Well that's good. Fantastic. That gives us 20 minutes to save the world and I've got a post office. And it's shut!

Sunday, December 08


Daily News Stuff 8 December 2019

You Block 175 Web Spiders And What Do You Get Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Anyone who attempts to generate random numbers by deterministic means is, of course, living in a state of sin.

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Post contains 547 words, total size 5 kb.


Daily News Stuff 7 December 2019

Undefined Reference Edition

Tech News

  • uWSGI won't install under PyPy 3.6-v7.2.0.  This came as a surprise because I spent last week setting up a whole bunch of production servers at my day job running PyPy 2.7-v7.2.0 for our legacy apps, and that worked just fine.

    Fortunately I don't absolutely need it right now; all the PyPy 3.6 code I have running is either low-volume and works fine with a single process, or can be configured as multiple standalone processes behind a Caddy proxy.

  • Turns out that MongoDB 4.2 doesn't support Lucene search.  This was a big feature announcement, but if you read closely it only applies to MongoDB Atlas, their database-as-a-service.  There are improvements to MongoDB search in 4.2 (wildcard indexes), but not Lucene.

  • Speaking of search, I searched this blog for atlas just now - well, an hour ago, because then I found that the server was overloaded and dropped everything to fix that - and it found my previous post on MongoDB search even though I didn't mention Atlas in the text, because I didn't realise at the time that it was an Atlas-only feature.

    The link to the MongoDB blog post about the new search functionality had atlas in it.  The search was able to find that.

  • So, news...

  • The next iPhone won't have any ports at all unless it does.  (Macworld)

    Apple would love that.

  • France has proposed terrible new draft laws to implement the EU's terrible new copyright directive.  (Julia Reda)

    There will never be a social media company in France.  China is more open than this.

  • China has deployed the Great Cannon again.  (AT&T)

    This is the offense part of the Great Firewall, injecting malicious code into subversive sites the Chinese government doesn't want its people to see, like, for example, GitHub.

  • Systemd opened a potential security hole in Linux-based VPNs.  (Linux Reviews)

    I'm a confirmed systemd hater, but have to point out that this is a potential security hole; there's no certainty that it could be practically exploited, much less that it has been already.

Disclaimer: I am reminded at this juncture that there is a Twitter bot called Fuck Every Word 2.0, that has been slowly but steadily working through the English dictionary posting tweets that consist simply of "fuck" and the word of the hour.  

(It's 2.0 because, a little past the middle of the alphabet, 1.0 suddenly got banned.)

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Saturday, December 07


Dealing With Assholes Running Web Spiders On The Internet

Your site can deal with 20 simultaneous threads crawling the entire history of all your content right?  Right.  I mean, if your server crashes it's not our problem.  Also, fuck sending a clear identifier, we're just a Mac running Safari that just happens to be downloading the contents of 70,000 blogs.

Update: We were - and indeed, still are - getting hit by a torrent of garbage requests coming through a group of proxy servers run by an SEO company.  I don't know why, but they are now all getting 404.

Update 2: I killed that, and then I discovered we were also getting scanned by a total of 175 different servers at various hosting companies.  Those are all blocked at the firewall now, and don't even get the courtesy of a 404.

If you have a problem reaching the site - say it works on mobile but not at home, or vice versa - please let me know.  I will double-check the list of blocked IPs tomorrow and convert it to a smaller number of IP ranges.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:38 AM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Daily News Stuff 6 December 2019

MavXISTeR_CZwXBuNY5-hw Edition

Tech News

  • The Motorola One Hyper checks all the boxes.  (Ars Technica)

    No notch - it uses a popup thingy for the 32MP front camera, 2340x1080 6.5" screen, which looks to be the standard size for 2020, Snapdragon 675 (two A76 and six A55 cores), 64MP main camera, headphone jack, and microSD.  4GB RAM and 128GB storage.

    It costs US$400, but they'll throw in a free Moto G6.

  • Qualcomm announced a bunch of new chips.

    The Snapdragon 865 and 765 for phones are based on the A77 and A76 cores respectively.  (AnandTech)

    The 865 has four large and four small (A55) cores; the mid-range 765 has a two/six split.

    The Snapdragon 8c and 7c are aimed at actively and passively cooled laptops respectively.  (Tom's Hardware)

    These chips are listed as 8 core devices, but they're almost certainly the same 4+4 and 2+6 core layouts as the mobile parts.  Qualcomm will say "eight Kryo 490 cores", but the trick is that the Kryo 490 Gold is an A76, while the Kryo 490 Silver is only an A55.

  • Amazon also has a new Arm CPU.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The 64-core Graviton2 is based on Arm's Ares architecture, which is a server-optimised variant of the A76.

    The performance is not terribly exciting, so why does Amazon bother?  Because they're spending billions of dollars a year on Intel CPUs.  At that scale, a semi-custom design where Arm does the heavy lifting on the core itself makes sense.

  • Testing USB 3.2 Gen 2x2.  (Legit Reviews)

    The device tested is a pre-release Asus external M.2 enclosure, which is expected to sell for around $40.  It delivers 1.9 GB/s on both reads and writes, so it looks like USB 20 is delivering as promised.

  • Dealing with assholes on the internet.  (Coffee and Dreams)
    That makes life easier, huh? Just block that and we’re good. And good we were. I apologised to any users that might be using an amiga with an 11-year old Gecko build and got on with my day.
  • That problem with the iPhone 11 scanning your location no matter what?  It's for ultra wideband support.  (Tech Crunch)

    So all you need to do is turn off ultra wideband, which is easily achieved by returning you iPhone 11 for a refund and buying literally any other device.

  • Intel had a terrible week.  (ZDNet)

    Given that Intel would have recorded a net profit of around half a billion dollars in that week, we should all have such weeks.

Disclaimer: I'd settle for a terrible twenty minutes.

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Friday, December 06


Daily News Stuff 5 December 2019

What A Dump Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Your mom's an Epic exclusive.

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Post contains 286 words, total size 3 kb.

Thursday, December 05


Daily News Stuff 4 December 2019

Blargh Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: No, seriously.

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Post contains 284 words, total size 3 kb.

Tuesday, December 03


Daily News Stuff 3 December 2019

It's Only A Little One Edition

Tech News

Picture of the Day


That awkward moment when an interesting rock formation blinks.

Disclaimer: May contain traces.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:50 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 213 words, total size 2 kb.


Daily News Stuff 2 December 2019

Belladonna 3X Edition

Tech News

  • Password-free and exposed to the internet is no way to go through life.  (Tech Crunch)

    I'm guessing MongoDB.  Even 4.2 doesn't force you to create a default database, though it does complain at you if you don't.

  • Only two things are certain: Taxes and journalists promoting censorship.  (Tech Crunch)

    Here Susan Wojcicki, YouTube's CEO, comes across as a rational, honest, non-partisan defender of free speech, which she is not - at least, not in Sane World.  But in contrast with Clown World denizens like 60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl and Tech Crunch's Connie Loizos, she is Thomas Jefferson's ancap younger sister.

  • The 3950X is sold out.  (WCCFTech)

    I think what AMD needs to do is offer a 3950 non-X with lower clocks at, say, $650.  They seem to have enough dies, because the 3700X is readily available, just not enough of the top-binned dies they want for the 3900X and 3950X.

  • Django 3.0 is out.

    Django is a very popular Python web framework - the Python equivalent of Ruby on Rails.

    Noteworthy in this release is that it not only doesn't support Python 2.7, it doesn't support Python 3.0 through 3.5 either.  3.6 and up - and PyPy is only up to 3.6.

    I should take a look, at least, though I'm not sure it has any advantages for what I'm doing.  I want a pared-down system that does exactly and only what I need, and I'm happy enough writing SQL queries manually.

  • The problem with Google.  (ZDNet)

    The problem with Google - one of the problems, for there are many - is that they keep killing products that people depend on.  At least if you buy an overpriced WiFi router you can replace it with something cheaper that works just as well and doesn't fucking spy on you deliberately.  (Only accidentally.)

Disclaimer: You think you do, but you don't.

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Sunday, December 01


Daily News Stuff 1 December 2019

No News December Edition

Tech News

  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been cancelled by Netflix.  (Forbes)

    This marks the 27th time the show has been cancelled, but the first time it has been cancelled specifically by Netflix.

  • The replacement for SMS has been hacked even before it gets implemented, sort of.  (Vice)

    It's not that RCS is broken so much as telcos (or "telecos" as Vice would have it) are idiots.

  • Modern Javacript tooling is too complicated.  (Changelog)

    Or rather, it's a fractally horrifying can of Plutonian nightmare worms.

  • UPX is the ultimate packer for executables.  (GitHub)

    It reduces my 8.3MB binary to 3.2MB with the minor downside that it breaks exception tracebacks (even if I don't strip the binary) and randomly segfaults on WSL.

    So not great in development but for delivering a production binary on platforms other than WSL it's a useful option.  Not only can you run a UPX binary directly, you can uncompress it to get back the exact original file.

    The resulting files are a little smaller than zip/gzip and you don't need to unzip them.  Unless you're getting tracebacks in production, anyway.

  • Election polls aren't broken, they're just...  No, wait, they're broken after all.  (Ars Technica)
    It’s easy to write off the power of polls when they pick the wrong winner. But doing so misses the intended purpose (and acknowledged capability) of polling: to capture a snapshot of public opinion—not to make a prediction.
    But when it comes to an election, that snapshot of public opinion is a prediction.

  • Files are hard.  Use SQLite.

    This isn't the usual complaint like "threads are hard", but a proper examination of what is required to provide a correct filesystem abstraction under all circumstances up to and including unreliable hardware.

    The answer is - if you want local ACID-compliant storage - just use SQLite.

Disclaimer: Plutonian nightmare worms are the worst kind of nightmare worms.

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Post contains 321 words, total size 3 kb.

Saturday, November 30


Daily News Stuff 30 November 2019

Negotiating The Price Edition

Tech News

  • At least they didn't sell themselves cheap: The .org domain sold for $1.135 billion.

    Further discussion and links here.  (Hacker News)

  • AMD's Threadripper 3970X presents a much more uniform memory architecture than the 2990WX, with fewer but faster chip-to-chip links and a central memory controller.

    This is good news for Windows users delivering performance generally competitive with Linux.  (Phoronix)

    Windows is still slowest overall (compared to several flavours of Linux across ten pages of benchmarks) but not by much.

    Threadripper was originally a low-cost low-risk play for the workstation market, and it was good enough to create a niche for itself.  Threadripper 3 is a much better design and no longer the underdog.

  • Your smart TV tracks everything you do.  (Washington Post)

    That page - you probably don't want to click on it - uses 78 cookies and 195 local storage entries.

  • Yes, still slow news time.  At least tech news.  At least good tech news.

  • Oh.  MongoDB 4.2 doesn't support Lucene search.  MongoDB's SAAS platform based on MongoDB 4.2 supports Lucene search.  Unfortunately it would cost us our entire server budget, and we'd have to switch hosting providers.

    So I'll be stuck with Elasticsearch for a while yet it seems.

  • Was doing some coding in Crystal today.  Nothing complicated - a data collector for server monitoring - but I wanted a portable, static binary and I didn't want to use Go.

    Good news: Once I got past the obvious errors (mostly compile time errors due to this being the first real Crystal code I've written, plus other things like not calling the right method in my own code) it worked.  No weird runtime nonsense, no fussing about with JSON-encoding my hash.  It scooped up the server status and squirted it over to the data collector (written in Python).

    Good news: The static binary, built on WSL running Ubuntu 18.04, runs just fine on an old CentOS 6 system.

    Bad news: It's 5MB stripped.  The linker isn't at all smart about removing unused libraries, and when I added the HTTP client library it hauled in a few megabytes of dependencies.

    Good news: Still builds in 8 seconds even with all that baggage.

Suddenly Topical Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Just don't let them touch your balls.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:47 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 388 words, total size 3 kb.

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