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Thursday, July 22


Daily News Stuff 22 July 2022

Short And Sour Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: What has four wheels and flies?  A broken HP Laserjet.  I don't know why, it just does.

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Daily News Stuff 21 July 2021

Well, That Happened Edition

Top Story

  • Ace went down due to a lost IP address - it just up and vanished from the container.  But all I had to do was put it back and things were fine.

    This server went down for almost the same reason - if I bind the IP that was used for the websites (separate from the main host IP) the host blinks in and out of existence.

    No idea why.  It's been running fine for years.  The host hasn't even been rebooted for three years, though the containers have.

    But that meant I couldn't log in to the host - or if I did log in, I didn't stay that way for very long.  And in the ensuing reboots we suffered some index corruption, and that required a repair, and that segfaulted.  Fun all the way down.

    Some of the individual sites might still be down, but all the data is intact and they'll be back soon.  And as I learned just now, the twice-daily backups do in fact work.

  • Windows local privilege escalation vulnerability of the day.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Yes, another one.

Tech News

  • Amazon's new game New World kills the RTX 3090.  (Tom's Hardware)

    And I don't mean that it runs slowly even on the fastest graphics card you can get.  I mean it kills the RTX 3090 specifically.  Or certain models of it.

    Good luck getting a warranty replacement right now.

  • Crystal has hit 1.1.  (Crystal)

    Not a huge amount of changes in this version, but they tried to get all the breaking changes in before 1.0, so that's exactly what they wanted.  Full Windows support is still pending.

  • China breached 13 US oil and gas pipeline operators between 2011 and 2013.  (Bleeping Computer)

    And we're only hearing about it now.

  • The EU plans to ban arithmetic.  (BBC)

    They want to ban anonymous crypto wallets, but all a wallet is on many blockchains is a very, very large number that's hard to guess.

  • Fuck systemd.  (ZDNet)

    Trying to escape all the Windows vulnerabilities by moving to Linux?  Too bad, now you have systemd vulnerabilities instead.

Disclaimer: Let's not do this again real soon.

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Tuesday, July 20


Daily News Stuff 20 July 2021

That Was The Week That Wasn't Edition

Top Story

  • Facebook is not killing people, says Facebook President Joe Biden.  (CNBC)

    With additional reporting by Journalists for Censorship representative Kara Swisher.

    Facebook responded angrily to Biden's earlier remarks, with a company spokesperson insisting that Facebook's death toll for June had been the lowest in several years, and warning that the President's behaviour had been flagged as "problematic".

Anime of the day is Ryouko's Case File from 2008.  It's a supernatural police procedural: Ryouko Yakushiji is a police officer specialising in weird and disturbing cases, the weirder and disturbinger the better.

It's a little like X Files if Mulder and Scully were a single character, but only a little because the supernatural events don't hide themselves conveniently away to allow room for skepticism.  People go splat, quite publicly.

Tech News

Disclaimer: It goes bang, and you go splat.

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Monday, July 19


Daily News Stuff 19 July 2021

Print On Demand Edition

Top Story

  • A critical vulnerability in the Windows Print Spooler lets a sneaky hacker take over your machine.  (Bleeping Computer)

    No, not that one.  And not that one either.  Yes, this is yet another problem with Windows printing.

    In this case, if the attacker can set up a Trojan Horse printer on the network, it can follow the flow upstream and get system-level access to any PC that sends it a print file.  The printer tells the PC that it needs to install a specific driver, and the PC simply obeys.

    This one is unlikely to happen on a properly managed network.  If you're letting random people wander about the office plugging in strange devices, you're going to have problems no matter how secure your operating system might be.

Anime of the day is Brigadoon, from 2000.  It's the story of Marin, the quintessential "genki girl", and Melan, a weird flying alien robot thingy that lives in a bottle.

One thing that makes it stand out is that it's set in Tokyo the late 60s.  Most anime is set in the present day, or the future, or some interesting historical period like the Tokugawa shogunate.  Others - Akanesasu Shoujo or Ano Natsu de Matteru - are set just long enough ago that ubiquitous smartphones don't immediately derail the plot.

This one does have combat and fires and explosions and the like, but it's not about the combat and fires and explosions.  They're just the things Marin and Melan have to work through to get to the real story.  And to save the world.

Apparently there's an English-language dub, but word on the street is to avoid it like bottled anthrax.

Tech News

  • Prior art: Amelia Watson's BubbaBot.  (TorrentFreak)

    The idea is neat: Rather than playing copyrighted music over your YouTube or Twitch stream and lose your account, have a synchronised playlist people can play on Spotify or some similar service.

    It's so neat that people are already doing it.  Amelia Watson from Hololive calls hers BubbaBot after her dog.  (She has two dogs and two cats and some sort of perpetual hiccup condition, so her streams are...  Entertaining.)

  • Against SQL.  (Scattered Thoughts)

    SQL is a general purpose language for expressing the manipulation of relational data.  What it is not is nice to use.  The Progress 4GL - now OpenEdge - solved many of these issues 30 years ago.  It was one of the first programming languages I used for an actual job (the very first was Basic), and I still miss it.

    Not its performance though.  It was dog slow.

  • The Cytron Maker Pi RP2040 is a Pi Pico with a swarm of Grove - and other - connectors for ten bucks.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The Pi Pico is pretty neat but you pretty much have to solder t into your project.  This is much more tinker-friendly, with a total of ten sockets for connecting sensors, motors, and other widgets for robotics projects.

  • Inserting a billion rows into SQLite in under a minute.*  (

    The * is because it's a work in progress; currently achieving 100 million inserts in 34 seconds.  On a 2019 MacBook Pro, which is not a bad system but is maybe half the speed of a current high-end laptop.

Disclaimer: Do not taint Happy Fun Ball.

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Sunday, July 18


Daily News Stuff 18 July 2021

Why Though Edition

Top Story

Anime of the day is Sakura Quest from 2017.  It's the story of Yoshino, a princess who returns as an adult to the kingdom she left as a child, after the populace begs her to become queen and restore the country's failing economy.

Only...  It turns out they were thinking of someone else and she got the job by mistake.

It's a really well-crafted slice of life show.  Relatively few explosions here, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

There's no OVA, no movie, no spin-offs for this one, but none are needed.  The story begins at the beginning and goes on until the end.

Tech News

  • HP makes some nice laptops that fit my needs perfectly.  Four essential keys, 4K displays, 8 core Intel or AMD CPUs, dedicated graphics, upgradeable memory.  A fully-upgraded Envy 15 for example runs about $2400.

    In Australia the best I can get is last year's model, in just one configuration, at A$6000 - close to $4500.

    Because fuck you, that's why.

  • Lenovo's new  Yoga AIO 7 will feature Radeon 6600M graphics.  (WCCFTech)

    With a 4K screen - that even pivots to vertical if you want - covering 99% of DCI-P3, and an 8 core AMD laptop CPU, it looks like it could be a great replacement for my aging twin Dell Inspiron 27s.  And with laptop components replacing the desktop parts it should run cool and quiet.

    Can I actually get one in Australia?  Or even last year's model?

    Don't be silly.

  • AMD will be launching Epyc Genoa parts with integrated HBM (high bandwidth memory) unless they won't.  (WCCFTech)

    This is aimed at upcoming Intel CPUs which are in turn aimed at the supercomputer market.

    The article also mentions the reason for the confusion as to whether next-gen Epyc CPUs would have 96 or 128 cores is that the answer is yes.  Genoa models will go up to 96 cores, and Bergamo up to 128.  Same socket and same CPU chiplets, just more of them squeezed in on Bergamo.

    There are also stacked-cache versions coming of both of those, and the upcoming Chagall Zen 3 Threadrippers as well, so up to 1.5GB just of cache on the highest-end parts.

  • A review of the great UK Post Office "embezzlement" debacle.  (ACM)

    700 Post Office workers were prosecuted because of a buggy accounting system.
    They were sentenced based on evidence from an IT system, which... ehhh... to be honest, we don't actually know what that IT system did, except we know it did it really, really badly.
    The article argues for IT review boards similar to those for plane crashes, and while I'm against new government agencies generally, when a public system fails this badly, I support the idea of an equally public tarring and feathering.

  • Installing z/OS on your laptop.  (Colin Paice)

    Step 1: Fork over $5000 for a single-user developer license.
    Step 2: Wait two weeks for your USB security key to arrive.
    Step 3: Wonder why you didn't just go with BSD.

  • Hello Kitty is attacking SonicWall.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Even the US government is now heeding my advice: Unplug that shit now.

  • Google has extended its deadline for forcing apps to use their in-house payment processing for all in-app purchases after getting hit with an anti-trust lawsuit over exactly that sort of shit.  (

    Note that Apple does this already.

  • Fascism is the marriage of government and corporate power to produce a single authoritarian entity.

    Not all marriages run smooth, though.  (The Verge)
    Reached for comment, a Facebook representative defended the platform’s record of fighting vaccine misinformation. "We will not be distracted by accusations which aren’t supported by the facts,” said a Facebook spokesperson. "The fact is that more than 2 billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 and vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place on the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine.”

    "The facts show that Facebook is helping save lives,” the spokesperson continued. "Fuck you, Joe, you senile old bastard.  We made you.  We can unmake you.  Don't print that.”

  • Rumours of our doom are greatly exaggerated.  (IEEE Spectrum)

    We might not be about to be wiped out by climate change after all.  Huh.  Who'da thunk.  I mean, except everyone.

  • The Freedom Phone is an Umidigi A9 hastily rebadged.  (PC Magazine)

    And marked up 300%.

    Yeah, the guy who wrote the article is an asshole, but so is the guy hawking fake phones.

Audits Don't Work So It's Time to Audit the Audit Video of the Day

The squeaky wheel gets the audit.

Sashimi Clip of Kiara Reacting to a Sashimi Clip of Calli and Gura Reacting to Kiara Reacting to Calli and Gura Wrecking Her Minecraft Village Video of the Day

I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I got it I DON'T GOT IT!

Disclaimer: No, seriously, why?

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Saturday, July 17


Daily News Stuff 17 July 2021

Ban All The Things Edition

Top Story

  • Google has banned distributing what they deem to be "content that deceives, misleads or confuses users" - on Google Docs.

    Yeah, they're watching you, you and your sneaky words.

    Top comment on Hacker News is from a Google employee who now loathes the company.  

  • Oh, and when they ban you and your sneaky words - probably for telling the truth - the federal government expects the rest of Big Tech to follow suit.

  • But they're totally not fascists, because fascism is the other guys.

Anime of the day is Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions from 2012.  Chunibyo means second-year disease and it's a term for teenagers who develop strange obsessions in their second year of middle school, and that is writ large with these kids.

The saving grace - and the reason this series is great rather than unbearable - is that it examines why these particular teenagers developed their strange obsessions, rather than just acting them out for 12 episodes.  

You need to get through the first episode before the signs of something deeper appear, but it's worth the effort.

After the original 12 episode TV run, there's an OVA episode, then a film, then another 12 episode TV series, then another OVA episode, then another film.

You can skip the first film if you want - it retells the first TV series from a different perspective - but you shouldn't skip the OVA episodes.  I did and I got rather confused, because they're continuity, not just filler.

Oh, and I chose an AMV to present this one rather than the opening credits, because I don't much like the opening credits.

Tech News

  • Oberon+ is a cross-platform Oberon compiler and IDE.  (GitHub)

    It compiles down to LuaJIT bytecode rather than native code, which is fine by me.  LuaJIT is a work of art in the compiler space and it makes total sense for smaller projects to reuse it.

  • A closer look at Threadripper Pro.  (AnandTech)

    Threadripper Pro starts at 16 cores for $1150, vs. $800 for a 16 core Ryzen.  And the cores are slower (though the base clock is higher).

    On the other hand, you get 120 PCIe lanes instead of 20, 8 memory channels instead of 2, and a maximum of 2TB of RAM compared to 128GB.  So if your work depends on any of that it's not a particularly costly option.

    The motherboards are certainly more expensive than even a top-of-the-line Ryzen board, but you get up to 7 PCIe x16 slots, dual 10GbE ports, up to 16 SATA ports, and official rather than just unofficial ECC support.

  • Speaking of unofficial ECC support, unbuffered ECC DDR4-3200 modules seem to be readily available for about 25% more than non-ECC.  So if I do build a new system this year it will be AMD with ECC RAM.  Easily worth the extra hundred bucks on 64GB of RAM.

  • More details on the Steam Deck.  (PC Perspective)

    One thing not on the specs list but reported by Linus Tech Tips is that the storage is user-upgradeable.  You'll need an M.2 2230 drive - the smallest size available.  Regular drives are 2280, meaning 22x80mm.  A quick look around only showed 128GB drives, though and the next size up, 2242, you can easily get 2TB.

    There will also be a dock coming so you can plug it into monitors and keyboards and such.  Personally I'd prefer a 1080p screen, but the GPU isn't really up to 1080p gaming on recent titles, and people would complain.

  • Oh, and while it's called the Steam Deck, it supports other app stores too.  (WCCFTech)

    It's an open PC running Linux with a gaming compatibility layer, and you can do whatever the hell you want with it.  In fact, it's so open that some games won't run because they have embedded anti-cheating measures depending on locked-down hardware.

  • NASA dug yet another C64 out of the garage and got the Hubble working again.  (Science)

    One of the onboard computers failed.  They have multiple backup systems, but after switching to a backup they still got the same error, and couldn't work out why.

    Turns out that two of the onboard computers have failed.  Good thing there are four of them.

  • There was a remote execution vulnerability in Cloudflare's CDNJS.  (Bleeping Computer)

    There was a bug in the handling of build scripts that could have compromised 12% of all the world's websites.

    More generally, build scripts for interpreted / JIT-compiled languages are cancer.

  • Sea walls might simply make floods someone else's problem, study suggests.  (Ars Technica)

    The oldest known standing wall is in Theopetra Cave in Greece, and dates to around 23,000 BC.  Scientists, meanwhile, are just now figuring out that the entire purpose of walls is to make problems happen somewhere else.

  • Pocket Casts - the podcast app - has been bought by Automattic, which runs WordPress and the ashes of what used to be Tumblr.  (The Verge)

    I like Pocket Casts and used it for years before half of the podcasts I listened to got eaten by brain worms.  But it's also been losing money for years - not a lot of money, but consistently in the red.

    So I hope this works out for them.

Totally Not Fascism Video of the Day

Yes, this looks like fascism, but it's not, because you're being censored by the good guys.

And you know they're the good guys because they said so.

I mean, if anyone disagreed with them, the news would be all over the place, right?

Disclaimer: The difference between the Democrats and the Nazis is the Nazis only needed one Reichstag Fire.

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Friday, July 16


Daily News Stuff 16 July 2021

Racist Fish Lips Edition

Top Story

  • It's not censorship if it's a private company, say the communists, who have all  somehow simultaneously seized upon a new talking point.

    Yes, it's Gleen Grennwald, and I haven't forgotten his history.  But I have to give him credit for announcing that the emperor's pants are on fire when the emperor's pants are, in fact, on fire.

    At this point every country in the world should either be banning American Big Tech, shaking them down for cash, or both.  Australia has so far gone for the shakedown route.  I'd prefer an outright ban, but at least it's something.

Tech News

Steamy Video of the Day

A closer look at the new Steam Deck.

Disclaimer: Error 40404: File not found not found.

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Thursday, July 15


Daily News Stuff 15 July 2021

Free Disclaimer Edition

Top Story

  • How the Kaseya hack - that led to at least 1500 companies being hit with ransomware - went down.

    Short answer: These people are idiots.

  • China has been caught hacking hundreds of government systems across Southeast Asia.  (Bleeping Computer)

    With a particular focus on the Philippines.

    Apparently this particular plague spreads via USB devices, just like the good old days with floppy disks.

  • In completely unrelated news Microsoft just patched 117 vulnerabilities.  (Bleeping Computer)

    That does include their server platform and applications, not just Windows, but still.

  • Side note: Anyone who thinks I am bigoted against Apple is simply not paying attention.  I hate everyone.

    Well, sometimes not AMD.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Long answer is...  These people are idiots.  And I was born with the long paws.

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Wednesday, July 14


Daily News Stuff 14 July 2021

Proudly Part Of The 83% Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Not At All Tech News

  • You know, apart from the fact that I have less than no free time, I don't mind this at all.

    I wondered why Nijisanji entered the booming Japan-based / English-language vtuber space with only three team members.  Answer is they selected six from the first round of auditions earlier this year, but launched them in two waves so that the first three could establish themselves and not get lost in the noise.

    Wave 2 - they're collectively called Obsydia, where Wave 1 is called LazuLight - all have over 10,000 subscribers just hours after the announcement and days before debut.  Those aren't Hololive numbers, but nobody does Hololive numbers.

Disclaimer: Really.

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Tuesday, July 13


Daily News Stuff 13 July 2021

Mining All The Crafts Second Edition Edition

Top Story

  • The death toll from the massive Bat Flu outbreak that has paralysed Sydney and most of the state of New South Wales rose sharply overnight.

    To two.

  • AMD's Threadripper 5000 is expected to launch in August.  (WCCFTech)

    This upgrades the platform from Zen 2 and PCIe 3.0 to Zen 3 and PCIe 4.0, and also doubles the size of the L3 cache.

    This should provide a healthy performance boost for the 24 and 32 core models, but judging by the new Epyc CPUs the high-end 64 core models will be thermally constrained and won't do much better than the older parts.

  • Speaking of being thermally constrained, my PC just overheated and crashed because it forgot to spin up its fan.  So I get to type all this in again.

Anime of the day is Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid from 2017.  It's the story of Kobayashi, a horribly overworked Python programmer, who gets drunk one night and pulls a sword out of a dragon and invites it to come stay at her place.

Which it does.

Chaos ensues.  But it's the very best chaos.  Hand-picked artisanal chaos from the ancient chaos fields of the Andes.

Tech News

Getting Alone Anime Music Video of the Day

I've posted this one before, but it's good enough to bear another watch.

Disclaimer: Unless the government gets involved, then all bets are off.

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