You know when grown-ups tell you everything's going to be fine, and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better?
Yes.
Everything's going to be fine.

Friday, June 11

Geek

Daily News Stuff 11 June 2021

Rickrolled By Moona And By The Internet Generally Edition

Top Story

  • Got delayed by network problems at work, so I'll keep this short and then maybe add some stuff later.

    Update: Network is back up.

    Update 2: Network is suffering 97% packet loss and 340ms ping times.

    Update 3: Network is down.

    Update 4: Network still down. Wait, up, no, down, updown, downup... Up!


  • Intel has made a $2 billion offer to buy embedded processor startup SiFive.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The whole attraction of SiFive is that their instruction set is an open specification, so anyone can implement it themselves if they want.  Most companies wouldn't want all that work and would rather license a design or buy an existing chip, but you can.

    Intel is pretty much guaranteed to fuck things up.  It's not in their DNA to be open.


Anime of the day is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.  It has giant robots throwing things at each other.  It's good.


Tech News

Disclaimer: The internet was a bad idea.

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Thursday, June 10

Geek

Daily News Stuff 10 June 2021

Endless Squawking Edition

Top Story

  • Bitcoin vs. the volcano.  (ZDNet)

    El Salvador has not only made Bitcoin legal tender, but announced plans to power Bitcoin mining with volcanoes.  Well, geothermal power.  Which is something they actually have, unlike money.

    One of the effects of this is that there's no capital gains tax on Bitcoin in El Salvador.  The other effects - well, too early to tell.

    I'm pretty negative on blockchains generally, but I'm not a huge fan of the traditional financial system either.


  • Meanwhile, JBS reportedly paid hackers $11 million in Bitcoin to get their cows back.  (Blockchain News)

    That's how it works, right?  I think that's how it works.




Anime of the day is Ichigo Mashimaro from 2005.  It's mostly fluff but it's very funny fluff.  The story revolves around four young girls - I don't remember exactly how old, but somewhere in the ten-to-twelve range - and the older sister of one of them.

The older sister is the most interesting character because she shows real growth over the course of the series.  At the beginning she just wants to drink and smoke and leech money off her younger sibling (in the manga she was sixteen but they wisely increased that to twenty in the anime).  Mid-way through she's realised she's stuck with being the baby-sitter for the younger girls, and by the end she actually enjoys watching and sometimes planning their adventures.  And even spends her own money on them.

And seeing Miu - the main trouble maker - face-down on the floor after one of the other girls has gotten fed up with her antics and thrown something at her will never stop being funny.


Tech News

  • Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3070 Ti is here.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Reviewers are unimpressed.  It splits the nominal price difference between the regular 3070 and the 3080, but is barely faster than the 3070.  If you can get it for recommended retail price it's great value in today's market, but that's rather unlikely.


  • Video card of the day is the GeForce GT 730 from 2014.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Things are so bad that they've pulled them back off the dusty shelves of Warehouse 13 and are shipping them out to retailers.

    They're not great.  They're not good, even.  But they work.


  • Things are much better if you were holding out for a new CPU.  All models of the Ryzen 5000 range are in stock at most retailers and selling at or below recommended retail prices.  In Australia the 12 core 5900X is selling for what the 8 core 5800X cost just a month ago.

    AMD's Radeon 6700X graphics cards are also readily available.  Expensive, yes, but available.


  • Western Digital and Seagate are ramping up production of hard drives - specifically in response to Chia.  (Tom's Hardware)

    They're not expanding production facilities as yet but will be adding shifts to run existing factories at full capacity.  They're fully aware that the Chia bubble could burst at any moment and flood the market with second-hand disk drives.


  • Raptor Lake - Intel's next next generation of desktop CPUs - could have up to 24 cores.  (WCCFTech)

    Of course, that's 8 good cores and 16 crappy ones, because Intel is absolutely determined to hand the high-end desktop market to AMD on a platter.


  • Patch your Chrome stuff.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Google has fixed an actively exploited bug, so if you're still on 91.0.4472.77 you should update to 91.0.4472.101 right away.


  • Asked how many customers had had video data from their Ring video doorbells handed over to police without a warrant or even notification, the company, now owned by Amazon, said.  (Tech Crunch)

    That's an unedited quote, by the way.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation was more forthcoming:
    Ring is ostensibly a security camera company that makes devices you can put on your own homes, but it is increasingly also a tool of the state to conduct criminal investigations and surveillance.
    They also catch fire.


  • Everything new is old again: The Vivaldi browser now has built-in email, calendar, and RSS feed support.  (The Verge)

    What about news, though?  No love for NNTP?


Not Exactly Tech News

  • A certain Japanese-American dragon announces her retirement from Hololive, and a certain Japanese-American indie streamer gains 200,000 subscribers in one day.

    I knew she had another account, but hadn't looked into it.  Just like I know Gura had a big following before she became Gura, but have never gone looking for her videos.  Let the past be the past.

    But wherever she goes after Hololive, I'll at least check it out.



I Told You They Were Unimpressed Videos of the Day




Episode Zero Video of the Day



The preview episode for Ichigo Mashimaro.  No, it's not all like this.  Sometimes it gets a bit weird.


Teenagers Anime Music Video of the Day



The song fits the show perfectly because it doesn't fit at all.


Disclaimer: Like a square peg in a keyhole.

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Wednesday, June 09

Geek

Daily News Stuff 9 June 2021

Cascade All The Things Edition

Top Story

  • Like the first episode of James Burke's Connections, one customer changed one parameter on one account at one CDN and within seconds the entire eastern seaboard lost power internet was toast.  (Fastly)


  • Reddit, Twitter, the BBC, the UK government, and amusingly, Amazon were among those who experienced sudden plagues of unhelpful error messages.  (Online or Not)

    It's harder for Fastly to tailor their errors in a completely friendly way for end users, but the default error messages that come out of tools like Nginx and Varnish are so abstruse that even people who work with them daily complain.


  • Just a comment on that story about the FBI reclaiming millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin from the Darkside hacking group:

    What almost certainly happened is the hackers used an online wallet so they could easily share access to the funds.  Problem is, that's not remotely as secure as a local wallet.  The feds knew what wallet address the money was in, so they just had to ask all the major exchanges whether they managed that address, and serve a warrant on the one that did.

    If the online wallet was properly secured it would still have needed the hackers to log in before the key could be retrieved, and that's quite likely what happened.  They logged in, the key was decrypted, and before they could do anything else there was this huge sucking sound and all the money disappeared into the coffers of the federal government never to be seen again.

    Which I'm sure is a metaphor for something.  Just can't think what.



Anime of the day is is Amaama to Inazuma from 2016.  On the surface this appears to be a sweet little show about a single dad raising his daughter alone.

Under the surface it's something much more insidious: An online cooking class.



Tech News

  • The chip shortage continues to bite: Now there aren't enough power management chips to keep up with demand for Thunderbolt ports on notebooks.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Thunderbolt ports can draw and supply up to 100W - you can charge your laptop that way, or plug in another device to charge from your laptop.  So they need fairly capable power management, and the chips certified for the task are out of stock.

    Intel has temporarily certified compatible but not technically compliant chips, which will work fine, probably.

    Reportedly Intel is also short of power management chips for their enterprise SSDs, which isn't great at a time when a certain blockchain is chewing up all the non-enterprise storage the industry can produce.


  • Why is everything in short supply?  A lot of it is the blockchain bubble in GPUs and (more recently) storage.  GPU sales spiked by 40% between Q1 last year and Q1 this year.  (WCCFTech)

    Yes, there were somewhat more people playing games during the two week lockdown.  Yes, there are new cards out.  But are there really that many more new computers being sold?


  • As it happens...  Yes.  In fact, overall US PC shipments are up 73% in the same timeframe.  (Tech Crunch)

    HP in particular grew by 122%.  Which is kind of a lot.


  • The state of Ohio has filed a suit seeking to regulate Google as a public utility.  (Columbus Dispatch)

    Good luck, guys.  Don't think it will fly, but worth a try.


  • Patch your Adobe stuff.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I'm not sure if I still run any Adobe stuff.  I used to have the entire Creative Suite but that expired long ago.  I've replaced Photoshop with Affinity Photo, which might not be quite as good but is a hell of a lot cheaper.

    Anyway, they've patched 41 vulnerabilities as well as the usual raft of bugs.


  • Patch your Windows stuff.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I do still run Windows.  The latest update patches seven actively exploited vulnerabilities and 43 that aren't actively exploited yet.


  • Graphene could boost hard drive capacities by a factor of ten.  (ZDNet)

    They're not making the drives out of graphene, just coating the platters with it.  It's thinner than current protective coatings, which means the drive heads can be closer the the surface of the disk, which means higher densities.

    Or possibly not.  It's not quite as bad as predictions about new battery technology but it's not far off.


  • Why is Verizon blocking Nyaa and Mangadex?  (TorrentFreak)

    Someone asked me recently if I'd had any trouble accessing Nyaa, and I hadn't, mostly because I'd been too busy to try.  Also because I don't use Verizon.

    Also, it's kind of pointless blocking Mangadex, because it got hacked and it's been down for weeks while they rewrite the software.



Not Exactly Tech News

  • Kiryu Coco of Hololive announced her graduation - that is, retirement - today.  (Reddit)

    The Hololive fanbase kind of exploded over this because she's the first established member of any of the main Hololive branches to leave.  There were a couple who flamed out in their first month, and the regrettable West Taiwan episode, but she's the first mainstream talent to quit.

    We'll miss our foul-mouthed shit-posting drug-dealing Yakuza dragon, and wish her the very best in whatever strange incarnation she finds herself in coming months.

    Her final stream is on July 1.  Unusually for the industry, and commendably, her channel and all her existing content will remain active, though members-only streams will expire automatically three months after she leaves YouTube.

    Update:



    She's gained 30,000 subscribers in nine hours, and at least a couple of thousand paid members.  Had to reload the tab because it was using 11GB of RAM thanks to the insane number of chat messages.

    Fans are trying to solve the problem by throwing love at it.  Probably won't work but worth a shot.

    Update Two: 40,000 subscribers in 11 hours.  She's streaming right now, but it's a collab on Fubuki's channel.


  • The Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Part One update is out.  (Hot Hardware)

    This part doesn't actually have any caves or cliffs.  It does have goats, axolotls, and glow squids though.


Plummeting Rabbits Anime Music Video of the Day



Anime is Usagi Drop a.k.a Bunny Drop from 2011.  The manga had a time skip that divided the audience, but the anime never goes near that.  It's beautifully animated and utterly charming.


Disclaimer: But that is not this day!  Wait, yeah, it is this day.  Damn.

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Tuesday, June 08

Geek

Daily News Stuff 8 June 2021

4000 TPS Edition

Top Story


Anime of the day is Irozuku Sekai no Ashita Kara, a.k.a Iroduku, from 2018.  There's no manga or novel behind this; it's an anime original, and there was no buzz about it at the time, so I stumbled across it during a lull at work when I actually had time to watch anime.  (That situation has since been corrected.)

I tend to give these shows my own names, because it's shorter, like Re: Slime, or as with Autistic Psychic Alien Yakuza Battle Robot because if someone just mentions Hinamatsuri I can't remember if that's the one with the girls practicing traditional Japanese festival dances (it's not).*

Anyway, this is Colourblind Timetravelling Granddaughter Witchfriends.  There's rather a lot going on in the plot.  I really do recommend this one; it came as a surprise even to me, and I watch far too much anime.

* Hanayamata.  You're welcome.


Tech News

I Can't Belive It's Not Haruhi Anime Music Video of the Day



Sharada is the definitive AMV for season one, but this is the definitive AMV for season two.  It reduces the Endless Eight arc to five and a half minutes, which is probably worth a Nobel Prize.  In physics, or maybe medicine.

For those who haven't seen it, the story spends eight episodes trapped in a time loop, with scenes repeating over and over, but with not a single frame of animation reused.  It's a lot of fun if you start out with a high SAN score, but watch out if you used that as your dump stat.



Got Milk?  Don't Got a Kitchen Knife?  Let's Fix That Video of the Day



Yes, there's an entire channel where the guy makes knives out of things it shouldn't be possible to make knives out of.  Milk is not even the most surprising.


Disclaimer: Or even the tastiest.

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Monday, June 07

Geek

Daily News Stuff 7 June 2021

Vtubers Watching Grass Grow Edition

Tech News



Anime of the day is Komi Can't Communicate from 2021.  October 2021.  This one hasn't even aired yet.

But I've read something like 200 chapters of the manga - which is great - and this trailer absolutely nails the feel of the story.  The voice of the male lead is perfect, which is a good thing because he's going to have to carry a lot of weight in the show.

Despite the name of the series, they do have a voice actress cast for Komi herself.  It will be interesting to see how they translate it from an inherently silent medium to television.



Tech News

  • So, those PNY drives that received an abrupt durability downgrade?  People have been speculating that this is because of Chia, but the company has now gone on the record to announce that yes, it's because of Chia.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Cryptocurrencies come in two basic forms: Proof-of-stake, which basically codifies rent-seeking, and everything else, which is even worse.

    Chia is in the even worse category.


  • If it ain't broke, fix it until it is: Chip flaws that affect one core in a million show up on about 63% of computers with a million cores.  (The Register)

    Well, computers still mostly don't have a million cores, but a datacenter can pack 50,000 cores into a single rack, so a million cores is not really that much.

    The article mentions a system where one core had a bug that affected encryption, so that only that core could decrypt files it had encrypted.  And this is because we are pushing close to the fundamental quantum limits of silicon.


  • The US Air Force wants to contract SpaceX to deliver cargo by rocket.  (Ars Technica)

    SpaceX's Starship has a cargo capacity of 100 tons to orbit, maybe slightly more for a suborbital trajectory.  Anywhere in the world in an hour.

    If you can keep it ready to launch 24/7, which you can't, making it useful for cargoes that need to be delivered in an hour but that you know about a week in advance.


  • The EFF is unimpressed with the recent court decision against Cox Communications.  (EFF)

    They argue that the District Court award of a billion dollars in damages gets the law wrong, violates due process, and will destroy the internet.

    And they're largely correct.



F.Y.C. Anime Music Video of the Say



This one goes a little beyond just syncing up anime clips with a popular song.

Honestly, it's a technical tour-de-force as well as a lot of fun,



Weekly Hardware Roundup Video of the Day



It's Computex time, and though there's no physical Computex this year, everyone has decided to announce new hardware at the same time, so these weekly updates really have been running daily.


Disclaimer: Unlike me.

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Sunday, June 06

Geek

Daily News Stuff 6 June 2021

Whirling Deadlines Edition

Top Story

  • POKEGB is an emulator for the Nintendo Gameboy.  It currently only works for one game, Pokemon Blue.

    But it's 62 lines of code and looks like, well, you'll see.




Anime of the day is Bleach, which ran for 366 episodes from 2004 to 2012.  Most of that run is crap, though, and should be actively avoided.  Even the hard-core fans will tell you to avoid the so-called Bount Arc, which stood out as boring filler in a series that was more filler than content in the first place.

Except season one.

After a while spent watching it while doing something else, I gave up on the show entirely perhaps a third of the way through.  Later on, remembering that I had liked it originally, I went back and rewatched the beginning.  And the beginning is good.  In fact, the whole first season is good.

Then the showrunners realised they had a hit on their hands and they were burning through the source material too quickly, so rather than pausing the show to allow the manga to catch up, they slowed down the pace of the show.  The transition between the tightly-written and fast-paced first season and the wallowing second season is jarring when you go back knowing what happened.  At the time I was waiting for the show to return to its earlier pace, but it never does.

If you're a completionist, this is definitely one to avoid.  20 good episodes don't make up for 346 bad ones.


Tech News

  • Apple may have fixed the issue reporting reduced SSD lifespans on M1 Macs.  (Tom's Hardware)

    All M1 Macs have their SSDs soldered onto the motherboard and encrypted by a chip also soldered onto the motherboard, so if it wears out your computer is dead and you can't even boot from a backup drive.  So having the operating system reporting rapid wear on the SSD was an unwelcome feature.

    Apple says the bug was in the reporting software, and the drives themselves are fine.  We'll see, but it's probably true; the drives and their T2 controller chips have been used in previous Mac models without issues.


  • Meanwhile second (or is it third) tier SSD maker PNY has kind of done the opposite.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Their XLR8 drive just got an update, and the quoted drive lifespan has been reduced by 80% - without any change to the product name or model number.


  • All Zen 4 desktop CPUs will be APUs.  (WCCFTech)

    Unless they're not, since this is all leaks.

    Some of it - like the fact that Zen 4 CPU chiplets will be made on TSMC's 5nm node - has been officially confirmed.  

    More significantly, the I/O chiplet will moved from Global Foundries' older 12nm process to TSMC's new 6nm process.  That doesn't make much difference for just an I/O die because I/O circuits don't shrink that much.  But the new I/O die has a GPU on board, and that benefits enormously from the newer process.

    I'm not sure why they didn't do this with Zen 2, though they probably had enough on their plate just switching over to 7nm and the chiplet architecture.  Even a small and slow GPU is extremely useful when building or testing a system, because as long as the CPU is working you can get video out.

    No leaks as to the configuration of the GPU, but I'm expecting something similar to the current laptop parts, with the next-generation laptops parts being the first to get higher-end integrated graphics.


  • Qualcomm's Snapdragon 895 will be manufactured on Samsung's 4nm node.  (WCCFTech)

    That's likely because TSMC's initial production capacity for 4nm - and given the timing, that's starting right about now - has been bought out by Apple.  TSMC is already shipping 5nm in volume but most of their customers are still on 7nm because, again, Apple booked out 5nm capacity.

    And Apple has reportedly booked out initial capacity at 3nm as well.

    While I'd love to see AMD processors and graphics cards on 5nm this year rather than next year, the truth is that Apple paid for TSMC's massive R&D budget over the last decade.

    So all those people with more dollars than sense buying Apple's shiny baubles year after year are the reason I can now just push a button and deploy a 96-core server at my day job, and the reason the Xbox Series X is so much better than the Xbox One X.


  • Big Tech, having worked tirelessly to put socialists into office, have just discovered that they've put socialists into office.  (BBC)

    The G7 economies are pushing a new unified tax plan to shake down multinationals for every penny they've got.

    And Big Tech has made quite sure that they have no friends on either side of the aisle.


  • Windows 11?  With one email, Microsoft has the attention of the world.  (Thurrott.com)

    This is on the premium side of the site - commentary and analysis rather than news and reviews, but you can read it with a free subscription and Paul Thurrott is a decent guy.

    Since the new announcement hasn't happened yet, most of the article covers the missteps Microsoft has made in recent years and what they need to do to recover.

    I was going to pair this with a counterpoint article that said that no-one cares about the new version of Windows, but when I followed the link I found that the article didn't actually say that.

    So, Microsoft, please don't screw this up.  I recently reinstalled a music editing package I originally bought in 2006, and which hasn't been updated in nearly that long - and it worked.  It simply worked.  It's a 32-bit app, and those aren't supported at all on modern versions of MacOS, but on Windows it simply worked.

    I appreciate that.  But please try to make some progress on some of your own stuff that hasn't been updated since 2006.


Not Exactly Tech News

  • Amelia Watson of Hololive held her long-awaited charity stream today, raising funds for animal shelters.  This is the first charity stream Hololive has run by itself, and it was viewed as something of a test case.

    She reached three times her original goal before the stream could even start, and ended at more than fifteen times.

    Watch the counter when she appears on stream.  It goes up by $18,000 in three minutes.


Twitter Gonna Twitter Video of the Day



Twitter's going to automatically mute and block accounts, which comes as startling news to me after getting suspended 116 times in a single year before they gave up and banned me entirely.

Everything not compulsory is forbidden.  Most of what is compulsory is also forbidden, because fuck you, that's why.


Panty and Stocking Anime Music Video of the Day



The show is Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, and while it's certainly not one of may favourites - I didn't even make it through the single season - this is a great clip.

It's done in a cheap animation style by people who actually know how to animate.  It's also loaded with gross-out humour.  So if you like that sort of thing, maybe take a look.



I'm So Classy Anime Music Video of the Day



This video is from exactly the opposite end of the AMV spectrum, but it's every bit as good, because good is a scalar metric imposed on an infinitely differentiable Riemannian manifold.


Disclaimer: Bozhe moi.  This I know from nothing.

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Saturday, June 05

Geek

Daily News Stuff 5 June 2021

Bonfire Of The Motes Edition

Top Story


Anime of the day is Hidamari Sketch, which ran for four TV seasons and four OVA episodes between 2007 and 2013.  You might call it K-On! with watercolours; it follows four girls - later six - studying at a high school with an art track.

They're all living away from their families to study at this school, staying at the luxurious (cough) Hidamari Apartments nearby.  Well, they're better maintained than Maison Ikkoku anyway.

Nothing particularly dramatic happens during the series; no explosions, no major fires, just daily life.  But then the biggest point of excitement in Non Non Biyori is when the girls get mugged by a squirrel, and that show is one of the best of the past decade. Not every show has to feature a PT boat shooting down a helicopter.  Maybe only one or two a year.



Tech News

  • It's getting cold here in Sydney, which this being a subtropical coastal region means that in the middle of winter if you sit in an unheated house for hours doing nothing more energetic than occasionally moving the mouse you will eventually notice that you're cold and turn on the reverse cycle on the AC.

    It's snowed here exactly once in my lifetime, in one location, and it melted within the hour.


  • Do not adjust your vBIOS.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Alienware laptops with RTX 3070s have been shipping with 10% of the GPU cores missing.  Dell is rolling out a patch, because while that's a hardware problem it's not a hardware problem.


  • Nvidia says that smart phones aren't ready for ray-tracing.  (Tom's Hardware)

    What they mean by that is that Apple and AMD are either shipping or preparing mobile chips with ray-tracing - it's currently in high-end iPads and coming soon to a range of Samsung mobile products using AMD graphics - and Nvidia and Arm don't have anything to compete.

    On the other hand, AMD said something similar about Nvidia's first attempts at ray-tracing on the desktop.

    On the third hand...  They were right, at the time.


  • Speaking of which, if you're finding video cards just too darn cheap and readily available, AMD is bringing out their Radeon Pro W6800.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The GPU is equivalent to a fully-configured 6900 XT, but with 32GB of GDDR6 RAM rather than 16.  It also has six DisplayPort outputs so you can run six 4K monitors at once - though apparently only one 8K monitor.  Not sure how many people are using multiple 8K monitors just yet, anyway; the only readily available model I know of will set you back four grand.

    That said, 6800 and 6800 XT cards seem to be showing up again.  At roughly double the launch price, true, but they are in stock at online stores.


  • The usual suspects are fleeing Medium after a memo from CEO and Twitter co-founder Ev Williams asked them to at least try not to be complete shitbiscuits on company time.  (Tech Crunch)

    Frankly this seems like a brilliant way to simultaneously reduce expenses and boost productivity: Just leak a milquetoast memo suggesting the employees should be a tad bit less woke and the worst offenders will self-identify and storm out and you won't even need to pay severance.

    The employees quoted in the article are just comically un-self-aware.


  • DON'T CONNECT CRITICAL FUCKING INFRASTRUCTURE DIRECTLY TO THE INTERNET.  (Ars Technica)

    There's a level 9.8 vulnerability in VMware, allowing anyone to stroll in and take over servers - if they already have access to the management network.

    There's actually a site that tracks exposed software like this.  Great for hackers, but network admins should also go there and check that they are not on the list.




  • Nothing more expensive than a free tier.  (Cloud Irregular)

    I vastly prefer fixed-price services over cloud, particularly anything that promises to automatically scale with load.  It sounds great but you're one mistake away from a maxed-out credit card.  Lately I've got some servers that are prepaid a year at a time; the cost saving against billed-by-the-hour AWS is huge.

    Anyway, the specific problem in this case is Amazon's promise of an "always free" tier of services in AWS that will immediately start charging the card you use for Amazon purchases the moment you step outside their Byzantine grimoire of limits and quotas.

    The AWS management interface is, on the whole, insane.  Some serious problems have persisted for fifteen years.  Even IBM does it better.  Google does it far better.


  • Russia again.  The last big Xcode trojan attack was from China though.



    This thing doesn't attack users directly; it infects the machines of iOS developers, and then secretly inserts vulnerabilities into their code.


  • Steak is back on the menu.  (Bleeping Computer)

    JBS says it is fully operational again and delivering delicious beef and bacon (and in Australia, lamb) to a hungry world.

    I had some pork steaks for lunch yesterday.  No idea if they were processed by JBS; I just added them to my grocery order and they showed up on my doorstep at the appointed time, the way nature intended.


  • iPadOS 15 will finally allow the iPad to reach its full potential.  (MacWorld)

    And 2021 is the year of Linux on the desktop.

    ...

    I mean, it's taken over everything from embedded devices to supercomputers, so it's surprising that's taken as long as it has.


  • Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla are joining forces on browser extensions.  (Thurrott.com)

    On my new tablet I'm using Brave exclusively.  I've even given it the Chrome icon, just to rub it in.  Works very well.  Chrome on Android doesn't even support extensions.

    Anyway, this isn't as bad as it sounds.  It's a standardisation effort, and those are even more effective than the Medium approach for sidelining your least productive staff.  A standards committee appointment can keep a officious busybody distracted for decades.


  • Satire is dead: Startup company Stealth Data seeks to rip aside any pretense of anonymity on the internet in the name of because fuck you, that's why.  (Slashdot)

    The main article is on a site called Bizjournals which requires a paid subscription or skill with the Chrome dev tools to read.  But the idiots involved in this look like - literally, because they're pictured in the article - look like caricatures created by the idiots in the Medium story above.


  • Microsoft: Developers, developers, developers!

    Apple: Fuck you, you whiny little shits.  You didn't build this.  (Marco Arment)

    This comes out of Apple's posturing in the Epic Games case.  Because the allegations of unfair practices are self-evidently true, and an adverse decision could slaughter its cash cow, Apple has been throwing everyone under the bus, including themselves, notably implying that CEO Tim Cook is uninvolved with operations of the company.

    Developers are the last thing on Apple's list of concerns.


Weekly News Stuff Video of the Day



Steve is here with all the details.  Believe it or not, I skim over the really geeky stuff.


Subaru Sits Down Video Video of the Day



So, that Vtuber who was complaining that her duck was getting more views than she was, has got 1.15 million views on an eleven second clip of her sitting on a chair.  And to be clear, this is a fully-clothed 3D model.

Yes, I watch Hololive regularly.  There was a fun stream just this morning where Ina was building an underwater cafe in Minecraft and their server glitched while she was transporting a cat convoy through the subway to Atlantis...  Um.  Doesn't mean I understand even 10% of what is going on.

Update: There's a clip of the moment I'm talking about.  Of course there's a clip.



I think the best introduction to this stuff is still where I came in: Korone's classic game streams.





Disclaimer: Beware, it's called the Rabbit Hole for a reason.

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Friday, June 04

Geek

Daily News Stuff 4 June 2021

Top Story

  • The Supreme Court has reined in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  (Ars Technica)

    The government has been using it to slap additional charges on any crime where computers were involved, and the decision says that if it's going to be used that broadly, it would make felons of the entire country.

    Interesting split to the decision: Thomas, Alito, and Roberts were in the dissent, against the Trump appointees and the liberals.

    In this particular case a cop was caught taking bribes and charged with accessing a computer system pursuant to said bribes.  (ZDNet)

    The problem is, he was authorised to access that system, and he wasn't charged with the obvious crime of the bribe itself.  So now the charges have been thrown out.


  • Something I didn't think of with regards to AMD's recent announcement of die stacking to increase cache sizes. This technique requires a custom CPU chip as well as custom memory chip to stack on top. Only AMD didn't announce a custom CPU chip, just an update to Ryzen 5000 with triple the cache.

    Which means...






Anime of the day is Alice to Zoroku from 2017, the story of...  It's hard to explain.  It's really hard to explain.  It's the story of an odd young girl named Alice and a grumpy old bugger named Zoroku who runs a flower shop.

Possibly the manga series has more time and focus, but the anime isn't quite sure of what it wants to be or who its audience is, and tries to be all things to all people, and yet somehow actually mostly brings it off.  In this case it helps that it's only 12 episodes; that would have become impossible in a longer run.

I described it at the time as a cross between Hellsing, Usagi Drop, The Tomorrow People, and a post-graduate lecture on particle physics, and I stand by that.



Tech News



Counting Stars Anime Music Video of the Day


I haven't posted much Miyazaki material lately, because it goes without saying that you should watch Miyazaki films, but I have a particular fondness for Ponyo.  Some critics see this as a lesser film; I think they need their heads read.  I'd place it right up there with Kiki and Totoro.


When You're Tired of New York, You're Tired of Overpriced Garbage Video of the Day



Louis Rossman is scouting Florida as a new home and business location.  If you watched any of his New York real estate or COVID videos, you know why.  This has been building up for some time.

I don't know how he votes, but he loathes Cuomo and De Blasio, so that's a start.


Just One Specific Manga May or May Not Have Outsold the Entire American Comic Industry Video of the Day



I haven't read or watched any of Demon Slayer - no, wait, that's not true; I watched a bit of the first episode and it rather touched a nerve by portraying violence against children and I noped out.

Anyway, it may not, technically, all by itself, have outsold all American comics combined last year.

Still, the top twenty comics by sales volume in America are all Japanese.  Get woke, wake up in debtors' prison.



Disclaimer: And your little dog too.


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Thursday, June 03

Geek

Daily News Stuff 3 June 2021

Trust No-one Edition

Top Story



Anime of the day is Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha from 2015, which is just an absolute little gem of a series.  It follows the story of Inari, who rescues a dog at a Shinto shrine one day and then discovers that it wasn't a dog, and ends up blessed with divine power that she never sought and would generally rather not have.

The only problem I have with it is that they compressed ten volumes of manga down to a ten-episode TV series, skipping a lot of the content entirely.  It could have done with a 24 or 26 episode run, and some parts feel a little rushed.


Tech News

  • The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is here.  (Tom's Hardware)

    In short, it's fast, though not much faster than the existing 3080, overpriced, though you probably won't be able to find one anyway, and HOLY CRAP THE 3070 IS EXPENSIVE.

    It's currently going for around $2000 here in Australia, where the competing Radeon 6700 XT is around $1150.  That's still about a 60% markup over what it's supposed to cost, but the 3070 is marked up about 160%.


  • Windows 10+ or whatever it's called is being announced on June 24.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Can they just fix the various settings panels so that they all work the same way?  Some were released with Windows 10, while others haven't changed since NT 3.51.


  • Micron is shipping 1α memory.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is 40% smaller and uses 15% less power than their existing 1Z chips.  

    Those numbers - 1α and 1Z - are because they gave up entirely on claiming they were working at a size in nanometres.  It's really all somewhere around 20nm with various clever tricks applied on top of that.


  • Prosus (who?) is buying Stack Overflow for $1.8 billion.  (Wall Street Jorunal)

    Stack Overflow used to be just massively popular with programmers; it was the first place you went when you needed help with a coding issue.  In recent years it has suffered something of a problem of entrenched opinion; if you ask a question it will instantly be closed and you will be chastised for not looking up an answer provided a decade ago that no longer even compiles.


  • There will never be a Python 4.  (Tech Republic)

    Good, because they seriously fucked up the release of Python 3.

    Also, there kind of is a Python 4.  It's called Nim.

    It's not perfect, but Nim is written entirely in Nim, which shows a certain degree of commitment by its maintainers.  And it's a lot faster than Python.


  • Will AMD come to the yellow, carp-shaped courtesy phone?  (Phoronix)

    AMD's recent GPUs have all been codenamed as $colour / $fish - the first one being Sienna Cichlid.  I haven't seen any mention of Yellow Carp before - it just showed up in a Linux Kernel update - so it looks like they have yet another part on the way.


  • The FBI says that the Russia-based REvil group is behind the hack on steak-and-bacon supplier JBS.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I don't trust anything the FBI says; if they told me not to eat plutonium-based paint chips I wouldn't even bother to put down the bowl while I googled "plutonium paint chip danger debunked".

    But yeah, probably Russian hackers.  This one looks like their kind of short-term thinking; China plans things much better.


  • Huawei has launched their new operating system for mobile devices, Harmony OS.  (Thurrott.com)

    This is totally a new and independent system and not just Android hurriedly papered over to look like iOS despite the fact that the preview release still identified itself as Android in dozens of places.


  • If you use Alibaba's UC Browser, you might want to not do that.  (Forbes)

    They're tracking everything you do.  They promised explicitly not to do that, and then they did it.

    Who do they think they are, Google?

    Actually, the tracking outlined in the article is at a level American Big Tech only dreams it could get away with.  It's already been yanked from Apple's App Store, and apparently after that article was written, from the Google Play Store as well.

    This would be totally unconnected with the recent crackdown on Alibaba by the Chinese government and the almost total disappearance of Jack Ma after he was totally not forced to resign as chairman.

    He's fine.  He's just been playing golf.  Since November.


  • Can you play Metro Exodus EE at 8K?  (Tweaktown)

    Short answer: No.

    Long answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.

    Unless 10 FPS with dips down to 7 is your jam.  It does better with DLSS enabled, but DLSS simply means that you're no longer running at 8K; it's rendering at some lower resolution and upscaling.


Further Deponent Sayeth Not Video of the Day



The New York Times is squirming like a millipede in pancake batter, and it's glorious.


How Did He Even Get That Clip Video of the Day



I have no idea who decided that Nene was a seal, or indeed what any of this means, and I watch something from Hololive pretty much every day.

But I do know where that clip at the beginning came from: Nene accidentally streamed on Kiara's channel (Kiara is the chicken) after an earlier collab.  And that stream got cut short and immediately disappeared.  But on the internet everything is forever, except for the opening credits of Nuku Nuku.


Did I Already Do Little Witch Academia Anime Music Video of the Day



Probably, but I haven't posted this particular video recently.  Most of the insanity herein - from about 1:20 onwards - comes from a single very special episode.  It's not all like that, but the joy of LWA is that when it needs go crazy it goes all the way crazy.  Smash references to Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Castle of Cagliostro together in a single scene?  Sure, why not!



Disclaimer: Look, it's my grandmother's recipe.  Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

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Wednesday, June 02

Geek

Daily News Stuff 2 June 2021

Working Five To Nine Edition

Top Story

  • TSMC is firing on all cylinders.  (AnandTech)

    It's still not enough, but they're also building a bunch of new cylinders.

    6nm production - what they term N6 since the nanometres are imaginary - will match 7nm (N7) this year.  N5 is producing better yields than N7 already, though it is a more complicated process and more expensive to produce.  And N4 will be entering initial production later this year.  N4 is only slightly smaller than N5 but is cheaper to produce, which is a good combination.

    Meanwhile the company outlined its plans for the 3nm and 2nm nodes.  (WCCFTech)

    Fabs (silicon factories) for these advanced nodes are planned for both Taiwan and Arizon, and the company expects to expand overall production at a compound rate of 30% annually.  Though they didn't specify for how long and no-one asked if paperclips were involved.

    Logic circuits are expected to be 70% denser on N3 than on N5.  (WCCFTech)

    But memory circuits will only improve by around 20%.  This is similar to the situation moving from N7 to N5, and it's a major reason why AMD and Intel are both looking at die stacking solutions.  Their CPU cores are getting smaller but their caches aren't, so if they don't seek out novel solutions their chips are going to be cores lost in a sea of RAM.





Anime of the day is Pretty Cure from 2004.  And I have to be very specific about this: Pretty Cure from 2004.

This show is a multi-media juggernaut, with 18 TV seasons to date - and we're talking 45 to 50 episodes each, not short runs - 29 films, 17 video games, and about half a billion dollars a year in merchandise.

The problem - and we should all have such problems - is that the show's producers achieved this by maintaining a laser-like focus on their target audience: Girls aged 6 to 12 (or thereabouts).

Except for that very first season.

Not that the first season doesn't have cute mascots and frilly outfits, but those two girls are infinitely more likely than the later cohorts to mix it up directly with the baddies and get punched clear through an office building.




Tech News


It's All Just a Silly Misunderstanding Officer Anime Music Video of the Day




You Will Believe a Squirrel Can Sing Hololive Music Video of the Day



Give it a moment or you might be fooled into just thinking she has a nice voice.  She's said that she no longer remembers which voice is "really" hers, though the two regular ones are "Risu" and "Ayunda".


Disclaimer: Squirrels, can't trust them, can't build a bridge out of them.

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