What are you going to do?
What I always do - stay out of trouble... Badly.
Sunday, August 07
Bordered In Black Edition
- Amazon is acquiring Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7 billion. (Ars Technica)
Given Amazon's habit of handing out Ring doorbell video footage without the tedious drudgery of asking or telling the owners, my inclination to buy a Roomba has abruptly evaporated. At least a doorbell is - by design - on the front of the house facing outwards, not roaming around inside.
- Twitter has confirmed that hackers collected email addresses and phone numbers of 5.4 million accounts. (Bleeping Computer)
The only reason Twitter has those phone numbers in the first place is that they would suspend your account to force you to hand it over.
- AMD has a new range of Ryzen 5000 embedded CPUs, including the first 10-core Ryzen model. (WCCFTech)
I didn't think there was anything preventing a 10-core Ryzen chip, just no perceived market niche.
These are just Ryzen 5000 parts, with lower clock speeds and fewer cores, but with long-term support for hardware manufacturers who need to be able to replace parts five or ten years from now.
- Netflix's The Sandman is "a dream adaptation of a classic". (The Verge)
In other words, it's a self-indulgent mess of a TV series based on a self-indulgent mess of a comic series. Neil Gaiman is good when he's good, but when he's not, he's very much not.
- Why did you get a variable rate mortgage? Are you stupid or something?
Long-term fixed-rate mortgages are almost unknown outside the US, and certainly don't exist in Australia. If you think about it, there's no way a bank would offer a long term fixed rate loan when interest rates are at historic lows, because they can only lose on the deal... Unless something is propping them up on the other end.
- Are blockchains / cryptocurrencies / NFTs / stablecoins / decentralised finance a scam?
Mostly, yes. Not entirely, but it's the way to bet.
- You keep mentioning gluten-free stuff. Isn't that also a scam?
Unless you have celiac disease, yes.
If you do have celiac disease, gluten-free meals are the difference between living a relatively normal life and being a hermit subsisting on boiled rice and carrot sticks.
- Who is that vtuber you referred to obliquely the other day?
If I referred to them obliquely it would only be a retired Hololive member, and there's only four of those (not counting Hitomi Chris, who no-one remembers): Aloe, Coco, Rushia, and most recently Sana. And the reason for the obliquity is that all four have other online personas kept separate from Hololive for privacy / contractual reasons. On my non-technical posts I will sometimes be less oblique - or a quick Google search will probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know.
I Survived, Bishes Video of the Day
Saturday, August 06
Stockholm Syndrome Anonymous Edition
- Right to jail, right away: How a crypto developer faked an ecosystem. (CoinDesk)
Using eleven different names, one programmer built a multi-layered financial platform on top of the Solana blockchain. At its peak the Saber stablecoin exchange and the services built on top of it had a "total value locked" - TVL - around $7.5 billion, but that involved a lot of double counting.
And no-one knows how much because one of those services - Cashio - got hacked and the whole thing imploded.
Seven Saber ecosystem users told CoinDesk they felt abandoned by the Macalinao brothers. Some lost money in CASH tokens (the erstwhile stablecoin went to zero). Others say their crypto is stuck in derivative tokens issued by Sunny. One pseudonymous user, Brad_Garlic_Bread, said he lost around $300,000 across Sunny and Saber – "there's a lot of people worse off than me."There is a time to ask questions, and there is a time to file lawsuits and press criminal charges. If these idiots can't work out what time it is, I have little sympathy for them.
The community assumes Ian is running the show "but no one knows for sure," Brad_Garlic_Bread said.
He’s still trying to get Ian’s attention. On July 16, Brad asked if Ian "can pretend to be Surya [one of the fake identities] for like a day" to help Sunny Aggregator's investors recover locked tokens. Ian was answering questions in the Saber Discord; he skipped Brad’s.
Other SUNNY token-holders asked Ian for clues about the yield aggregator's future. Saber is moving to Aptos – will Sunny do the same? They asked what became of Sunny's lead developer.
More generally, though: If someone offers you an investment opportunity in a "stablecoin", it's a scam. If they promise 17% returns per month, as some of these ventures have done, then it's your own fault if you fall for it.
- More people who deserve what they got: Audiophiles are in an uproar after it turned out their precious vinyl was pressed from high-quality digital recordings rather than lower-fidelity analog master tapes. (Washington Post)
They just forgot to mention that part. And their best customers are - unfortunately for them - crazy:
"One of the reasons they want to excoriate MoFi is for lying," says Howarth. "The other part that bothers them is that they’ve been listening to digital all along and they’re highly invested in believing that any digital step will destroy their experience. And they’re wrong."If someone charges you thousands - or tens of thousands - of dollars for a hi-fi system that is audibly worse than a $500 shelf system, then it's your own fault if you fall for it.
- Did the NSA and NIST deliberately sabotage cryptography standards? (Cr.yp.to)
The post is rather rambling, but the upshot is they are not responding to FOIA requests and the author has filed suit to uncover what is going on with current efforts to establish quantum cryptography standards.
- That's no moon. That's a kielbasa. (Vice)
Actually in this case it was Proxima Centauri, or rather, not Proxima Centauri but a slice of chorizo.
- Speaking of moons South Korea launched a lunar orbiter yesterday. (Nature)
Using a SpaceX rocket and launching from Florida, but why keep a cow in the kitchen when you can get... I don't know where I'm going with that analogy.
The Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter will take a very leisurely trip the the Moon, arriving in orbit in December.
Disclaimer: I expect to arrive in orbit in December too.
Friday, August 05
Bats In My Face Edition
- AMD's Ryzen 7000 range looks set to go zoom. (WCCFTech)
The new top of the line 7950x has a base clock speed of 4.5GHz and a maximum speed of 5.7GHz. The current 5950X has a much more sedate base speed of 3.4GHz and a top speed of 4.9GHz.
Coupled with a 15% improvement in performance per clock that should result in some speedy chips.
- Ryzen 7000 may have limited overclocking potential. (Hot Hardware)
They're already going to 5.7GHz. What do you want?
- Motherboard makers are showing off their upcoming motherboards for Ryzen 7000. (Tom's Hardware)
Which seems like a sensible thing to do.
- Speaking of chips they just doubled in price in Australia. (MSN)
Seriously. I bought a couple of bags last week at $2.20, and when I went to get more they were $4.30. Apparently the same floods that sent the market here in New House City soaring right when I was looking to buy also wiped out much of Australia's potato crop.
- Oh, and interest rates are up again, so I have that going for me, which is nice.
- GitLab is not going to delete projects that aren't updated for a year. (The Register)
Which is good, but you have to wonder how such an obviously stupid decision got off the ground in the first place.
- Chinese crapware makers Tencent are looking to buy a majority stake in Ubisoft. (Hot Hardware)
Not sure if that will make Ubisoft better or worse.
Not At All Tech News
- How it started:
- How it's going:
- If you watch the video in that first one, then yes, that's who you think it is.
Thursday, August 04
So this server crashed while I was standing in line for security. Fortunately I had the audible alarm switched off and didn't have to explain why my bag was beeping.
- GitLab is planning to delete projects that are not updated for a year, which everyone agrees is insane.
- Robinhood is firing a quarter of its staff. If you have the option, take it, because the company is probably doomed anyway.
- My flight is boarding.
Wednesday, August 03
Short one today because I have finally lost my marbles.
- Axie Infinity, the blockchain game that was eventually hacked and looted of $600 million in Monopoly money, sucked long before that happened. (Time)
Pretty much everyone lost money except for the people running the company.
- You might ask why people running scams like this aren't charged under laws governing Ponzi and pyramid schemes. Well, eleven executives of another crypto company, Forsage, just have been. (CBS)
Good. And many more to come, I hope.
- An advanced new cryptography scheme designed to be save even against quantum computes just got hacked using a single-core conventional PC - in an hour. (Ars Technica)
Tuesday, August 02
Coat Of Arms Edition
- Just on that "best small laptop" from yesterday: It's a great deal in the US ($1029) but crazy expensive in Australia ($2699).
By comparison the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus - the top of the line model - is... Oh. Well, I guess they've fixed that then. I'll wait for that to go on sale as well. At US$1949 vs. A$3399 it's pretty close to what I'd expect (the Australian price includes sales tax) but it was A$2499 last week.
- Congress has said the CHIPS Act is not a $50 billion cash grab for semiconductor companies. (The Register)
"Yeah, sure" say the semiconductor companies standing in line with their hands out.
- If you want a Radeon 6900XT now might be the time. I'm seeing them cheaper than the 6800XT, 6800, 6750XT, and some models of 6700XT. Of course there will be new cards coming along soon but pricing and availability of those is a big unknown right now.
It's one of the cheapest cards around relative to recent prices. (Tom's Hardware)
Not cheap in absolute terms though.
- Intel's Sapphire Rapids server CPUs are reportedly on their 12th revision ("respin") already and aren't even shipping yet. (Tom's Hardware)
It's completely normal for a new chip to require a couple of hardware revisions before launch - expensive, but normal. Twelve is unusual.
- Is Winamp back to whip the llama's ass? (Bleeping Computer)
Maybe. The project has been migrated from Visual Studio 2008 to VS 2019 so that they can actually compile it for modern operating systems, and there's a new release available to download. Not a lot of new features yet though.
- China's new 7nm chips aren't. (The Register)
All those numbers are marketing bullshit anyway, but this is a double helping. China doesn't have access to the EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography equipment, or the components for that equipment, or the machines to make those components, so what they've done is applied older DUV processes and used multi-patterning to produce chips that they then slap a 7nm label on.
Basically, what they have is Intel's 14nm+n, for some value of n that doesn't matter because increasing n doesn't change anything.
Monday, August 01
Wait What Edition
- The HP Pavilion Plus 14 could be the new best small laptop, taking over from the HP Pavilion Aero. (PC Magazine)
Fully kitted out it has 16GB of RAM (enough for most users, though I'd like a 32GB option), 1TB of SSD, a 2880x1800 90Hz OLED display, and an Intel i7-12700H with 6 Performance cores and 8 Efficiency cores.
I/O consists of two USB-C ports (not Thunderbolt, but they support DisplayPort video and charging), two USB-A ports, HDMI, microSD, and a headphone jack. For some reason they're all on the opposite side to my current Dell Inspiron 14 - well, except USB-A where it conveniently has one on each side.
And it has the Four Essential Keys.
That configuration will set you back $1029 in the US (on sale right now, normally $1229), or $2699 in Australia.
Which... Wow. Shipping sure is expensive, huh?
The reason I'd still consider it is that it's 30% faster than my current laptop single-threaded, and two and a half times as fast multi-threaded. It's faster than my full-size Inspiron 16, and a lot lighter.
- Intel is planning to obsoleterate 12th generation laptops like the Pavilion Plus before the end of the year. (Tom's Hardware)
13th generation laptop chips were originally scheduled for early 2023, but have now reportedly been brought forward to this year. That probably means we'll see laptops with the new chips announced by Christmas but good luck getting your hands on one before March.
- Meanwhile Intel's Sapphire Rapids server chips, originally expected in Q3 2022, are now due in Q1 2023. (WCCFTech)
These are targeted at AMD's third generation Epyc server parts, but will ship months after AMD's fourth generation.
- Nvidia's upcoming RTX 4070 will be 80% faster than the 3070 for the same price unless it won't. (WCCFTech)
There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and computer industry leaks.
- Linus Torvalds is dogfooding Linux on an Arm-based Mac. (Kernel.org)
From the adage "eat your own dogfood", meaning use your own product to catch problems before your customers do.
Linux has been ported to Apple's Arm-based systems with precisely zero help from Apple, who would rather it didn't exist.
- They had to count them all: 200 holes in Luna's lithosphere. (Live Science)
The existence of the holes isn't the exciting part, though. The exciting part is they're sheltered and maintain a fairly steady 17C (63F) meaning that we don't need to dig our own holes to construct a comfy Moonbase.
Huge stockpiles of nuclear waste also entirely optional.
- Did Anonymous follow through on their Twitter boast and actually hack Russian websites? Apparently, yes. (CNBC)
An independent researcher worked with CNBC and found that 92% of Russian sites in a random survey had been compromised, and the data leaked by Anonymous seems to be legit.
In fact the complaint is that there is so much leaked data from Russian sites floating around that no-one has the time to even begin to analyse it all.
Except probably China.
- Hololive's Houshou Marine has crossed the two million subscriber mark - the first from the main Japanese branch and only the third worldwide to do so, and Omaru Polka has crossed the one million mark, becoming I think the 32nd Hololive talent with more than a million subscribers.
Holostars EN seems to be settling in, with all passing the 100k mark in the first week. (EN Gen 2 all achieved that as well, except thanks to YouTube they had to do it four times.)
They don't seem to invest as much in rigging the Holostars models though. If you compare how animated Bae's face is, for example, the Holostars generally look like bad marionettes.
Bump the window of a WSL shell session and it stops scrolling, which means my server alarm no longer works.
Sunday, July 31
Totally Not Edition
- Cultist of the Ebon Moon working at CERN are not opening up a portal to Hell. (USA Today)
"There is no truth to the claim that cul- er, scientists at CERN are communicating with demonic entities and using the collider to open up a portal to Hell," spokesthing Ba'al Demonovic told USA Today in an eerie dream. "We're going to need a much larger accelerator to accomplish that."
- The all-new Dell XPS 13 Plus sucks. (The Verge)
They tried to combine the worst features of the MacBook Air and the trackbar models of the MacBook Pro, and succeeded too well. And then they added a battery-draining OLED display.
- TSMC has completed primary construction of their new 5nm fab (chip factory) in Arizona. (Tom's Hardware)
It will take about 18 months to fit out the building with services and equipment before production begins in early 2024.
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