Shut it!

Sunday, January 26


Daily News Stuff 26 January 2020

Too Darn Hot Edition

Tech News

  • A look at a Supermicro Cascade Lake workstation motherboard.  (AnandTech)

    Threadripper has pretty much erased any reason to buy these systems, but if you want to stick with Intel for some reason, at $620 for a proper workstation motherboard this is not bad value.

    Seven PCIe 3.0 x16 slots - though not all x16 at once - four M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, one 10Gb Ethernet, two 1Gb Ethernet (one used for IPMI), twelve memory slots - where it does surpass Threadripper, and the usual scattering of USB and audio ports.

  • Four hours to bury a cat exit an infinite loop?  (MGBA)

    The bane of any emulator developer's life is programs that depend on the actual hardware behaviour for undefined operations.

  • Thirty-two cores at 5.4GHz.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Liquid nitrogen was involved.  And probably alcohol.

  • The Air Force Space Command was formed in 1982; their familiar shield appeared sometime after that.

    The very similar Star Fleet logo didn't show up until mid-way through Deep Space 9 around 1996.

    But then there's this from 1978:

    Yes, it's not exactly the same, and yes, I'm just using it as an excuse to foist Blake's 7 upon my audience.  But still.

Disclaimer: Alcohol was definitely involved.

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Saturday, January 25


Daily News Stuff 25 January 2020

Wombats Ahoy Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Cyrus Vance, Attorney at Law.  Cyrus Vance and the Case of the Exploding Moose.  Cyrus Vance and the Mysterious Taxicab.  Cyrus Vance and the Crooked Mayor.  Cyrus Vance Gets Fitted for Cement Overshoes.

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Friday, January 24


Daily News Stuff 24 January 2020

Friday Before The Long Weekend Edition

Tech News

  • So, I have NBN.  FINALLY.  Only been waiting a decade and change.   Now I can do a whole bunch of stuff.

    Real download speeds seem to peak at around 50 Mb, uploads at 32 Mb.  That might be because I'm on WiFi right now and surrounded by other people's access points; I'll grab my box of cables tomorrow and get back to wired.

    On the plus side, having a decent amount of bandwidth means that I can run downloads and uploads at full speed and not any notice a difference with my web browsing.  I had three days worth of uploads to Dropbox queued up; that turned into two hours once I got things switched over.

    Also, I snagged the cables and knocked the brand new router onto the floor twice today.  The old router lived on the floor; it occasionally got stepped on but it never fell off.  I'll find a longer Ethernet cable in the box so the new router can live somewhere a bit safer.  Having all my SSH sessions disconnected any time I wander into the kitchen for a midnight snack will get tired pretty fast.

  • Not every RX 5600 XT can hulk out.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The new BIOS update significantly increases clock speeds and memory speeds, but you can only increase memory speed to 14 Gbps in BIOS if the card has 14 Gbps RAM in the first place.

  • Please explain yourselves, YouTube.  (TechDirt)

    Why is it that someone can "accidentally" block hundreds of YouTube videos based on claims for copyrights they don't own?

  • At last count, Twitter was 135% bots.  (Medium)
    Retweets and likes can be a method of radicalization.
    Insert TripleFacepalm.gif here.

  • The Internet of Bricks.  (ZDNet)

    Sonos has partly walked back its original plan, which appeared to be "make customers as angry as possible without literally setting them on fire".  But the fundamental problem with companies just deciding to remotely trash your appliances remains.

  • Space cookies!  Hand me the rap rod, plate captain!  (ABC News)

Disclaimer: Faster internet access somehow doesn't make more news stories appear.  Darn.

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Better Than Bad Part Deux

Ping time to my local dev servers (at Binary Lane and Vultr here in Sydney) is down from an already reasonable 15ms to around 7ms.

Ping time to the US is still pretty much what it was, unfortunately.

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It's Better Than Bad, It's Good

Log Horizon season 3 announced for October.

No trailer yet so here's the old one again.

Speaking of season 3 announcements, where did Non Non Biyori disappear to?  Been eight months.

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Thursday, January 23


Daily News Stuff 23 January 2020

Last Days Of ADSL Edition

Tech News

  • I'll be joining the 20th century tomorrow with (mostly) fiber internet access.  Of course, since this is a government project, it's taken 12 years and the access speeds have not increased at all in that time.

    Still, I'll have about six times the download speed and twenty times the upload speed I do right now, which will make things like Dropbox actually useful.

  • If you're looking for an Australian cloud server Binary Lane offers 1 GB of RAM, 20 of GB SSD, and 1TB of monthly bandwidth for A$4.

    That's up from 768 MB RAM and 500 GB bandwidth on their previous plan.  Locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.

    A$4 is around US$2.70, so that's not every much at all.

  • At the middle end of the scale, WebNX offer a Ryzen 2600, 64GB of ECC RAM, 1TB of SATA SSD or 2 x 256GB NVMe SSDs, and 30TB of bandwidth for US$75.

    That wasn't a listed config but I asked.  They have cheaper servers but that's about the cheapest with ECC RAM.

  • TerraMaster has a dual-drive 3.5" Thunderbolt 3 DAS.  (AnandTech)

    The question why immediately springs to mind, but there is an answer: It's small, cheap ($249 without drives), and has a little carry handle.  It's great for anyone who needs to be able to carry tens of terabytes of data to the work site - film shoots being probably the primary audience, but that price is low enough to be attractive to a lot of people.

  • The Asus Republic of Gamers Zenith II Extreme Alpha is the motherboard of choice for the Threadripper 3990X unless it isn't.  (WCCFTech)

    It supports 16 phase power, DDR4-4733 RAM, USB 3.2 2x2, 10Gb Ethernet, WiFi 6, 8 SATA ports, and, um, 15 M.2 slots, all PCIe 4.0 x 4 NVMe.  3 on the board itself, two on a little adaptor, and 10 more in additional adaptors in the PCIe slots.

    That leaves it - if you do go all-in on NVMe - with just one PCIe 4.0 x8 slot for graphics.

    It also has that little OLED display.

    Price around US$1000.

  • Save .org.  (

    I don't care about .org, I just like that domain name.

  • On the road to Swift 6.  (

    There was a Swift 5?

  • MongoDB announced a preview of GraphQL support...  (MongoDB)

    This could be useful.

    ... for their Atlas cloud platform.

    Oh look, I have some cookie crumbs left over from yesterday.

    This is the same as with their Lucene search support.  That would be amazingly useful if it were part of their open source product.  As part of their cloud platform the only thing it offers is vendor lock-in.

  • The experience of getting caught as the cat's-paw in a credit card fraud scheme.  (Free Code Camp)

    1. We've had $60,000 in donations in the past 24 hours!
    2. That's about 60x normal.
    3. So...
    4. Fuck.

    The solution:

    1. Hang on the phone until you find the right person to speak to.
    2. Refund every single transaction manually.  All 3537 of them.

Disclaimer: Always be polite to tech support, even when it's their fault.  Because sooner or later you will be the tech support.

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Wednesday, January 22


Daily News Stuff 22 January 2020

Duck Duck Went Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Ack.  Pfft.

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Tuesday, January 21


Daily News Stuff 21 January 2020

Paper Panther Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: It is not enough merely to be proven right; you must also be seen to rub the other guy's face in it.

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Monday, January 20


Daily News Stuff 20 January 2020

Foley Operator Of Life Edition

Tech News

  • So my washing machine is making a lot of noise on the spin cycle, clearly an unbalanced load, and I go into the laundry and shut it off before it can damage itself.  The clothes aren't quite done spinning but near enough, so into the dryer with them and in goes the next load.

    And I close the door and am rewarded with an almost comically perfect sound of something breaking off and falling down inside the machine, which no longer works.

  • Google search sucks.

    So does Google everything else, pretty much.  How the basically competent now are fallen.

  • Twitter no longer has tooltips for emojis.  Brought home sharply by this bit of nonsense:

    Quick, name the top five countries on that list.

  • I had a clever idea today.

    And when I say "clever" I mean "using a platform in a way it was never intended to be used and will likely horrify the developers of said platform".

  • Why build this blog on IPFS?  (Teetotality)

    No, not this blog, that blog.  While IPFS has its place, there is no magic.  There's no "serverless", there is just total dependence on things you cannot fix. 

    WordPress may be a dinosaur, but dinosaurs ruled the planet for 160 million years.  WordPress is also a piece of crap, but crap has ruled the planet for even longer.

  • No, you still can't solve the halting problem.  (Gizmodo)

    What you can now do - thanks to that mathematical breakthrough I mentioned yesterday - is determine, if you have a network of computers which can solve the halting problem, which isn't possible, whether they are telling the truth.

    Which is a rather useful trick when you have computers solving problems that they can solve but which you cannot.

  • Netgear put the private keys for the certificates included on their routers up on their support website.  (GitHub)

    Astoundingly, this doesn't look like a fuckup.  The keys and certificates are used only for providing HTTPS for your router's config page, and nowhere else.  Providing them like this is necessary if you're making a complete firmware bundle available for download.

    And you need HTTPS because browsers can't tell a LAN site from a public one and are increasingly freaked out about HTTP sites.

    As one person summed it up:
    It's better than HTTP because it requires active MitM
    It's worse than HTTP because it gives the user a false sense of security.
    It's better than TOFU/self signed because the user is not presented with a browser warning (and thus can use the device)
    It's worse than TOFU/self signed because the user is not presented with a browser warning (and thus does not know about attacks)
    It's a solution to an unsolved problem...

  • TerraMaster has a new 5-bay 10Gb NAS.  (AnandTech)

    Price $599, available soon.  It looks pretty good, but I don't have 10Gb Ethernet, so probably going to stick with USB for now.

  • I mentioned that DigitalOcean was laying off about 5% of their staff.  A co-founder of the company showed up on a Hacker News thread to explain things.

    It went well.

    Not being facetious.

    If you've ever seen the AWS platform dashboard you would know why.

  • Don't use Opera.  (Android Police)

    Yeah, based on that, time to uninstall Opera entirely.

  • A list of Telnet passwords for 500,000 devices has been published online.  (ZDNet)

    Internet of Insecure Pieces of Crap.

Other News

  • This is the most extraordinary thing, and will probably be deleted soon.

    Chants of "we will not complyā€¯ from gun rights protesters in Richmond.
    The audio isn't perfect, but it is clear enough.  The crowd is reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Video of the Day

See also: Why data anonymisation does not work.

Disclaimer: Click poink rattle rattle rattle clunk.  Welp, not going to be doing any more laundry today.

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Sunday, January 19


Daily News Stuff 19 January 2020

Dollars To Donuts Doesn't Work Anymore

Tech News

  • My supermarket now stocks gluten-free donuts.  Found them when I was looking for the lamingtons.



  • Hosting providers are starting to offer Ryzen servers.  (WebHostingTalk)

    In this case WebNX (who I haven't used before) but also ReliableSite (who I have).

    For example, a Ryzen 2600 with 32GB RAM, 2x256GB NVMe drives (or 1x1TB SATA SSD), and 30TB monthly bandwidth costs $59 per month.

    The 2600 isn't as fast as the models that came out a few months ago, but it is cheap, has the same single-threaded performance as the E3 Xeons you commonly find in budget servers, and has six cores rather than four.

    They offer a 3600X model for $79, and a 3800X with 64GB ECC RAM and 100TB monthly bandwidth for $99.

    At the higher end, they have Threadripper 3970X servers starting at $399 per month.  I was wondering when those would pop up.  Obviously Epyc is the safe choice for servers - it's explicitly a server CPU - but Threadripper has a clock speed advantage of around 50%.  I don't know if that model has a server motherboard; the others explicitly list IPMI but that one doesn't, and I haven't seen a server board for third-generation Threadripper so far.

  • Zotac's Inspire Studio is a double-height double-width double-depth NUC.

    Mini-ITX size but not a standard Mini-ITX board or case, but it looks pretty nice regardless.  Core i7-9700 and an RTX 3060 Super in a pretty compact case - 8" x 9" x 5".  6 USB 3.1 and two 1Gbit Ethernet ports.

    They also have a professional mini-workstation in the same case with a Xeon E CPU and Quadro graphics, and a gaming version with the 9700 CPU and a 2070 Super.  (Zotac)

    For some reason both those models have 2.5Gbit Ethernet but the Studio model doesn't.

  • The Radeon RX 5600 XT just got 11% faster.  (Tom's Hardware)

    With just a BIOS tweak and an extra 10W TDP allocation.

  • Write your own operating system kernel.  (GitHub)

    Admittedly all the project does so far is boot, print "my first kernel", and hang, but I've had pretty much that experience trying to boot with Grub on older hardware.  (For a while I had a server with 12 cores, 128GB RAM, and 12TB of SSD that could only boot using LILO.)

  • A poem.

  • That naughty list is a month late, guys.  (Slate)

    They compiled a list of the most evil and dangerous tech companies.  Though this being Slate (corporate motto: At least we're not Salon) their definition of evil ranges from sensible (arresting reporters for reporting the news) to nonsensical (securing the border from drug smugglers).

    Most of them are soft targets, but at least they put Baidu and Tencent on the list.

    Also Twitter.

    But Slate's gonna Slate:
    One evil thing: Last month, Dorsey announced a high-flying idea to decentralize social networks that evoked the ideals of an older, purer internet. But some critics saw the proposal as a convenient way for Twitter to eventually offload responsibility for what its users do.
    Yeah, that's the one thing they call Twitter out for.

  • And then there's the companion piece.  (Slate again, sorry)
    I worked at Gizmodo for about three years, a job I acquired by falsely claiming to know what Android is.  ...  I do firmly believe that Facebook and Amazon are both objectively evil, which is what brings us here today.
    These are your betters, peasant.

  • Speaking of those idiots, vile racist lunatic Louis Farrakhan finally got suspended.  Is Twitter coming to its corporate senses at long last?

    No, of course not.  It was all a dream.  (Washington Examiner)

  • MIP* = RE  (
    Here PSPACE is the set of problems solvable by a classical computer with a polynomial amount of space. Subsequent results showed that if one allowed a verifier able to interact with multiple provers, the verifier could be convinced of a solution of any problem in NEXPTIME, a class conjectured to be much larger than PSPACE. For a while, it was believed that in the quantum case, the set of problems might actually be smaller, since multiple quantum computers might be able to use their shared entangled qubits to "cheat" the verifier. However, this has turned out not just to not be the case, but the exact opposite: MIP* is not only large, it is about as large as a computable class can naturally be.
    Well, good.

    Also the Connes Embedding Conjecture is false.

  • Kids these days don't know where the term soap opera comes from.  (Digital Trends)

    They are shocked at the notion of "a TV show brought to you by a single advertiser".

  • Joe Biden came out against CDA section 230 and the usual suspects are in a complete meltdown.  (Ars Technica)

    Exploded heads everywhere.

    I particularly like their description of Josh Hawley as "far right" when the only thing of note that he has done is speak out against CDA section 230.

Video of the Day


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