The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.

Sunday, December 31


Daily News Stuff 31 December 2023

Year's End Edition

Top Story

  • Disney, Warner, Comcast, and Paramount are contemplating cost-cutting and mergers as losses mount in their streaming services.  (Ars Technica)

    But not, so far as I can tell, giving much thought to making content people want to watch.

    Amazon is propped up by the river of money flowing from AWS - and oh boy di I have a rant there - so they won't feel the same pain until Jeff Bezos decides he wants that money for something else.  When the axe finally swings there, it will be swift and brutal.

    Plus they have a wide selection of old content that you can get access to for a few bucks a month.  I think it's A$5 to get MGM's entire back catalogue on Prime Video, which is how I'm watching Stargate.  When I'm done, I just cancel that and pick up a channel with something else.

    Or just watch Hololive.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Farewell, 2023.  Or rather, get out, and stay out.

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Saturday, December 30


Daily News Stuff 30 December 2023

Bambeezled Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Nvidia is going all-out to compete with AMD's Radeon 7800 XT.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Except on price, which is probably going to render their efforts irrelevant in the gaming market.

  • Remember that program that could determine whether any unsigned 32-bit integer was even or odd?  Now there's a version that works for 64-bit integers.  (GitHub)

    This one cheats slightly.  Rather than having a separate check for each possible value, the developers pre-computed the result for every possible input and saved the results to a file.

    Then they compressed that file.


    Reducing it from around two million terabytes to 13 kilobytes.

  • Don't ask why, just accept it.

  • In a similar vein, here's a fully-automated Christmas checker.  (XKCD)

    99.73% accurate, which is even better than the prime number checker.

  • Should we upgrade to M3 MacBooks?  (Incident)

    I don't know, let's throw a bunch of poorly-understood numbers into ChatGPT and see what it says.

    ChatGPT says yes!

    Also that it's an Amazon Affiliate but that in no way coloured its decision.

Disclaimer: Dad!  There's another dead clown on the roof!

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Friday, December 29


Daily News Stuff 29 December 2023

Scrubbidi Server Edition

Top Story

  • The New York Times is suing OpenAI and Microsoft over copyright infringement by ChatGPT and Copilot.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This suit seems more substantive than some earlier ones, with examples showing that ChatGPT will reproduce large chunks of NYT articles word-for-word.

    Where the case falls down is the NYT's attempt to paint itself as, if not a paragon of virtue, at least a public good, when the organisation is the editorial equivalent of pancreatic cancer, if pancreatic cancer were communicable.

    It's no real surprise that ChatGPT does this, of course.  It's yet another weakness of building a language model rather than a fact model.  Facts cannot be copyrighted.

Tech News

Disclaimer: You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Thursday, December 28


Daily News Stuff 28 December 2023

I Of The Apple Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Who let the smoke out?

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Wednesday, December 27


Daily News Stuff 27 December 2023

Apple Of The I Edition

Top Story

  • If you were looking to buy the latest Apple Watch Series 9 or Ultra 2, you can't.  (Tech Crunch)

    I can.  I don't want to, but I can.  But you can't.

    It's been banned from sale in the US (though not Australia) over claimed patent infringement involving the light-based pulse oximetry sensor.  Apple could just take the pulse oximeter out - I'm not sure how many people care about that - but until they do, or until they make headway in their appeal, they can't sell the device in the US.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with that.  Except for all of the things wrong with that.  Which is a lot.

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Tuesday, December 26


Daily News Stuff 26 December 2023

You Can't Compete With Free Edition

Top Story

  • Today only, The Outer Worlds is free on the Epic Games Store.  (WCCFTech)

    I was looking forward to this, and was quite irked when Epic snapped it up as an exclusive title, and never got around to buying it.

    And now I don't have to.

    This edition includes the two DLC packs, so you get everything.  For free.

Tech News

  • Things to fix when setting up a new Windows PC.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Step One: Remove fucking McAfee.

  • Many prehistoric handprints show a missing finger.  What if this was not accidental?  (The Guardian)

    On the other hand, what if it was?  Prehistoric circular saws did not have safety guards.

  • The life and death of open source.  (Pocoo)

    Many 3D printer companied released their software as open source.  This may now be changing, because new competitors are taking those open source programs and using them without giving anything back.

    Because you can't beat free.

Disclaimer: Except maybe with a stick.

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Monday, December 25


Daily News Stuff 25 December 2023

Meepy Creepmas Edition

Top Story

  • What kind of bubble is AI?  (Locus)

    Obviously it's a bubble, but is it the kind that leaves some value behind after the fires die down, or is it the kind where you just have to eat your losses and maybe your children?

    Image-generation AI suggests the former; textual AI suggests the latter.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Merry Christmas to all, and may replication lag in your MongoDB clusters not unexpectedly trigger flow control and jam up your entire application at one of the busiest times of the year.

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Sunday, December 24


Daily News Stuff 24 December 2023

Night Before Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Star Wars as You've Never Seen It Before Video of the Day

Don't say I never do anything to you.

For you. I mean, for you.

Disclaimer: No I don't.

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Saturday, December 23


Daily News Stuff 23 December 2023

On Second Thought Edition

Top Story

  • Sony has decided it will not be removing Discovery Channel content that its customers had "bought" on the PlayStation Network.  (Notebook Check)

    Of course, if they can remove it, you haven't bought it.

    Streaming content licenses are rarely perpetual, which means that content "bought" on secondary platforms can vanish at any time.  That's bad enough if the secondary platform offers refunds, but Sony didn't even bother to do that.

    This is why the studios want to destroy physical media.  Already Disney has stopped shipping Blu-Rays or DVDs to Australia.

    Which is no loss for Disney's current offerings, but their back catalog is a different matter.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Or rather it is news, but not new.

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Friday, December 22


Daily News Stuff 22 December 2023

Parawhat Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Benchmark results have leaked for AMD's upcoming 8700G CPU.  (WCCFTech)

    This is the desktop version of the chip currently used in a range of laptop parts like the 7840U, 7940HS, and the Z1 Extreme found in the Asus ROG Ally mobile gaming device.

    Juggling some benchmark numbers it looks like this will be 6% slower than the existing Ryzen 7700 - both being 8 core parts - but much faster for integrated graphics, the 8700G having 12 graphics cores against just 2 on the 7700.

    Like the 7700 it's a 65W model; there will also be a 35W version, though it's likely you'll be able to manually configure the power consumption up and down just like existing Ryzen 7000 desktop chips.

  • Trust no-one.  (SEC Consult)

    Did that email really come from  I mean, yes, in this particular case it did, because they were notifying my that my package had arrived and indeed it was sitting right there at my door.

    But they are also one of a vast number of domains that appear to be vulnerable to the latest email address spoofing attack.

    SMTP - the protocol that has been used to deliver email for more than forty years, is a very simple text-based standard.  The problem here is that text is itself not simple.  SMTP processes one line of text at a time, but there is no universally accepted way to mark the end of a line of text, and most mail servers accept what are technically invalid lines of text in order to work with broken mail applications.

    This new hack exploits that to insert SMTP commands in the middle of an email, in such a way that they are processed as commands instead of just being part of the email body.

    Very sneaky.

    Time for everyone to switch to JMAP.

  • Midjourney has released version 6 of their AI image generation engine.  (Venture Beat)

    Last time I played with it, they had just announced version 3.

  • Intel is making a lot of noise about the AI hardware on its new Meteor Lake laptop chips, because other than that they kind of suck.  (Tom's Hardware)

    And in two out of four of Intel's carefully selected benchmarks, the AI hardware does indeed produce worthwhile speed improvements.

    On the other two...  AMD wins by a significant margin just using the regular CPU cores.


  • Should California ban paraquat?  (LA Times)  (archive site)

    I don't know.  Maybe.  The link to Parkinson's disease is unproven, but the stuff is toxic as hell, and is presently only made by a single company owned by the CCP.

    On the other hand it kills weeds real good and breaks down in the soil so it doesn't accumulate.

    Anyway, paraquat sounds like the name of an exotic herbal liqueur only produced in the Canary Islands with the unique property that mixed drinks made from it retain the original 160 proof, no matter what you mix it with.

Disclaimer: The entire Atlantic Ocean turned into a salty cocktail today after a bartender in Spain spilled a bottle of Paraquat.  Tourists are warned to stay away from coastal areas until the fish "sober up".

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