It was a bad day. A lot of bad stuff happened. And I'd love to forget it all. But I don't. Not ever. Because this is what I do. Every time, every day, every second, this: On five, we're bringing down the government.

Sunday, May 31


Daily News Stuff 31 May 2020

Not The Bees Edition

Tech News

  • All the D&D 5th Edition stuff you could ever want.  (The Trove)

    Also, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3.5th, 4th, and in a folder labeled "BECMI", the Basic / Expert / Companion / Master / Immortals boxed sets, which were an interesting alternate take on D&D.  And the original edition plus expansions in a folder under within the 1st Edition.

    Meanwhile, thanks to a bunch of Humble Bundles, I have a pretty complete collection of entirely legitimate Pathfinder PDFs.

  • Speaking of Humble Bundle they have a really nice Cities Skylines bundle going right now.

    For $18 you get the base game and the Concerts, Snowfall, Natural Disasters, Mass Transit, Green Cities, Industries, and Campus expansions, plus four content packs.  That only leaves Parklife and the recent Sunset Harbor expansions, and a few radio stations.

  • Liva has a new Socket AM4 mini PC.  (PC Perspective)

    It takes any 35W AM4 APU, and supports two SODIMMs for up to 32GB (and probably 64GB),  an M.2 NVMe slot, and a 2.5" drive.

    I/O consists of six USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, two DisplayPort ports, a good old DB9 serial port, a USB 3.1 type C port, headphone and microphone jacks, and WiFi 5 a.k.a. 802.11ac.

    The only problem is that the review unit didn't entirely work - it crashed while they were running benchmarks.

    Which I must admit is a rather substantial problem.

    It's rather larger than a NUC - about 8" x 7" - but needs to be to fit all those ports and a socketed CPU.

  • Perhaps the MSI Modern 14 would be a better choice.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It has a Ryzen 4000 APU - a choice of a 4500U in the $649 model, or a 4700U in the $749 model, two SODIMM slots, an M.2 slot supporting both PCIe 3.0 and SATA drives, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3 Type-C port, an audio combo jack, and a microSD card slot.

    The screen is a 14" 1080p IPS model, which is adequate, and the battery is a 52 Wh unit delivering up to 10 hours of operation.

    And it has dedicated PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys and weighs just 1.3kg.

    I'd like perhaps a higher-resolution display, but the light weight and socketed memory and storage make it an attractive buy.  The eight core 4700U model should keep up with application demands for a good long while given that you can throw as much as 64GB of RAM into it.

  • In other news, Elon Musk and NASA collaborated to launch an apatosaurus into orbit.  (Tech Crunch)

    That capsule looks rather roomy.  By comparison.

  • Beekeeper Studio is either a studio for keeping bees or a SQL editor and database management tool.  (GitHub)

    One of those.


  • Intel's Xeon Gold 6250 is a high clock speed 8 core server part that costs $3400.  (Serve the Home)

    Which by strange coincidence is just $50 less than the current price for the 64 core Threadripper 3990X meaning you'd have to be completely crazy to buy the Xeon.  (WCCFTech)

  • Oh.  Looks like one of our Threadripper servers rebooted itself.  And my restart script wasn't quite production-ready.

  • That was a nuisance.  The MongoDB startup script was timing out before the journal recovery could complete, so it would start up, then shut down again, over and over.

  • In corporate America, website port-scan you.  (Bleeping Computer)

    There's actually a good reason for this: A number of malicious programs keep known ports open on your computer.  Your browser can connect to a local port and check if it's open, so if you're doing online banking your bank can check your computer for certain types of malware on the spot.

    On the other hand, they can also do bad stuff.  As I've mentioned before, you need to password-protect even local web servers.

  • Google has postponed the launch of Android 11 due to (spins wheel) an international Vegemite shortage.  (

  • An eighth Amazon worker has died of Wuhan Bat Soup Death Plague.  (Slashdot)

    Which puts Amazon at about 1/30th of the national average.

  • A repeal of CDA Section 230 might be bad news for social networks.  (WBUR)

    Okay, so yes, that's true.  And given that I am attempting, fitfully, to launch my own social network, I am personally in the crosshairs.

    On the one hand, CDA 230 is why all the social networks that have survived are based either in the US, or in China where the CCP wants people to speak freely and openly of their political views so that they can be shoved into a van and carted off for reprogramming.

    On the other hand, Twitter.

Disclaimer: Poop.

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Saturday, May 30


Daily News Stuff 30 May 2020

Baby Monster Edition

Tech News

  • Hivelocity - a server hosting company - has declared war on Gelbooru.

    Catgirls hardest hit.  Won't somebody think of the catgirls?

    Knowing what the fans get up to, there are probably some objectionable images in there.  But Hivelocity is handling this with Twitterish levels of professionalism.

  • Ryzen 4000 is 90% faster than Ryzen 3000.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Except that this is APUs, so we're talking about the new 8-core parts against the old 4-core parts, so we'd expect them to be 90% faster.  At least they are indeed meeting expectations.

  • Samsung's new Galaxy Book S is the first product based on Intel's Lakelake architecture.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Field Lake?  Lakefield?  One of those.

    This has one Core core and four Atom cores.  Unless these Atom cores are significantly faster than any previous ones, it really needs at least two Core cores to run modern apps smoothly.

  • Mike Masnick has a blind spot the size of Iowa.  (TechDirt)

    No matter how blatant Twitter's anti-conservative bias, he will always excuse them on the grounds that they were only applying their rules.  And their rules don't actually say "we hate conservatives" therefore they don't hate conservatives.

  • Critics - by which we mean idiots - are angry with Facebook for not censoring President Trump.  (Tech Crunch)

    So simultaneously (a) social networks aren't censoring anyone and especially not conservatives and (b) Facebook is bad for not applying the same censorship as the other networks.

  • Better Red than Red.  (Serve the Home)

    Serve the Home compared a RAID array built of regular Western Digital Red drives against one made up of the shingled model.

    For most tests, the shingled models worked reasonably well, though somewhat slower than the regular ones.  But when it came to rebuilding a (deliberately) failed array, well:
    The WD40EFAX performed so poorly that we repeated the test on a second disk to rule out user error.
    In this case the shingled drives were fifteen times slower than the regular ones.

Disclaimer: I fear we have awakened a sleeping weeaboo and filled him with a terrible resolve.

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Friday, May 29


Daily News Stuff 29 May 2020

Brain Worms For Everyone Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Yes, Twitter's bananas.  Twitter's bananas today!

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Daily News Stuff 28 May 2020

The Trouble With Twitter Edition

Tech News

  • The problem is Twitter.  (TechDirt)

    TechDirt is drunk again, arguing that this is somehow complicated.
    The basic problem is that there is no easy answer for what to do with Trump's tweets, also for many reasons. One fundamental reason is that content moderation is essentially an impossible task.
    There is an easy answer, though.  The easiest answer.  Leave them the fuck alone.  Stop thinking that everything is a problem and that you are required to solve every problem.

  • Reuters is reporting on a supposed draft of the executive order behind all this fuss. 

    Do they actually provide the executive order they claim to have?

    They do not.

  • Python in 917 easy steps.  (GitHub)

    A sufficiently determined programmer can turn anything into Node.js.

  • Python 3.9 is in beta.  (LWN)

    It has two new string functions.

    And dict unions.

  • Intel vs. AMD on the Linux desktop.  (Phoronix)

    On 380 benchmarks - a mix of single and multi-threaded workloads - the 10900K edged out the 3900X but was in turn beaten by the 3950X.

  • There's an 8GB Pi available now.  (Tom's Hardware)
    $75, compared to $35 for 2GB and $55 for 4GB.  The default OS is still 32-bit so an individual user process can only address 3GB of RAM, but that's likely fine for anything you would run on a Pi, and there is now a 64-bit option as well.

Disclaimer: Sometimes the hardest thing to do is leave it the fuck alone.

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Wednesday, May 27


Daily News Stuff 27 May 2020

Oops I Deleted It Again Edition

Tech News

  • It's just a flesh wound.

    Gotta love a bug report that includes the words "do not under any circumstances" in bold all-caps.

  • Arm has two new cores: The A78 and the X1.  (AnandTech)

    The A78 is the regularly scheduled update with IPC and clock speed improvements, balancing performance against power consumption.

    The X1 is a new core designed for burst performance in phones like Apple's in-house Arm designs.  It's a five-issue design up from four-issue on recent A7x cores - compared with six-issue on Apple's recent cores.  It delivers a 30% IPC boost over A77, and a doubling of floating-point performance.

    And that brings a licensable core into Intel and AMD territory.  Apple's Arm cores might be there already - the estimate is that A13 is 10% ahead of X1 - but you can't get them so no-one knows for sure.

  • A friendly if overly loquacious guide to the Lakes District.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Intel hypothesises as to why people use their codenames.  Well, it's because their branding is fucking meaningless.  What the hell is "10th generation"?  They're not even all the same core.

  • A wild bunch of cheap Ryzen laptops from Xiaomi appeared.  (Tom's Hardware)

    A choice of 6 or 8 cores, 8GB or 16GB RAM, 512GB or 1TB SSD, and a 13", 14", or 16" 1080p display.  Prices range from $532 to $700, and weights from 1.2kg to 1.8kg.  Curiously, the 14" model is the lightest. 

    The 16" model has dedicated PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys, but the 13" model doesn't appear to.  I couldn't find a keyboard photo of the 14", but the existing Intel version doesn't have them so that's not looking great either.

    All models will go on sale starting June 1.  In China, and on the usual sites.

  • Someone just noticed that Adam Schiff is a dirty cop.  (TechDirt)

    Wake up and smell the coffee, guys.

  • All is not well in wolf-kink erotica fanfic land.  (TechDirt)

    Still nothing compared with knitting forums.

    No, seriously.

  • Twitter: We hire only the most qualified zombies.

    Never send to ask how Twitter became such a hellsite.  This is all down to Jack.  Who is an idiot.

  • Ryzen 3000 XT might only be a 100MHz boost.

    As commenters are saying, that's not much.  Presumably it will replace existing models at the same price.

  • Twitter themselves fact-checked a pair of Trump tweets.  (Tech Crunch)

    Naturally, our timeline being what it is since the space lobsters ate Earth 2 and we had to wipe everyone's memories and reboot here on Earth 3, Trump was right and the fact-checking was a lie.

  • SD 8.0 ups transfer speeds to 4GB/s unless it doesn't (WCCFTech) except in this case it definitely does.  (SDCard)

    A PCIe 4.0 x2 interface to be specific.

  • What all those AWS services do.  (A Day in the Life Of...)

    Not always super-detailed:
    Amazon Braket Some quantum thing. It’s in preview so I have no idea what it is.

  • Catalina phone home.  (Sigpipe)

    In fact, Catalina phone home an awful lot.  Catalina apparently phone home on every new shell script.

  • The CDC is warning of increasingly aggressive rodents looking for new food sources.  (Seattle Times)

    Or as we call them here, journalists.

Disclaimer: Because that's an insult to actual rats.

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Tuesday, May 26


Daily News Stuff 26 May 2020

Zero Point Two Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Which by a quite staggering coincidence is also the number of megabits per second I can upload.

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Monday, May 25


Daily News Stuff 25 May 2020

Wheel Of Fish Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Run it yourself.  Run your own firewalls and VPN.  Encrypt your drives.  Install OpenVMS.  You don't have to be perfect, just too annoying to bother with.

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Daily News Stuff 24 May 2020

Pizza Arbitrage Edition

Tech News
Disclaimer: Because who would want one of those.

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Sunday, May 24


Daily News Stuff 23 May 2020

I Will Not Eat The Bugs Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Castle is Scooby Doo.  Both the show and the character.  I'm not sure who exactly is who among the rest of the cast though.

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Saturday, May 23


Daily News Stuff 22 May 2020

Gluten Free Alphabet Soup Edition

Tech News

  • Putting Amazon's Graviton2 Arm processor through its paces.  (Phoronix)

    A 64 core Epyc beats a 64 core Graviton2 by an average of 51%, though Graviton takes the lead in a number of benchmarks.

    The problem is that in a number of other benchmarks, Graviton gets absolutely creamed.  Epyc is four times faster for NAS operations, five times for OpenSSL, and close to twenty times for PostgreSQL.

    Some of those point to specific optimisation issues - MariaDB doesn't show anything like the problem with PostgreSQL - so if you aren't using those particular applications you won't have those problems.  And if you're on AWS you can easily mix and match.

  • The first benchmarks for Intel's Rocket Lake have leaked unless they haven't.  (WCCFTech)

    Rocket Lake is based on the much improved Sunny Cover architecture rather than are refresh of Skylake.  Compared to the current generation i5-10400, the new chips are...  Oh.  The new chips are -7% faster.

    That doesn't make a lot of sense because Sunny Cove really is a significant upgrade.  More cache, more execution units, wider issue (sort of), new instructions.  And it does perform better on Spec benchmarks.  So probably this is an outlier.

  • AMD is lining up refreshes for the 3700X and 3800X unless they aren't.  (WCCFTech)

    Six months ago their highest-clocked dies were in short supply; now they are plentiful.  So they can probably bump the clock speeds by 100 or 200MHz.

  • AMD is also looking to release a new low-end chipset, the A520.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Really this is more of a chipsetless like the A320.  All Ryzen CPUs and APUs have built-in SATA and USB, so all that is really necessary is something to control the boot process.

    The advantage to this - apart from the price - is that it frees up an extra four PCIe lanes that are normally used to connect the chipset to the CPU.  And it inherently supports PCIe 4.0 because there's no chipset to not support PCIe 4.0.  Though it's up to the motherboard makers whether to build their boards up to PCIe 4.0 spec.

Video of the Day

Today's Daily News Stuff is brought to you by the letters m-u-g-i.

Disclaimer: Contains photons.

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