Sunday, April 11

Geek

Daily News Stuff 11 April 2021

No News Is No News Part 3 Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Still no ETA on the WebNX server.  I did get a reply to my support ticket, just not an overly specific one.


  • A new algorithm makes CPUs 15 times faster than GPUs for some types of AI training.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I'm not sure if this is something where a counter-algorithm will quickly erase the advantage, or if this is an area where CPUs are intrinsically better if they can get enough FPU and memory bandwidth.  GPUs are still terrible at complex, branching code.  CPUs are merely bad at that.

    It uses AVX_512_BF16, which AMD doesn't have just yet, but in theory the algorithm should still let AMD CPUs outperform GPUs as well.


  • And you get new integrated graphics!  (WCCFTech)

    According to leaked AMD slides, next year's Raphael chips - the Ryzen 7000 family - will support Zen 4, DDR5, and PCIe 5.0, using TSMC's 5nm process, on socket AM5.

    And RDNA2 graphics - the same architecture as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.  A slower version I'm sure, but the same architecture.

    Unlike Intel, most of AMD's desktop chips have no integrated graphics at all.  Up to 16 cores where Intel maxes out at 8, yes.  Integrated graphics, no.  There are desktop version of their laptop parts with integrated graphics, but they're perpetually in short supply.

    Before Raphael arrives we'll be seeing Warhol - Zen 3+, DDR4, PCIe 4.0, and socket AM4, using TSMC's 6nm process, which is an improved version of their 7nm rather than a whole new node.

    The slide also lists the Cezanne Zen 3 laptop chips which have just started to show up, Rembrandt which is a Zen 3+ core with RDNA2 graphics for laptops, Phoenix, a laptop version of Raphael, and Lucienne, Barcelo, Van Gogh, and, uh, Dragon Quest because at some point you've just had enough of famous artists.  

    I'm not sure what all of those are; two look to be low-end laptop or embedded chips; the other two are a mystery.

    DDR5 is a big deal for integrated graphics, because it instantly doubles available bandwidth.  Or more than doubles: Each module in DDR5 provides two separate 32-bit channels, which can be significantly more efficient than one 64-bit channel, depending on the workload.

    AMD could easily increase the size of their integrated GPU, but right now it wouldn't do anything because they're limited by the speed of DDR4 RAM.  DDR5 fixes that.


  • The 11th Circuit has ruled that online shopping doesn't need to be accessible to the blind - IF.  (Ars Technica)

    The operative IF being that you offer other methods of access that are accessible.  If blind people can't access your website because it's overloaded with React garbage but you offer ordering by phone, that's acceptable under the ADA - according to the 11th Circuit.

    The 9th Circuit ruled the other way a couple of years ago, but the 9th Circuit is insane, so that might not mean much.


  • Why does Vim use HJKL for cursor keys?  (Hillel Wayne)

    I can't remember the last time I used HJKL in Vi except by accident, but it makes sense if you compare the Qwerty layout to the alphabet and control codes in ASCII.  In short, they designed it so that it would be easy to implement in the days when keyboards used - at best - TTL logic chips rather than microcontrollers


  • Genocide, schmenocide: Let me buy cheap Chinese crap.  (ZDNet)

    As commenters mentioned before, it doesn't seem that ZDNet has an editor anymore.  It's a group blog with a nice layout and no oversight.

    ZDNet usually gets just a handful of comments on their stories. This one has a huge thread and it is not friendly to to the author.


  • Genocide, schmenocide: Let me track those suckers potential customers.  (Wall Street Journal)

    Procter and Gamble worked with Chinese companies to attempt an end run around Apple's new privacy controls and target ads to users who are tossing their cookies.

    Apple aren't doing this out of any ethical principle - it's a battle for control of the end users - but it's still good to see big tech companies screwing things up for the other big tech companies.


  • Is site blocking reducing piracy or just distributing it more evenly?  (TorrentFreak)

    If you chose option B, you win a kewpie doll.

    Horrifying things, kewpie dolls.


  • The FBI has arrested a man who planned to blow up the internet.  (Bleeping Computer)

    He probably can't build an entrapment case, even though the FBI contacted him and offered to sell him C4, because he appears to have the IQ of a radish.

    There's a left-wing idiot in the comments over there, but the other commenters pounce on him.


What's Happening to Quebec Video of the Day



It's the Stanford Prison Experiment writ large.  Dozens of police raided an AirBNB houseboat rented by Rebel Media - without a warrant - and when told to come back with a warrant spontaneously declared the boat a crime scene.

Oh, and look!  If you follow the link, YouTube has stuck its oar in uninvited and stamped an official information link above the video.

Montreal is French for Melbourne.


What's Happening to Apple Video of the Day


2016 and 2017 MacBooks were plagued with display problems because a cable costing about half a cent was a few millimetres too short.  Apple not only knew about the problem but released new models with the same problem.

They then offered free repairs...  On just one specific model of the multiple models affected, while denying that the problem even existed in the other models even though they use the exact same cable.  They fixed this in the 2018 model but deny they changed anything even though the cable is clearly longer.

So now they're getting the daylights sued out of them

Oh, and Apple also aggressively targets unauthorised repairs - and doesn't authorise repairs either.  They'll authorise a third-party repair shop to replace the entire screen rather than repair it with just a new half-cent cable, though.

And when users raise these issues on Apple's forum, the posts mysteriously disappear.



Rossman was recently interviewed by The American Conservative and is pleased that for once a media outlet got the story right.


Disclaimer: I say we dust off and nuke the entire site from orbit.  It might not work but it would look really cool.

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?




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