CAN I BE OF ASSISTANCE?

Thursday, May 12

Geek

Daily News Stuff 12 May 2022

Blrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Edition

Top Story

  • This is fine.



    Polygon is one the major blockchains we use at my day job. My year started out with it falling apart due to a viral game called Sunflower Farmers, and it's just not getting any better. Trying to move house while working 18 hours a day is not fun.

Tech News

Disclaimer: And double blrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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Wednesday, May 11

Geek

Daily News Stuff 11 May 2022

Whooshing Deadlines Edition

Top Story

  • My hallway is choked with boxes.  I cannot move.  Send help and gluten-free pizza.


  • ICE "now operates as a domestic surveillance agency".  (Engadget)

    Interesting to see this sort of article coming from the mainstream - read liberal - tech press.

    ICE is illegally outsourcing to private companies illegal data collection operations on US citizens that would be illegal for the agency to conduct itself.

    Which makes sense from the never allow a crisis to go to waste perspective; if you deliberately fail to secure the border you create a perpetual reason to monitor the activities of private citizens under the guise of fixing the mess you created.


  • Speaking of surveillance, that page generates 138 cookies across 34 domains.  Do not click.


Tech News

  • So that story about YouTube banning vtubers again.

    What happened was this:

    1. Spammers with R18 avatars flooded the chat of multiple vtubers based in southeast Asia, including some from leading agencies Hololive and Nijisanji.
    2. YouTube didn't block the spam even though it's forbidden.
    3. YouTube didn't ban the bots even though R18 avatars are forbidden.
    4. Some of the streamers had chat visible within their stream, because chat logs are often lost after the stream ends.
    5. The spammers reported the vtubers for R18 content because the spammers R18 avatars were (just barely) visible.
    6. YouTube immediately banned the vtubers because they are retarded.

    The world leaders in applied AI.


  • Oops.




  • Matter is a new standard for smart home and other IOT devices.  How will the industry fuck it up?  (The Verge)

    Shake shake.

    Ask again later.


  • Free speech could doom India's minorities, writes an anonymous idiot.  (ZDNet)
    "By 'free speech,' I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people," [Musk] recently tweeted.

    Sure. But what exactly is free speech?

    He just told you, you imbecile.

  • AMD's new Radeon 6950 XT is here - the last card of the current generation.  (Tom's Hardware)

    At 4k resolution it falls in between Nvidia's 3090 and 3090 Ti; at 1440p and 1080p it's the fastest card around.

    Price-wise it falls in between Nvidia's 3080 and 3080 Ti, making it good value in a strange way.  It's still a very expensive card, but it's not as overpriced as Nvidia's high end.

    If you want ray-tracing it mostly comes in behind the cheaper RTX 3080.  If you want to run workstation graphics it's the fastest current card.  If you want to run Blender it's not, because ray tracing again.

  • Why tech workers on six-figure salaries still feel underpaid.  (Toolbox)

    Well, partly it's the 80 hour weeks.  Partly it's the insane housing prices of cities where high tech industries tend to concentrate.

    But partly also because even those salaries aren't keeping up with inflation.



Disclaimer: And your little doge too.

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Tuesday, May 10

Geek

Daily News Stuff 10 May 2022

It Puts The Books In The Boxes Edition


Top Story


Tech News

  • There's a Girl Genius Kickstarter for the latest volume.  They have a backer tier that gives you a physical copy of every book in the series (20 in all).  Kind of expensive but it's 20 books.

    Except they warn that shipping to Australia is likely to cost more than the books themselves.  Yay.  PDFs it is.


  • YikYak is exposing the live GPS co-ordinates of all its users.  (The Response Times)

    What could possibly go wrong?


  • It may be impossible to de-extinct a species, but let's do it anyway.  (Quanta)

    Only one species has been de-extincted so far, and it wasn't a huge success - the cloned ibex died shortly after being born.

    But if you get a big hairy cold-adapted elephant that has mostly mammoth genes, how much are you going to quibble?  Also it could solve global warming.


  • This early iPodPhone design is actually pretty cool.  (9to5Mac)

    There's a reason Apple went for the all-screen design, but I do like this concept.  The lower half pivots so you can use the click wheel or a keypad.


  • The Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED is kind of neat.  (Liliputing)

    Core i9 12900H (6+8 cores), RTX 3060 graphics, 4K 16" OLED display, 32GB of (soldered) LPDDR5 RAM - I'd prefer SODIMMs but at least it's 32GB and not just 16 - and up to 2TB of SSD.  And the Four Essential Keys and a little dial thingy next to the keypad.


  • The Asus ZenBook Pro 14 Duo is also kind of neat.  (Liliputing)

    It has a 14" main screen - 2880x1800 pixel OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate - and also a second, touch-sensitive screen above the keyboard that is 2880x864.  Also supports the i9-12900H and an RTX 3050 Ti.  Again up to 32GB RAM and 2TB of SSD.  It doesn't have the Four Essential Keys but that's not because they forgot; there is literally nowhere to put them.


  • The Asus Zenbook S 13 isn't too bad either of you don't need a powerhouse system.  (Liliputing)

    It has the brand new Ryzen 6800U, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD, and a 13" 2880x1800 OLED display, and weighs just 1kg.

    None of them are particularly cheap though.



Disclaimer: I will put them on a list, and they'll none of them be missed.

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Monday, May 09

Geek

Daily News Stuff 9 May 2022

Nice Monopoly You Have Here Shame If Something Happened To It Edition

Top Story


Tech News


Disclaimer: 504 Pixy timeout error.

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Sunday, May 08

Geek

Daily News Stuff 8 May 2022

Always Has Been Edition

Top Story

  • Starting to get cooler weather in Sydney - overnight lows around 8C at my old place.  I checked what it was up at the new place, and it was nudging 0C.  So when I move in a couple of weeks it will be straight into winter.


  • We have always been at war with West Taiwan: Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter could face national security scrutiny because Saudia Arabia is rolling its existing 5.2% stake into the private company rather than taking the cash.  (Ars Technica)

    Saudi Arabia is no friend of free speech and regulators are worried that this might lead to bias and censorship on the revived platform.

    Stop laughing.
    Reuters noted that "China blocked Twitter in 2009 but many Chinese officials have been active on the social media platform. Some of them have complained that the company's efforts to restrict misinformation have targeted them unfairly."
    Well, I guess you can laugh a bit.

    Dumb as the article itself is, the comments are downright Orwellian - in the useful idiot sense, rather than the dire warning sense.  The regressive left is panicked over the possibility that their bubble might get punctureed.

Tech News

  • Recycling of plastic doesn't work, particularly when you don't do it.  (Nasdaq)

    California's Attorney General has launched an attack on the petrochemical industry, blaming them for the failure of California's recycling program...  Which doesn't recycle much of anything.

    As reported previously, if you put plastic out for recycling in the US, it most likely gets shipped overseas - because that's cheaper - and dumped in a river rather than processed - because that's cheaper.  It's far better for the environment to dispose of it in a regular landfill.

    Recycling aluminium actually works - you can tell, because they pay you for it rather than charging you to take it away.


  • How to back up your Gmail account.  (ZDNet)

    1. Install a local email program.
    2. Use it.


  • Crypto miners: Menace or just studying algebra?  New mining software bypasses the hash rate limiter on Nvidia graphics cards.  (Tom's Hardware)

    With the ongoing slump in crypto prices this probably won't make graphics cards disappear from the shelves again.  It will probably be something else that causes that.


  • The upcoming Threadripper 7000 range will bring up to 96 Zen 4 cores sometime late next year.  (WCCFTech)

    It's not clear why AMD is delaying workstation chips for a year after server and desktop parts come out, particularly when this release will be close to twice as fast as Threadripper 5000.


  • VPN installations have spiked by 1500% in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.  (Washington Post / MSN)

    The Russian government is trying to stamp out use of VPNs but even China can't keep up with that task and Russia is having even less luck, so an increasing number of Russians are able to access accurate and unbiased reporting from sources like the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times.


Disclaimer: I said stop laughing!

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Saturday, May 07

Geek

Daily News Stuff 7 May 2022

Down Is The New Up Edition

Top Story

  • Xbox is was down.  (Bleeping Computer)

    It looks like it came back online just minutes ago, after about 11 hours during which you couldn't play games you owned on the console you owned because the truth is, you don't.


Tech News

  • QNAP.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Again.  Though this one seems specific to its security video systems and not to its generic NAS devices.


  • I have 100,000 unread emails.  What do?  (ZDNet)

    The answer is "declare email bankruptcy" and archive all of them.


  • Conjunction disfunction: These five magic words crash Google Docs.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The five words were And.  Type that five times in a row - And.  And.  And.  And.  And.  And. - with grammar suggestions turned on, and and and and and splat.

    Sadly it seems to have been fixed now.


  • Apple's M1 and A14 CPUs have a speculative prefetch bug similar to Spectre and Meltdown.  (Tom's Hardware)

    In theory this could allow Javascript running in a hostile web page to read the entire memory contents of your Mac - and possibly your iPhone too.


  • You wouldn't buy a book, would you?  (Ars Technica)

    Well, now you can't.  The Kindle app for Android currently allows you to purchase Kindle books right in the app with a single click - great if you're reading through a series, because it shows up when you get to the last page.

    That's going away because Google wants a cut.  Instead you'll have to open Amazon in your browser.


  • Amazon is planning to spend $12 billion on five new datacenters in Oregon.  (The Register)

    This is expected to create 600 local jobs - which is not a lot.  Most of the complicated stuff is done remotely; the local staff are responsible for putting things in racks and then taking them out again a few years later.


  • Intel will be bringing back high-end desktop systems with Sapphire Rapids.  (WCCFTech)

    Based on the current Alder Lake cores, but with more of them - up to 24 on the mainstream range, and up to 56 cores per socket - and two sockets - on the expert range.  Clock speeds up to 5GHz, DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5 I/O, and TDPs up to 500W.

    Time to get that 2000W power supply.

    Expected in Q3 this year, which is not that far off.


Disclaimer: I'm gonna sing the doom song now.

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Friday, May 06

Geek

Daily News Stuff 6 May 2022

Build Your Own Europe Edition

Top Story

  • Elon Musk is not going it alone on his buyout of Twitter - Larry Ellison of Oracle is among the takeover backers chipping in a few billion.  (Ars Technica)

    Ellison is of course just wildly popular with the kind of person panicking at the possibility of the wrong kind of people being permitted to speak, for example:
    Fuck all of those guys.
    Or:
    Funny how the most hated of Silicon Valley are in this deal. I wonder id they got trolled too much and are trying to get even.

    The only Twitter I read is from reporters so I have no idea first hand knowledge of how Musk and Ellison were treated.
    Clearly an expert opinion, as is this:
    Libertarian billionaires. Just the people we want controlling social media. /s
    This, but unironically.


Tech News



Disclaimer: You can't get the wood, you know.

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Thursday, May 05

Geek

Daily News Stuff 5 May 2022

Land Of A Thousand Hour Weeks Edition

Top Story

  • If you're running the brand new Chrome version 100 upgrade to 101 right now.  (TechSpot)

    Chrome 100 has 29 security vulnerabilities, six of them considered serious.


Tech News

Disclaimer: You want to hear about the cow story?  I told the cow story.

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Wednesday, May 04

Geek

Daily News Stuff 4 May 2022

Wormhole Extreme Edition

Top Story

  • Chinese state hackers are targeting the Russian government.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Yes, and everyone else on the planet as well, but it's worth noting that China and Russia are not allies.  At best they momentarily share some of the same enemies.

    China has also been caught hacking Ukraine.  Not sure if Russia has been caught recently hacking China, but I have no doubt they are doing so.

Tech News

  • AMD has confirmed the rumoured Dragon Range laptop CPU due next year.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This will be a Zen 4 chip for high-end gaming laptops - probably with 16 cores.

    Intel already has 16 core parts but those are 8 performance cores plus 8 much slower efficiency cores.  The AMD design will have 16 performance cores.


  • Speaking of high-end gaming laptops the Gigabyte Aero 16 is one.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Well, sort of.  It has a Core i7 12700H and an Nvidia 3070 Ti (Max-Q) which are good but not top-of-the-line parts, but it also has a 3840x2400 OLED display, dual RAM slots, dual M.2 slots, dual Thunderbolt 4 ports, and the Four Essential Keys.

    It's about 20% faster single-threaded than my Dell Inspiron 16 Plus, but unfortunately costs twice as much in Australia.  I'm in no hurry to upgrade.

    (The Inspiron 16 Plus doesn't have dedicated keys for the FEK, but it has a numeric keypad which does double duty.)


  • The 3080 Ti is selling at MSRP.  (Tom's Hardware)

    A mere $1200.

    For a card that will be obsolete in a few months.


  • Axios is garbage.  (Axios)

    In their why free speech is bad article, they note that without some moderation, social networks die.  But they also make it very clear that they are arguing in bad faith:
    Why it matters: Even much smaller social networks that aimed to minimize content moderation have found that an "anything goes if it's legal" policy quickly devolves into a miasma of violence, spam, fraud and bullying.
    Speech is violence and violence is speech.


  • Overshooting the target: NASA requires the Artemis Moon lander to be able to deliver a payload of 865kg to the lunar surface; SpaceX's Starship can deliver 100 tons.  (Ars Technica)

    That completely changes what is possible for future Moon missions.  Just shove everything and the kitchen sink onto the rocket; it doesn't matter if it turns out you don't need it.


Disclaimer: Just remember not to pack the car keys.  Yes, I did that once.

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Tuesday, May 03

Geek

Daily News Stuff 3 May 2022

What's The Absolute Worst That Could Happen Edition

Top Story

Tech News


Disclaimer: And on the eleventh hand, banning cryptography means banning arithmetic.

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