You hit me with a cricket bat!
Ha! Twelve years!
Wednesday, May 25
Sometimes We Can Have Nice Things Edition
- Seth Green - Oz from Buffy and Dr Evil's son Scott from the Austin Powers movies - had plans for a TV series based on an NFT.
Then it got stolen.
Since he no longer owns the ugly monkey jpeg in question he also loses film rights and the project is toast.
Sometimes things do work out for the best.
- Nvidia had it's own big Computex announcement the day after AMD. If you want a server-only GPU that uses 600W and costs tens of thousands of dollars and can't actually output video, they're all over that.
Not particularly interesting for you or me, but it does make them a lot of money.
- Asus announced a new 500Hz gaming monitor. (AnandTech)
- Asus also announced their high-end AM5 motherboard for the upcoming Ryzen 7000 series. (AnandTech)
The ROG Crosshair X670E supports two full-length PCIe 5.0 slots, plus a x4 slot running at a lower speed but I don't know what, and 5 M.2 slots two of which are also PCIe 5. Plus USB 4. Which when you add it all up requires more PCIe lanes than the CPU has available. Not sure what they've done there.
- Spain is investing $13 billion to upgrade the country's semiconductor industry. (AP News)
I was looking around what countries had semiconductor factories and I believe Spain was on the list - they're not starting from zero. And there are worse ways to spend $13 billion, as our governments prove to use every day.
I do not expect much to come of this nonetheless.
Tuesday, May 24
167 Hour Ahmed Edition
- I pushed my house move back a week. Just too many things to get done. Which meant I needed to order more groceries at the old place - I'd planned to move this week and had already emptied the fridge.
- Florida's law curtailing social media's rampant viewpoint bias has - mostly - been ruled unconstitutional by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit. (ABC News)
Everyone expected this; legislation directly preventing corporations from infringing users' broader freedom of speech violates the corporations' specific First Amendment protections. It's a tricky needle to thread, and I'm not convinced this bill tried very hard.
- Coinbase is testing an app for employees to rate each other during meetings. (The Information)
Are you people stupid?
No, wait, the answer is clearly yes.
The question then is... No. I don't care. Just go away.
- GitLab 15.0 is out. (GitLab)
GitLab is increasingly a complete collaboration solution for development teams. We use it at work. It's great.
It used to run happily in 1GB of RAM; these days I wouldn't try to run it in less than 8GB. But if you are paying salaries for even a small number of programmers, a server with 8GB of RAM isn't even a blip.
- Why it's hard to sanction ransomware groups. (Ars Technica)
Because they're criminals.
- PCIe 5 consumer SSDs are expected later this year. (WCCFTech)
With transfer rates up to 13GB per second. Which is a lot.
Monday, May 23
Because I Don't Have Enough To Do Edition
- Spun up a virtual server running Ubuntu 22.04 today. So far I have nothing to complain about. Which is good, if dull.
- AMD officially announced Ryzen 7000, due "this fall". (AnandTech)
Most of the information we already had about it has been confirmed - though the 24 core model turns out to be wishful thinking at this point.
The base model is 15% faster than the special edition Ryzen 5800X3D, which is good though not huge. But it will go up to 16 cores where the X3D is limited to 8.
Onboard RDNA2 graphics are confirmed for all Ryzen 7000 models, and clock speeds up to 5.5GHz.
- Also confirmed is that dual-chip chipset. (Angstronomics)
The chip is call Promontory 21 and is designed by Taiwanese company ASMedia - not a respin of the CPU's I/O chiplet. It's not a high-end design, but you can simply run two of them to get more I/O. They daisy-chain so you only get 4 downstream PCIe lanes from the first chipset, and 8 from the second.
It's a 7W part so it won't need a chipset fan, which was a problem with the AMD's first X570 chips.
- AMD also announced their rumoured low-end laptop chip. (AnandTech)
Low-end now being four Zen 2 cores, LPDDR5 RAM, and RDNA2 graphics, manufactured at 6nm.
- What's in which version of Python. (Ned Batchelder)
Very helpful if you run PyPy, the Python compiler, which is usually a version or two behind the default CPython. PyPy reached 3.9 about 4.5 months after CPython reached 3.10 - but it averages 4.5 times faster.
- Always look a gift horse in the mouth. (Bleeping Computer)
If someone is offering you free crypto, they are trying to steal the crypto you already have.
- Hollywood Designer 6.0 is a fresh update to the 20 year old multimedia authoring system - for the Amiga. (Amigans)
Bonus feature: No crypto.
- Which watches can get Apple's new software update. (9to5Mac)
I should see if I can get my 30-year-old Seiko fixed. Good watch. Never once crashed on me, until it did.
- Microsoft has announce that Windows 11 "doesn't suck as much as it used to". (The Register)
- Want to replace your iPhone battery yourself? Don't have the necessary tools? No problem! Apple will gladly sell you the 79-pound toolkit for $1200. (Liliputing)
Actually you can get the toolkit free for a week, but why do they need to make it so hard in the first place? On my Moto G4 you just popped the back off, unplugged the old battery, and plugged in the new one. Tool-free and took maybe a minute.
- Cryptocurrency should die in a fire. (Current Affairs)
This is a virus. Its harms are substantial. It has enabled billion dollar criminal enterprises. It has enabled venture capitalists to do securities fraud as their business. It has sucked people in. So either avoid it or help me make it die in a fire.Well, as to that...
Many that live deserve death in a fire. And some that die in a fire deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in a fire in judgement.Thanks Gandalf.
Sunday, May 22
On Beyond Zebra Edition
- Semiconductor research group IMEC has published a roadmap taking the industry far beyond 1nm. (Tom's Hardware)
The most advanced process currently in production (at TSMC and Samsung) is a nominal 4nm. Nothing about the process is truly 4nm, but it's as much 4nm as the old 14nm process was 14nm, so it's useful for comparison.
The roadmap looks forward to the 3nm and 2nm nodes that are already under development at TSMC, Samsung, and Intel - and then beyond all the way to what they call A2 - a nominal 0.2nm - sometime around 2036.
By which time I hope to be less concerned about annual increments in CPU performance, but faster computers let us solve problems that are too expensive to be practical at the moment, so this is a win even if you don't plan to put together a 26th generation Intel gaming rig with dual RTX 18080 Ti cards to play Minecraft 1.37.
There's not a lot of detail about the sub-1nm nodes, but at 2nm they expect a billion transistors per square millimetre - about 6 times the current 5nm process.
- Some next-gen AMD motherboards appear to have two chipsets. (Tom's Hardware)
There will be two chipsets available for Ryzen 7000 when it shows up later this year - the mainstream B650 and the high-end X670. But it seems that they might be the same chip, only the X670 is two B650s.
Which would make complete sense and fits in with AMD's design strategy for the past several years - design one really good chip and then glue a bunch of them together for bigger systems.
A Ryzen desktop CPU consists of one or two CPU chiplets (up to 8 cores each) and an I/O chiplet. The current motherboard chipset is the exact same chip as the I/O chiplet on the CPU itself, just rotated 180 degrees so the two can face each other.
They're probably not going to do that with this generation because the new CPUs will have embedded graphics on the I/O chiplet, so it makes sense to have a generic motherboard chipset and use one on mainstream boards and two on high-end ones.
Or the leaks might all be wrong. One or the other.
- But they're going to show off these motherboards tomorrow so we don't have to wait long to find out.
- Apple is planning to expand manufacturing outside China. (9to5Mac)
The company is looking toward India (where labour relations have been somewhat fraught) and Vietnam.
- Apple is also dumping a Chinese display manufacturer and sourcing from South Korea instead. (WCCFTech)
BOE reportedly decided to adjust the designs for their iPhone 13 screens to cut costs - without bothering to tell Apple.
Saturday, May 21
- One thing I hadn't considered closely with this move was Amazon deliveries. Turns out my free one day delivery now becomes free one week delivery. So if I need something right away I'm just out of luck.
Fortunately the new house is much, much bigger than my current place and I can just stockpile consumables, which hasn't been practical here. (Which is why I went for a much, much larger place.)
- Cut off from Western* technology due to its ill-advised military adventure, Russia is turning to China for CPUs. (The Register)
Unfortunately for Russia, China's CPUs are dogshit.
On PassMark, the ZHAOXIN KaiXian KX-6640MA scores 1566.
That's just ahead of AMD's Phenom II X3 B75 from 2009 at 1560.
It doesn't compare so well with current AMD chips, like the 5700X which scores 26,384.
- Everything we think we might know about the RTX 4080 but were afraid to post. (WCCFTech)
Roughly speaking, RTX 3090 Ti performance at RTX 3080 prices. sometime in the next few months.
- What the four-day work day could mean for you. (ZDNet)
Not sure what the fuss is about; I've been working four days per day for a long time.
Weak? Weak what?
- Google's AI is smart enough to understand your humour. (CNet)
Sure. I'll believe that when their AI stops banning the victims of spam attacks.
Friday, May 20
- Quick one again because reasons.
- Web3 is going great. (Web3IsGoingGreat)
A daily update of digital disasters, including the note that Terraform Labs' (the company behind the late Terra and Luna cryptocurrencies) entire legal team resigned this week.
From comments on Reddit:
Web3 is a whole lot of ponzi scheme.
Come on, that's not fair.
There's also pump and dump schemes, market manipulation, rug pulls, blatant money laundering, and half a dozen other things I can't remember right now. They've been quite imaginative in their breadth of scams and calling the whole thing a bunch of ponzis really sells it short.
- Twitter will hide tweets it deems to be sharing false information during events it deems to be a crisis. (The Verge)
Similar to the way they currently hide "sensitive" images, which is to say they will mostly get it wrong even if you buy into the assumption that it should happen at all.
- Netflix has made it's broken user interface into a feature. (9to5Mac)
I cancelled my subscription because it took longer to find something to watch than it did to watch it.
"Mystery Box" solves this by just shoveling random crap at you.
- China is set to ban Chinese spy agency Huawei from building the country's mobile networks. (CBC)
Really keeping on top of things, eh?
- Framework now offers 12th generation CPUs in its repairable laptops. (Tom's Hardware)
And a replacement motherboard if you want to upgrade from an 11th generation model.
Also coming is a 2.5Gb Ethernet module - the system has four swappable I/O modules, with a choice for each of USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, microSD, and now wired Ethernet.
- QNAP. (Bleeping Computer)
Thursday, May 19
I Can Has Houseburger Edition
- I have a house.
- I ended up working until 2AM yesterday tracking down a difficult performance issue, then was doing house-related stuff until 4AM, then got up again at 7AM for a meeting, which was lots of fun.
- A new plastic-eating enzyme could eliminate billions of tons of landfill waste. (UT News)
Normally this is a what could possibly go wrong item, but they're talking about an enzyme here, not bacteria or anything that can reproduce itself. Enzymes are catalysts - a small amount of an enzyme can process a large amount of raw material - but still finite and will break down fairly quickly.
- Google Russia is bankrupt after Russia stole all their money. (Ars Technica)
This is how it works, yes.
Google has not closed services in Russia, and was rewarded for this about how you'd expect.
- A legal brief from TechFreedom, a "libertarian" "think" tank, frets about the possibility of people saying mean things online and not getting banned. (Ars Technica)
The law is probably unconstitutional anyway, but there's nothing less libertarian than "libertarian" think tanks.
- DigitalOcean's pricing went up. (DigitalOcean)
A $5 virtual server is now $6. Still down from $10 a few years ago.
Salaries and energy prices have been on the rise for years, but that was offset by rapidly falling hardware costs. But with the chip shortage, server prices have been flat at best, so sooner or later than means the users need to pay more.
If Zen 5 does arrive late next year with up to 256 cores, that will allow one server to replace four current ones, and start pushing prices down again. But until then there's not a lot of relief in sight for these mid-tier hosting providers.
- Mid-tier hosting competitor Vultr hasn't increased pricing, but has announced new datacenters in Mumbai, Madrid, Melbourne, Honolulu, and Warsaw so far this year. (Vultr)
I have some small servers with them. A good option if you live near one of their 25 locations around the world, which you probably do unless you're in Africa.
- Aussie Broadband is steadily picking up market share in the Aussie broadband space. (ZDNet)
They answer emails, their pricing is decent, and they offer speeds up to 1000/400.
I'm going with an Aussie Broadband 500/200 plan at the new house, which is five times what I currently have. Fast enough to run backups to a local server and stop paying for a backup server in the cloud, which will easily cover the increase in cost for my internet access.
Wednesday, May 18
Five Things After Another
- More running around in outside land today. Now I have matching blisters on both heels because my comfy shoes had a sudden total existence failure and I had to grab the last spare pair that I never wore because they don't fit.
Had to get one more document certified for the new house before settlement which is fine except that -
- My mobile phone was set to be cancelled on the day of settlement for the new house - tomorrow - because my provider is changing networks and hates having customers, and I couldn't log in to the portal to activate the new SIM because the SMS confirmation was disappearing into the ether and they have no way to confirm anything except sending you an SMS.
So that was fun.
- Also still working 14 hours a day.
- And while I was out in the outside without a laptop one of my servers fell over.
- While I was out I passed two random guys in the street discussing the Luna / Terra collapse - and actually getting the facts right.
- Twitter's unspoken corporate motto: Commie as fuck. (Daily Mail)
Project Veritas doing the dirty work of actually reporting the news again.
'You know, our jobs are at stake,' he said. 'He's a capitalist and we weren't really operating as capitalists, more like very socialist. Like we're all commie as f***.'Yes, we know.
- Need a desktop cluster of ARM compute modules? Yes? Why?
Anyway, here you go. (Kickstarter)
You can plug in a variety of modules via adaptors, including the Raspberry Pi 4 Compute Module and Nvidia's Jetson AI boards, and you get shared HDMI, USB, Ethernet, SATA, USB, and two mini PCIe slots.
Obviously someone wants this thing because the project funded in three minutes.
- Which Linux desktop is the easiest for new users? (ZDNet)
It doesn't matter because there's 21 to choose from and they're all the same. (The Register)
Actually not quite; the first article talks about desktop distributions - they recommend Mint and Kubuntu - and the second is talking about individual desktop environments.
Just use Mint, probably.
- Hong Kong is planning to block messaging app Telegram as part of a broader plan to block messenger app Telegram. (IBTimes)
I guess if you want to block messenger app Telegram, that's the way to go about it.
- Demand has dropped like a rock says Chinese chipmaker SMIC. (Nikkei)
"Many smartphone, PC and home appliance companies had exposure in Russia and Ukraine, and their revenues [from those markets] are now gone. Sales in their home market [of China] have also fallen due to the COVID situation domestically," Zhao said.SMIC's own factories are still running at 100%, producing chips for other markets that are still in short supply - unglamorous but essential stuff like power management chips and embedded microcontrollers.
Demand for consumer electronics "dropped like a rock, very seriously," the executive said. "Some of our customers are holding more than five months of that type of inventory."
The cause of the sudden market collapse is easy to identify, and since the CCP isn't going anywhere, is only likely to get worse for China.
- The Pentagon has vowed to get to the bottom of UFO sightings. (Reuters)
That's actually pretty simple. They're not real.
UAPs are unexplained, it's true. But they are real.Horseshit.
- Small Android phone. (SmallAndroidPhone)
Tuesday, May 17
Quick one today because I have to scurry off and do stuff.
- The guy who just evaporated $40 billion of imaginary money wants to do it again. (Bloomberg)
And some people actually think this is a good idea.
- DDR5-6000 is now less than twice the price of DDR4-3200. (AnandTech)
Unfortunately it so far doesn't give you all that much benefit in real-world performance.
- Road trains, only without the road. (The Drive)
- Web3 is just expensive P2P. (Net Future)
And often it's not even P2P.
Monday, May 16
Now Officially Extra Dead Edition
- When Luna implodes, Venus catches a cold. Or something (The Record)
Venus Protocol - a decentralised finance thing of some sort - lost $11 million because it was using a pricing feed, Chainlink, that still had a minimum price of $0.10 when the price of Luna plummeted from over $100 to $0.01.
So people could deposit worthless imaginary money and then use it as imaginary collateral to borrow imaginary money that had not yet collapsed.
Other DeFi sites were hit by the same issue, though losses appear to be small compared to the $40 billion wipeout of Luna itself.
- Python is slow but is about to get faster. (ZDNet)
Python 3.11 is expected to be 1.25x faster than Python 3.10.
PyPy - which already exists - is 4.5x faster than Python 3.10.
- Will the upcoming Ryzen 7950X have 24 cores? (WCCFTech)
Maybe. Would be nice. With the other details we know (5nm process, DDR5 RAM, 170W max TDP) it should be possible. And it would reduce the need for the lower-end Threadripper parts - a 24-core Zen 4 pat would be close to the speed of a 32-core Zen 3.
And Intel is planning 24-core desktop chips for later this year, albeit 8 fast cores and 16 slow cores, where AMD's chips would have 24 full-size cores.
- In 500 metres, crash directly into the ground. (Business Insider)
Crashed Russian aircraft in Ukraine allegedly have consumer grade GPS receivers taped to the flight console. Had. Had consumer grade GPS receivers taped to the flight console.
- Heroku is having a bad day. (Brandur)
And has been for three weeks.
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