new 6 core processor has 110% of the single-threaded performance and 94% of the multi-threaded performance of Intel's 10 core flagship 10900K.  It's faster than an 18 core Xeon Gold 6140.

    And would be a pretty major upgrade over my current Ryzen 1700.

  • Even when it says "Ships from and sold by Amazon" you have to read the fine print.

    No, I wasn't burned - this doesn't apply to the 400GB model, which appears to be genuine.  But if you look up SanDisk microSD cards on Amazon AU, everything smaller than 400GB has that weird disclaimer:

    • This is an aftermarket of generic part.

  • Ubuntu 20.10 is out, including a Raspberry Pi edition.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I was meaning to check if it was out yet, and there it is.  I need to install a new Linux VM on New Spare Laptop since the old one was kind of a mess.

  • Speaking of spare laptops, turns out that Old Spare Laptop has the same battery problem as New Spare Laptop.

    With Old Spare Laptop there is also a loose connection, which coupled with the failing battery means it's unreliable even when plugged in.  But it turns out that loose connection is in the charger cable, not the laptop.  I remembered that I had another charger with the same plug, swapped them, and suddenly it works.

    At least until you unplug it, whereupon it dies instantly.

  • In Hololive news, Gawr Gura hit 1 million subscribers and Mori Calliope hit 500k during the same Minecraft collab stream (which I caught live), and Calliope had the #1 iTunes album worldwide on the same day, Coco is back to insult her fans, and HololiveCN is being, um, granted independence.

    The HoloCN girls are being given all rights to their characters so they can go independent. China is too toxic for Cover to want to deal with right now, particularly with the runaway success of HoloEN.

  • Anemoia is the feeling of nostalgia for things you never experienced.  (Wiktionary)

  • Not to be confused with Amemoia which is how Gura feels about Watson.

  • Huawei has launched their Mate 40 series powered by the new Kirin 9000.  (AnandTech)

    The main feature in the Kirin 9000 is a huge Mali G78MP24.  My Mediapad M3 has a Kirin 950 with a Mali T880MP4, so this is six times faster even before clock speed and architectural improvements.

    You'd have to be crazy to buy a Mate 40, though.  It's far from cheap, doesn't include Google services, and the CPU - made on TSMC's new 5nm process - has already ended production due to US sanctions on Huawei.

Disclaimer: But it helps.

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Thursday, October 22


Daily News Stuff 22 October 2020

Sleep Is For Tortoises Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Step Two: If you must get run over by a car, save your game beforehand.

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