Meet you back here in half an hour.
What are you going to do?
What I always do - stay out of trouble... Badly.

Wednesday, December 05


Daily News Stuff 5 December 2018

Tech News

  • All of AMD's desktop plans for 2019 may have just leaked.  (WCCFTech)

    Yes, WCCFTech, but also at Reddit and AdoredTV, so two independent sources that agree on most of the details.  And none of it is prima facie implausible.

    Summary of the leaked CPUs:

     Part  Cores  Clock  TDP  Price
     3300  6  3.2 / 4.0  50W
     3300X  6  3.5 / 4.3  65W  $129
     3300G  6 + 15 CU  3.0 / 3.8  65W  $129
     3600  8  3.6 / 4.4  65W  $179
     3600X  8  4.0 / 4.8  95W  $229
     3600G  8 + 20 CU  3.2 / 4.0  95W  $199
     3700  12  3.8 / 4.6  95W  $299
     3700X  12  4.2 / 5.0  105W  $329
     3800X  16  3.9 / 4.7  125W  $449
     3850X  16  4.3 / 5.1  135W  $499

    All the parts have SMT, so 6 cores means 12 threads, and so on.  The G series parts are APUs with built-in graphics, so the 3300G has 6 CPU cores + 15 GPU cores (called CU, for compute units).  The current 2400G has 4 CPU cores and 11 CU, and the Radeon 560 card has 16 CU, so that's a significant upgrade.

    The low-end 6 and 8 core parts (low-end!) have one of the new CPU chiplets. The APU parts have a CPU chiplet and a GPU chiplet, and the high-end parts have two CPU chiplets.  The new design lets AMD mix and match without having to design and test new dies.

    The CPUs are expected to be announced at CES in January (where AMD CEO Lisa Su has the keynote), except the 3850X which is believed to be a special 50th Anniversary limited edition and will arrive in May.  The APUs will be along in the second half of next year.

    The 3800X and 3850X may need updated motherboards as they exceed the power specs for the AM4 socket.  There will be a new X570 chipset as well.

    There are new graphics cards coming as well, but information on those is scant.  If you want all the details, watch this video.

  • Nvidia's Titan RTX is a bigger and more expensive RTX 2080 Ti.  (AnandTech)

    Not a lot faster except for the AI performance which is clearly artificially limited on the consumer graphics cards.  But double the memory - 24GB vs 11GB - which could be a big win for heavy processing tasks.

  • Razer has updated the Razer Blade Stealth with crappy dedicated graphics to replace the crappy integrated graphics.  (AnandTech)

    Really, it's intended to use an external GPU over Thunderbolt.  The Nvidia MX150 just makes it suck a little less when being used on the go.

  • Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 855.  (Fudzilla)

    Details: It's designed by Qualcomm and is called the Snapdragon 855.  Yeah, not much of an announcement really.

Social Media News

Bees and Puppycat of the Day

That's the complete run so far, in two convenient bundles.  The second bundle runs a little over an hour, so get some snacks, maybe a drink.

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Tuesday, December 04


Daily News Stuff 4 December 2018

Tech News

  • Intel's i9-9900K (and other members of the "9th generation") have hardware updates to patch Spectre and Meltdown.  Do they improve performance over the earlier software patches?  No.  (AnandTech)

  • LG's Gram 17 is a 17" notebook that weighs less than 3 pounds.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It has a 2560x1600 display, which is not bad.  4k would be better, but 2560x1600 at 17" is about the same as 1920x1080 at 13".  I have a notebook that size with that resolution (a few years old now) and it's fine.  You can tell it's not "retina" but only if you stop and look.  And the return of 16:10 is welcome.

  • Quora, the question-and-answer site that demanded you register with an email and password to use it, got hacked and leaked all those emails and passwords.  For 100 million people.  (Tech Crunch)

    The passwords were encrypted, so there's that.  And your email address leaked years ago.

  • The return of the return of 24 cores and I can't move my mouse.

    That can't-move-my-mouse thing happens to me sometimes, though I only have 8 cores.  I use Chrome very heavily, so I should go back to the previous articles and check if this has something to do with it.

  • Sigh.  It's Sir Tony.  You use the given name, not the surname.

  • AMD's EPYC 7371 is the fastest 16 core server CPU.  (Serve the Home)

    Basically they gave the 16 core model the same power budget as the 32 core model, and used that to crank up the clock speeds. 

    Rome will do much better at this game.  Firstly because of the 7nm process, which is faster and uses less power.  But also because with Naples - current generation EPYC - every chip needs 12 active Infinity Fabric links, which use up a lot of that power budget.  (AnandTech)  A 16 core Rome chip only needs two - one for each 8 core chiplet.

  • Spam comes to your printer.  (Bleeping Computer)

  • Australia's garbage internet insecurity legislation now has bipartisan support.  (ZDNet)

    We had one senator who understood computer security, and he was a Green, and anyway he's gone following that foreign citizenship kerfuffle that eventually embroiled half our federal government.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day

That's rarely a good sign.  Art by Pat Presley.

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Monday, December 03


Daily News Stuff 3 December 2018

Tech News

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Why do cats meow?  Because if they let on they could talk we'd make them buy their own tuna.

Picture of the Day

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll get an otter." Now they have two problems.

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Had a memory leak that sideswiped the Redis cache.  Fixed now.

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Sunday, December 02


Daily News Stuff 2 December 2018

Tech News

  • Ryzen 3000 and the X570 chipset look set to deliver PCIe 4.0 to the desktop.  (WCCFTech)

    On the one hand, yeah, WCCFTech.  On the other hand, AMD themselves have said that Zen 2 includes PCIe 4.0 support, so this is the least unlikely rumour they've ever published.

    This is still on the AM4 socket, though you won't get PCIe 4.0 support on existing motherboards.  It just means that new CPUs will work on older motherboards (with a BIOS update) and old CPUs will work on new motherboards (but only provide PCIe 3.0 speeds).

    A new socket is likely to appear in 2020 with the arrival of DDR5 RAM.

    One of the few real constraints with Ryzen desktop CPUs is they only have 24 PCIe lanes.  PCIe 4.0 will effectively double that, at least once PCIe 4.0 video cards roll out.

  • Florida-based hosting provider Hivelocity has acquired Texas-based Incero.  This adds Dallas and Seattle locations to their existing network in Miami and Tampa, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta.

    All my servers are hosted with Incero, except for a couple of Sydney-based VPSes at Vultr.  Hivelocity seems to have a pretty good reputation, so I'm hoping for the best.

  • Amazon has announced Glacier Deep Archive, a long-term archival storage solution that costs just 0.1¢ per GB per month - $1 per TB.

    The real cost comes if you want to retrieve that data.  It starts out at $2.50 per TB and goes up from there.  Local requests for regular S3 storage are much cheaper.  So this is great if you're an enterprise that needs to reliably store petabytes of data for compliance and disaster recovery reasons.  In that case you'd be silly not to use it.

    Backblaze offers regular disk storage with access times in the tens of milliseconds at 0.5¢ per GB per month.  But they don't offer virtual servers, so you will always incur a bandwidth charge. Which is relatively cheap at $10 per TB, but still substantially more than the cheapest Glacier tier.

  • Portal for the Commodore 64.

  • A digital media advertising story that isn't "everything sucks and I hate it".

    I listen to a ton of podcasts, and I tune out of most irrelevant advertising, but if I'm listening to a tech podcast and they're advertising a tech thing that they actually use and personally recommend, I will pay attention.

  • Microsoft is dead, a post from April 2007. 

  • YouTube Premium is dead, a post from November 2018.  (The Hollywood Reporter)

  • This Panasonic Let's Note has a quad-core eighth generation Intel CPU, 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, 1920x1200 display, WiFi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth, LTE, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, and wired Ethernet, even if it looks like it was made 15 years ago.

    Also, that's a Thunderbolt external SSD on the left. (AnandTech)

  • Can a $180 4k IPS monitor possibly be any good?


    Downside is they're using Samsung reject panels, so you will have some dead pixels.  At 4k that's much less of a problem than at lower resolutions -  a dead pixel at 4k is equivalent to a 75% working pixel at 1080p.  If your budget is tight and you're willing to return it if you get a particularly bad unit, might be worth considering.

Video of the Day

Other Linus covers most of the points I did yesterday on how AMD has sunk Intel's market segmentation battleship.  I swear I hadn't watched this when I wrote yesterday's piece.

Picture of the Day

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Saturday, December 01


Daily News Stuff 1 December 2018

Tech News

  • A hack on the Marriott Starwood Hotels reservation system has exposed the details of 500 million customers.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Or so the reports are saying.  Marriott Starwood had 500 million customers?  That seems like rather a lot.

  • Trainz is 93% off for the next two days.  (TechDirt)

    $20 for a $327 bundle.

  • Intel might be planning to launch a 10 core mainstream desktop processor.  (Fudzilla)

    This is plausible because they already have a 10 core CPU.  The only problem right now is that it costs twice as much as an AMD 12 core CPU.

    If this is real then it suggests that AMD really is going to launch a mainstream 16 core part next year and Intel is again scrambling for relevance.  Intel's high-end chips are arranged as 3x4, 4x5, and 5x6 core grids, with two of the spots in the grid used for memory and I/O controllers rather than cores.

    So the parts actually have 10, 18, and 28 cores, codenamed LCC, HCC, and XCC respectively.  HCC and XCC are big and expensive - so large that they wouldn't fit in a Socket 1151 package - but LCC should be manageable.

    The one hitch in that is that the high-end cores don't have on-board graphics, and all of Intel's low-end and mainstream parts do except for the 10nm Ice Lake parts where the IGP kind of doesn't actually work.  So this might instead be an entirely new die.  Or might not happen.  But -

    From the Rome preview we know that with TSMC's 7nm process and their new chiplet design, AMD is entirely capable of shipping 16 cores in a mainstream part. And they have nothing to lose and everything to gain from blowing up Intel's market segmentation.  Intel has been very careful for the past decade not to let its low-end parts compete with its high-margin high-end parts.  Intel's $2000 high-end desktop CPUs don't support ECC, for example.  But every single Ryzen chip does.

    A little under two years ago, AMD blew up the market by offering eight competitive cores against Intel's four.  In 2019 they have the chance to do the same thing again.  I think they will.

  • LG has filed a patent for a phone with 16 cameras.  If the idea makes it to a real product, it might be the first phone with 16 cameras, but there is already a camera with 16 cameras.  I mean...  Never mind. 

    The Light L16.

    This is a real thing.  I don't know if there's a rational story behind the sensor placement, or if they just did that to annoy people.

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day

To make up for the lack of content...

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Friday, November 30


Daily News Stuff 30 November 2018

Tech News
  • QNAP's HS-453DX Silent NAS is another attempt at a latter-day Cobalt Qube.  (AnandTech)

    Gemini Lake Celeron J4105 Atom CPU (these are the good, or at least adequate, Atoms), up to 8GB RAM in what looks like two SO-DIMMs, two regular drive bays, two M.2 (SATA only) slots, two Ethernet ports, one of which goes up to 10Gb (including the new 2.5Gb and 5Gb speeds that work over crappy cables), two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one USB-C, one HDMI 1.4, one HDM 2.0, and three 1/8" audio jacks.

    I was trying to make sense of the photos and then realised that this is not all that small - it's 16" wide and 9" deep.  The drive bays are full 3.5" size, not 2.5" as I'd first assumed.

  • Microsoft may be releasing new Surface models next year, which may include different chips and other features than the 2018 models.  Unless they don't.  (The Verge)

  • Australia's crappy government is going ahead with it's universally derided internet insecurity legislation.  (TechDirt)

  • Go 2 is a thing that will happen at some point, probably.

  • Gigabyte's H261-Z60 squeezes four dual-socket EPYC servers into 2U of rack space.  (Serve the Home)

    Each dual socket node supports 16 DIMM slots, two M.2 110mm slots, and a mezzanine network card with dual 10GbE ports as standard.

    With the upcoming Rome CPUs that will deliver 512 cores and up to 16TB of RAM.

    This model has 24 2.5" SATA bays; the H261-Z61 replaces those with NVMe.

    Oh, and it has 2.2kW redundant power supplies to keep everything fed.  The thing must sound like a jet engine.

  • Are you sad because you have an all-in-one desktop or a new laptop and can't upgrade to 10Gb Ethernet like all the cool kids?

    Based on recent Linux driver updates (a key source of leaks these days) Aquantia is working on that.  (Phoronix)

    Whether these upcoming USB adaptors will handle full 10Gb speeds is an open question, but the driver supports 2.5Gb and 5Gb, which is a good start.

  • Everything has been hacked and everyone's details have been leaked.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I may have glossed over a few minor details there.

  • Bull Computers, which apparently still exists, has announced a range of Rome-based supercomputers with up to 12,288 cores per rack.  (Next Platform)

    If you need more than 12,288 cores, they can do that too.

  • Amazon is updating their Lambda quote serverless unquote platform to support more languages including C++, Rust, Erlang,  Elixir, PHP, and, seriously, Cobol  (ZDNet)

    They've also released an AWS Toolkit plugin for PyCharm, which is my IDE of choice.

  • Back in September, which seems like a long, long time ago, I was looking at upgrading my two desktop PCs, Tohru and Rally.  They only have 256GB of SSD each, which fills up rapidly when you start, oh, I don't know, cloning the entire production environment to your desktop on a daily basis.  And just forget about trying to store your Steam library anywhere but on an external drive.

    The 1TB Samsung 970 EVO was the drive of choice, but it cost A$549, and I needed two of them, and then I spent all my money on those two shiny new laptops (Index and Railgun).  They have 1TB of SSD each, and since they cost A$1275 including sales tax and shipping, when the SSD alone was nearly half that, it seemed like a much better way to spend my money.

    And it was, three months ago.

    Today that same SSD is selling for A$319.  A$274 after a mail-in rebate, if you believe in such things, which I don't, but if you do, that's a dollar less than half price - in three months.

    I'll have to check my bank balance, but Tohru and Rally may be getting a Christmas present.  (The rebate ends 31 December, even if it is of purely imaginary value.)  And even if money is tight this month, this one isn't a one-off blink-and-you'll-miss-it deal.  Hell, the 970 PRO is cheaper than the 970 EVO was just a couple of months ago.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Crunchyroll and Cartoon Network are threatening an anime sequel to Blade Runner.  Fortunately we already have that, so they can't screw it up.

Picture of the Day

The Andromeda Galaxy is fucking huge.  It's too dim to see easily, which is why it doesn't actually look like this in the night sky - even a sliver of a crescent Moon will outshine it a thousandfold - but if you could see the two at the same time you'd realise that it's absolutely bloody enormous.

(Click to embiggen.)

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Thursday, November 29


Daily News Stuff 29 November 2018

Tech News

  • Asus has a cheap new notebook that doesn't look cheap. (AnandTech)

    But is. Probably. Pricing not specified, but the lower models in the range have crappy low-resolution TN displays and should be avoided even if they are cheap. (I still have a notebook with a TN display, but it cost me about $150. If they're that cheap it can be forgiven.)

  • NEC has a 27" 4K monitor with USB-C and 1mm bezels (AnandTech)

    These would be great companions to my HP notebooks; if I got two each one could plug into one monitor by USB-C for charging and the other by DisplayPort adaptor.

    Price is $699, which isn't super cheap but not terrible, and it includes a USB hub.

    If you have a 2017 HP Spectre x2, you could do a lot worse than one of these as its desktop complement.

  • Gravitons have finally been detected. (The Register)

    These are Amazon's Arm-based Graviton CPUs though, so probably no Nobel Prize in the offing.

    They're based on the Arm A72 core, which is the same one in my tablet, and three generations behind the current model. Performance is best described as meh - but fast enough for lighter workloads. (Serve the Home)

  • If you're planning on visiting rural Japan in the near future don't forget to pick up your free house.

    Well, only a few of them are free, and they look like they need a tiny bit of work. But still, I could pick up a dozen of the more expensive homes listed on this site for the market value of the place I currently rent. [Sydney property prices. Ugh.] If I were a Japanese resident. Which I am technically not.

  • The Compleat O'Rly.

Social Media News

Anime News

Picture of the Day

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Wednesday, November 28


Daily News Stuff 28 November 2018

Tech News

Video of the Day

Car Ad of the Day

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Tuesday, November 27


Daily News Stuff 27 November 2018

Tech News

  • The InSight Mars lander has landed.  On Mars.  (Tech Crunch)

    I didn't notice that before.  I thought it was just called Insight, which is a perfectly nice name for a Mars mission.  InSight?  Seriously, NaSa?

  • The Drobo 8D is a nice storage array that costs too much.  (PC Perspective)

  • Error displaying the error page  (Fudzilla)

    Don't I know it.

  • Yikes.

    Do not use Linux software RAID with ASRock motherboards with UEFI BIOS until further notice.  They have a feature which will helpfully "repair" your partition table.

  • Open Source is Not About You
    As a user of something open source you are not thereby entitled to anything at all. You are not entitled to contribute. You are not entitled to features. You are not entitled to the attention of others. You are not entitled to having value attached to your complaints. You are not entitled to this explanation.
    It's true.  All of it.

  • Friends don't let friends use Node.js.  (Bleeping Computer)

    A backdoor in a "popular" JavaScript library set up your apps to steal all your Bitcoins.  The event-stream library was updated to use the flatmap-stream package, which was initially benign, and then flatmap-stream was updated to steal all your goodies.

    flatmap-stream contained three lines of functioning code.

    That should have thrown up all sorts of warning signs, but that sort of behaviour is universal in Node.js.  Node apps routinely pull in crap from everywhere, up to and including parallel dimensions and entirely imaginary worlds.

    This sometimes happens in real programming languages, but even then, at the end of the day, you have a real programming language.

  • Intel has 8 core Xeon E engineering samples.  (AnandTech)

    This is a huge surprise given that they are exactly the same as their 8 core desktop chips.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

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