You're Amelia!
You're late!
Amelia Pond! You're the little girl!
I'm Amelia, and you're late.

Friday, May 07


Daily News Stuff 7 May 2021

Hypocrisy R Us Edition

Top Stories

There's a word for nostalgia for a past you never experienced, but I've forgotten what it is.  When I was a kid my parents moved to the very outskirts of Sydney.  Our backyard was Kuringai Chase National Park, where Skippy was filmed.  A schoolfriend was the son of the head park ranger.  Great for catching tadpoles in spring; not so good when it all caught fire.

Tech News

  • IBM has shown off the world's first 2nm chip.  (Tom's Hardware)

    AnandTech also has the story, with different details.

    The big news isn't that this is 2nm, because nothing about the chip is actually 2nm in size; it's just a marketing number.  The big news is that this is the first GAAFET chip, using an advanced new transistor design.

    A few years ago, at the 20nm node, Intel introduced FINFETs - transistors that stick up vertically like fins - while the rest of the industry bet that it could get another generation out of regular, planar, FETS.  Intel was right and everyone else was wrong, and it took years for the rest of the industry to recover.

    This is part of why AMD was so far behind until the launch of Ryzen in 2017 - they had an inefficient CPU design and an inefficient fabrication process from Global Foundries.  Not a good combination.

    GAAFET is required for the next few generations, from 2nm (meaningless number) down to 1.2nm (meaningless number).  I'm not sure exactly where this train will end; there's at least four full generations to come as well as in-between generations like 6nm and 4nm, but without seeing the actual transistor density, power, and frequency numbers - not to mention costs - it's impossible to know what any of it means.

  • For example Sony is reportedly planning to update the PlayStation 5 to TSMC's 6nm process.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is 18% denser than the current 7nm process but otherwise very similar, so it might be cheaper than switching to an entirely new process node.  This is an expensive task and not something you do unless you're churning out millions of devices, but Sony is churning out millions of devices.  Even with the industry-wide supply constraints they've sold over 8 million of these consoles.

  • China's greenhouse emissions now exceed those of all the OECD nations combined.  (BNN Bloomberg)

    One easy way to reduce greenhouse emissions is to export all your industrial capacity.  Not saying it's a good idea, just an easy one.

  • The Surface Laptop 4 doesn't have the four essential keys.  (AnandTech)

    Even on the 15" model which has tons of space all around the keyboard.

    It's available with either a 13" or 15" 3:2 screen, and a choice of 11th gen Intel or 4th gen AMD processors.  For me, without those keys, it's a non-starter even if they cut the price by half.

  • Delayed ACKs and Nagle's algorithm don't mix.  (WizardZines)

    Tracking down why the simplest requests take 50ms when the client and the server are on the same network.  In this case it's an HTTP POST and might not matter, but this could be crippling if you're using something like Redis or Memcached, or even a regular database.

  • Google is going to automatically enroll users for 2FA - two-factor authentication.  (ZDNet)
    You may not realize it, but passwords are the single biggest threat to your online security
    said Google, as news surfaced of the thirtieth major corporate data breach this week.

  • The HP ZBook Fury 15 G7 has the four essential keys.  (Hot Hardware)

    It has a full numeric keypad and the four essential keys.  The CPU is an 8 core Xeon W-10885M with a top speed of 5.3GHz, paired with an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 with 16GB of RAM.  The screen is a 15.6" 4K panel with 100% DCI-P3 colour and an eye-searing 600 nits max brightness.

    Main memory goes up to 128GB, and it has three user-accessible M.2 slots so you can install 24TB of storage if you really want to.  It comes with two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort, two regular USB ports, a full-size SD card slot, 1/8" headphone jack, wired Ethernet, and a dedicated charging port for the provided 200W brick.

    Not surprisingly given those specs, prices start at $2299 and go upwards pretty fast.  But if you need a no-compromises laptop for work - and the company is paying - this could be it.

Change of Pace Anime Music Video of the Day

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is a fun little series that doesn't have a mean-spirited bone in its body but is not kid-safe.  Tohru is in love with Kobayashi and though nothing ever happens on screen there's also nothing platonic about it.  Also she's a fifty foot long dragon.

Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Thursday, May 06


Daily News Stuff 6 May 2021

Mep Edition

Had to work late so keeping things short today.

Top Story

  • Bootstrap 5 is out.  (GetBootstrap)

    Bootstrap is a CSS framework for designing websites.  It's from Twitter, and it's the only good thing they've done, and it's still pretty bad.

    There's going to be a lot of swearing as front-end web developers migrate to the new version, because Twitter understands backwards-compatibility the way sea slugs understand calculus.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Ugh.

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Wednesday, May 05


Daily News Stuff 5 May 2021

Top Story

  • Well, not news exactly, but I bought a new phone and a new tablet today.  I've wanted a new tablet for quite a while, but I've been looking for an 8" Android tablet with at least a 1920x1200 screen to replace my ancient Nexus 7, and those to a first approximation do not exist.  A Kindle Fire might suit, but those simply aren't sold in Australia.  Before Amazon opened operations here they were hard to get; now they're impossible.

    So instead I got a Lenovo M10 FHD 2nd Gen (apparently also called the FHD Plus) which as the name suggests is a 10" tablet with a 1920x1200 screen.  It's about 50% heavier than the Nexus 7, but that puts it at the same weight as premium tablets like the iPad Air - at a quarter of the price.

    And it has expandable storage and a headphone jack, which iPads don't.  4GB RAM and 128GB storage built in, which will be a relief because the ever-growing Google apps have choked the 32GB available on the Nexus 7.  Price was A$250 on a one-day sale; it's now gone back up to A$300.

    Phone is an Oppo A91, last year's model, because for some unfathomable reason this year's cheap models have all gone back down to 720p screens.  It's a 2400x1080 90Hz AMOLED screen with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage.  Again, it includes a headphone jack and expandable storage.  And I have two spare 400GB microSD cards that I bought in the Cyber Monday sale last year, so those are finally going to see use.  Price just under A$350.

    If I can't get one device the size I prefer, at least I can bracket it with two devices.

The opening for Record of Lodoss War, the biggest-budget - and best - anime adaptation of literally someone's D&D game of all time.  Heaven knows they've thrown more money at dumber things with worse results.

Tech News

  • The price of Chia - the blockchain storage fiasco token - is dropping, but not before it consumed 2EB of storage.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That's two billion gigabytes, wasted.  On the other hand, it's fantastically more power-efficient than Ethereum or Bitcoin.  Hard drives that are mostly just sitting there spinning use a lot less power than a box full of video cards or even custom ASICs, and Bitcoin uses over 10,000 times as much electricity as Chia.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch TeamGroup has launched a Chia farming SSD.

    I mentioned before that the heavy write workloads that Chia generates would fry a cheap consumer SSD.  While TeamGroup is at best a second-tier SSD provider, these drives are rated for up to 12PB of lifetime writes - matching enterprise SSDs from Samsung like the one in our main server.

  • Don't wait up: AMD's Zen 4 might not arrive until Q4 next year.  (WCCFTech)

    That's a big gap in AMD's schedule compared to the last four years.  Intel - assuming they stay on target - is expected to have their 12th generation parts out this year, after an underwhelming 11th generation launch also this year.

  • Cinder is a performance-oriented fork of Python from Instagram.  (GitHub)

    I'm not sure why it is, given that Cinder is unsupported while PyPy, a fast Python JIT compiler, has been around for years and is being used in production by many companies.

  • Well, fuck: A driver installed during Dell's BIOS update process allows local privilege escalation.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Which means that if you have updated your Dell system's BIOS at any time in the last - oh, wonderful - the last twelve years, your computer is at risk.

    I avoid updating BIOS unless there is some specific problem I need to address, because I have ended up with expensive bricks when the update went wrong, but I have done this at least once on a Dell system I have in use right now.

    This bug doesn't mean you have been hacked, and it doesn't directly allow you to be hacked, but it potentially allows hackers to take complete control of your system if they get in some other way, and (for example) disable your virus scanner so that you never know anything is wrong.

  • Meanwhile a bug that's ben lurking in the Exim mail server for 17 years puts 60% of the world's email - and email servers - at risk.  (The Record)

    My mail server did an automated update of Exim just a few hours ago, before I even saw this article.  I get a notification for every application that gets patched.  Usually it's PHP, which has always been a huge bowl of bug soup.  Seeing Exim on the list is a little more rare.

  • Signal tried to run a truth-in-targeted-advertising campaign on Instagram.  That got shut down very quickly.  (ZDNet)

    Terrorism?  It's complicated.

    Showing users exactly how they are being tracked?  Gone in 60 Seconds.

  • Since it is illegal for the US government to spy on  its own citizens without a warrant the US government is paying private companies to do it instead.  (CNN)

    This is obviously illegal too - in fact, it is precisely as illegal for precisely the same reasons - but it ticks a box on the "wasn't me" checklist so nobody goes to jail twice as hard. 

Anime Theme Song Videos of the Day

Today's 90's nostalgia is Devil Hunter Yohko, a six episode OVA series that ran from 1990 to 1995.  Like Bubblegum Crisis, it has a substantial soundtrack for such a short series, with each episode getting a new theme song.  This is Touch My Heart from episode 6.

And this is Full Moonlight from - I think episode 4 which was a musical episode.  I probably bought this around 1996 or so, on VHS tape, with just one episode per tape, special import from the US, for around A$60.

I had fewer expenses back then.

Disclaimer: Also my back didn't hurt.

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Tuesday, May 04


Daily News Stuff 4 May 2021

And He Has Gills Edition

Top Story

  • Future tense, present tense, what's the difference?
    "Today, approximately 3.5 million premises across Australia can access the NBN Home Ultrafast wholesale speed tier with wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1 Gbps, on demand."
    Oh, really?  I'd like to sign up then.

    I can't?  No fucking surprise, because it took you bastards twelve fucking years just to wire up suburban Sydney.

    I do at least have 80M down and 40M up now, though, which is a hell of an improvement from the 14/2 I had a year ago.

I mentioned yesterday the clean transition between the opening argument and sparse visuals in Dominion Tank Police, and the show itself and the opening theme.  But I don't think that transition has ever been handled better than in the first episode of Bubblegum Crisis.

It introduces the story and all the major characters with nothing more than a song and a few lines of police radio chatter.  It doesn't hurt that the show owes a huge debt to Blade Runner, so the setting is already somewhat familiar, but it's still one of the most memorable anime openings ever.

Tech News

  • You can still get the Ryzen 3700X.  (AnandTech)

    It may not be the very latest technology, but it's a solid chip, and it's reasonably priced.  The i9-11900K is 12% faster on multi-threaded workloads, but costs twice as much - and even in theory uses twice as much power.

  • Nvidia's new 3080 Ti has started showing up on this side of the International Date Line which is slightly odd because the difference is only a day and launch date isn't for two weeks.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Right now, checking my local store, I can get a 3060 for $1000 or a 3090 for $3000.  One model of each.  That's it.

    There are several AMD 6700XT and 6900XT cards in stock, though.  AMD's current cards aren't as good at mining as Nvidia's, even when you line them up by similar game performance, so they are slightly less impossible to obtain.

    The difference in mining performance is probably down to AMD's new design, where they reduced memory bandwidth and compensated with a very large (96MB or 128MB, depending on the card) on-chip cache.  That works fine for most games, but poorly for crypto mining.

  • Macromedia Flash is disappearing from Windows in July.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Adobe abandoned it at the end of last year, so that's no surprise.

    If you just realised that you'll never again be able to play Penguin Golf, fear not.  Blue Maxima's Flashpoint has you covered.

    All the Penguin Golf games and 70,000 more, plus 8000 Flash animations.  You'll need a little over a terabyte of disk to download the entire archive, though.  It's a 478GB 7Z file that uncompresses to 532GB of individual games.

    They also have an installer that just downloads the games you want; that's a mere 500MB download and 2GB minimum disk space.

  • Sony has taken an ownership stake in Discore and will be integrating it into their PlayStation Network.  (Polygon)

    Again, not a surprise.  Discord recently broke off acquisition talks with Microsoft, and it's unlikely they'd have done that without some other funds being on the table.

  • Awful high-tech fashion company meets awful game exclusivity company in court, observers try to figure out how they can both lose.  (9to5Mac)

    This is Epic's lawsuit against Apple over the business practices of the App Store.  Epic paints Apple as overbearing all-devouring monopolistic bastards, which is true.  Apple in turn paints Epic as bottom-feeding vermin who want everything for free and never produced anything of value, which is also true, but - and this is the one point in Epic's favour - not illegal.

Eight Episode AMV Video of the Day

There aren't a lot of AMVs for the original Bubblegum Crisis, partly because it's an older show, but mostly because the show itself is pretty much a six hour AMV.

Here's Soldier Girls from episode one.

Solar Freaking Roadways Video of the Day

Solar panels have their place, particularly if you live somewhere horrifyingly sunny like northern Australia or southern Spain.  But where that place most definitely is not is directly on the fucking ground.

Disclaimer: Solar roadways - the idiot that keeps on idioting.

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Monday, May 03


Daily News Stuff 3 May 2021

Tomato Panda Edition

Top Story

  • Docker is a free and open source container management system.  Want to skip an update because it could interrupt your workflow?  That's a paid feature.

I was looking for a clip of the opening credits for Dominion Tank Police that included this argument between the police chief and the mayor.  I still haven't found such a clip - but I did find the full first episode, which starts with that argument and flows smoothly - a nice bit of directing here - into the story and the opening credits.

This lacks the musical sophistication of some of the other items - basically it's a Casio keyboard and vocals by Sharon from marketing - and yet it fits the show perfectly.

Tech News

Anna Puma Enjoys the Spotlight Video of the Day

It Takes a Village Video of the Day

Kiara Takanashi of Hololive telling the Minecraft villagers she rescued how things are going to work around here (artist interpretation).

Disclaimer: Gotta wonder who cleans the drain in their shower with that much hair.  Also how much they spend on shampoo.

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Sunday, May 02


Daily News Stuff 2 May 2021

On Beyond Useless Edition

Top Story

  • The Opera browser now supports decentralised domain name lookups.  (Tech Radar)

    Okay, the story is slightly more complicated than that, but ultimately it doesn't make much more sense.

    A company called Unstoppable Domains sells domains under the .blockchain name space - called a top-level domain or TLD.  They didn't buy the rights to .blockchain or register it with the appropriate authorities, they just did it.    And the secret there is that anyone can do this.  In fact, anyone has always been able to do this.

    The tricky part is getting other people to agree that you own .blockchain, but with the current bubble there's stupid amounts of money splashing around and money works great for convincing people to go along with stupid ideas.

    The stupid idea in this case is to use the blockchain to distributed domain name lookups, rather than DNS, which has been around since 1983.  (Before 1983 the internet was so small that there was just a file with a list of all the servers.)

    The rationale here is that the blockchain - they use Ethereum, but any blockchain - is inherently distributed; the reason this is stupid is that so is DNS.

    Ethereum has some advantages in that it is transactional and auditable, so you can see exactly what changes have been made, when, and by whom.  And everything is controlled by contracts so in theory no-one can steal your domain.  In practice of course that can still happen, and will.  If nothing else works they'll just break your kneecaps.

    Anyway, the real problem with all this is that it runs on Ethereum, and Ethereum is at a record high of $2900.  (CNBC)

    Every change you make to your DNS settings with this system is an Ethereum transaction, and Ethereum transactions are paid in Ethereum coins, at a price that depends on the value of Ethereum itself and the gas price, which varies depending on how busy the network is, rather like this:

    That spike has passed, but earlier today if you had wanted to apply a single, simple DNS update via Ethereum, it would have cost your upwards of $300.  And that's assuming that it really stopped at a gas price of 400 rather than breaking the tracking software and keeping right on going.

    This isn't registering a domain, it's just remembering to point at your web server as well as my.domain.  $300 just for that.

    I'm paying less than that, per year, for two high-end virtual machines each capable of hosting hundreds of websites.  In Australia, where hosting is a lot more expensive than the US or Europe.

    DNS updates, meanwhile, are free.

Not a classic from the 80s or 90s today, but a fun little show from 2015.  Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon, or Danmachi from the abbreviation of the Japanese title, is a fantasy series where the hero, in fact, does not at any point pick up girls in a dungeon.

One of the highlights though is this ending theme, by Kanon Wakeshima, a classically-trained cellist who decided to expand her horizons a little.

Tech News

  • TSMC, which manufactures AMD's Epyc CPUs, is using AMD's Epyc CPUs to manufacture AMD's Epyc CPUs.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Not a huge story on the surface, except that TSMC is running billions of dollars worth of incredibly advanced manufacturing equipment that can't be interrupted, ever, even for a moment, without risking weeks of production, and they rely on AMD systems to control it all.

  • Turkey has pretty much banned cryptocurrencies.  (Tom's Hardware)

    They say this is because the currencies are being used for criminal activities and funding terrorism, which, this being Turkey, is almost certainly true, but the key problem is that they aren't being used for the right criminal activities and funding approved terrorism.

  • Huawei may be releasing a 3:2 32" desktop monitor with a resolution of 4500x3000.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I'm not sure why, though.  Microsoft's Surface Studio - is that even still available?  Okay, yes - has a 28" display with that resolution, but it's designed to lie almost flat so the whole thing can be used as a huge drawing surface by artists and animators.  That makes sense; it's a niche market but a real one.

    I'm not sure who wants a standalone monitor like that.  I currently have two 4K monitors each displaying two apps side-by-side.  What I'd really like is a single huge screen measuring something like 50" with a resolution of 10240x2880, so I can have five apps at once with the the main one centered in my vision and no nasty gaps in between.  The best I can currently get is 5120x1440, exactly half of what I want.

  • Got a slight ding in your shiny new iPad Pro?  Didn't pay up-front for AppleCare+?  That will be $699.  (WCCFTech)

    Prefer to take it to an independent repair shop?

    You can't.

    Because fuck you, that's why.

  • Shared libraries considered harmful.  (

    Shared libraries were essential on early multi-user systems because they drastically reduced memory requirements when memory cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per megabyte.  Now you get get as much second-hand server RAM as you want for $1 per gigabyte, so the complexities that shared code brings with it are coming to the fore.

    This is Linus Torvalds himself, and whatever you may think of him he does generally understand how Linux works.

  • Rocky Linux 8.3 RC1 is here.  (Phoronix)

    A bit of history here: Once upon a time - 1995 to be precise - there was a popular Linux distribution called Red Hat.  After some years that was split into two separate versions - Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL, which was stable and carefully tested and required a paid subscription, and Fedora, which was essentially the preview version of RHEL.

    Then the CentOS project came along, which took the source code for RHEL - which has to be published because it's all open source - stripped out any Red Hat proprietary content and trademarks, and gave it away.

    This being a pretty poor revenue model, the CentOS organisation ran short of funds, and Red Hat sponsored them because it was a good way of bringing in customers: Get them on CentOS, let them run into trouble, and sell them RHEL licenses and support agreements.

    Then IBM bought Red Hat, looked at this, decided that customers were not getting properly, I think the term is, serviced, and basically murdered the CentOS project.

    Rocky Linux, launched by one of the original CentOS creators and named after another (late) founder of that project, is funded in part by Amazon and Microsoft because, basically, lol fuck you IBM.

    Which is good for us, because we get a solid version of Linux for free.

    Except that I moved on to Ubuntu years ago, because CentOS 7 kind of sucked and CentOS 8 took seven forevers to finally arrive.

    Ubuntu certainly isn't perfect, but it ships like clockwork.  Every two years there's a long-term support release, and then you wait three months for the critical bugs to be shaken out by other people so you can deploy it.

    (Actually 20.04 was pretty solid from day one.  Depending on where you are reading this, you are likely connecting to a server running on Ubuntu 20.04.)

  • Chrome is getting a new feature that will let web apps read your computer's filesystem.  (Bleeping Computer)

    There is no way this will immediately go horribly wrong.

  • Python has the same bug when dealing with retarded IP addresses as Perl and Node.js.  (Bleeping Computer) is the IP address of Google's DNS service. should be the same IP address, because you're supposed to interpret numbers with a leading 0 as octal ( base 8 ) rather than just decimal numbers entered by a sloppy typist or a programmer with OCD who insists that every three-digit field actually contain three digits.

    Up through Python version 3.8.0a3, what it actually did instead was tell you to fuck off.  While technically incorrect, this was at least safe.

    With Python version 3.8.0a4 through to the current version 3.9.4 and preview releases of 3.10, it accepted your horrible IP address and passed it through to the underlying library... 

    Which turned out to be broken, such that was interpreted as, and whoever actually owned that IP address could steal all your data.  Well, your DNS lookups anyway.

  • You can download Windows 10 21H1 update right now.  (

    But why?

  • The developers of AI Dungeon developed a filter to look for child pornography.  (Vice)

    Neglecting the fact that fantasy role-playing games are a 24-hour all you can eat murder buffet, the creators of the game went hunting for...  Okay, look, these people are idiots.  They read everyone's content in case someone engaged in inappropriate fiction.

  • A California appeals court has ruled that Amazon is liable for the products it sells to exactly the same degree any other company engaged in the same business activities would be.  (MSN)

    Amazon is awash with blatant fraud and they have never done anything about it.  About time someone called them on the carpet.

Right Light Rise Music Videos of the Day

This is Kanon herself singing the full theme, with a bunch of guys who may or may not be the band; I can't tell for sure.  I hope this plays for everyone; the music is licensed by Warner so there aren't a lot of good copies around.

And here are Kanon and the band performing it live in concert.  Now the entire crowd can join in the flag sequence.  Right Light Rise starts at 31:42 if the player doesn't take you straight to it.

Anime Notes

Yesterday's comments (readers at my blog: the other comments) wandered into the relative merits of classic isekai - another world - fantasy shows Vision of Escaflowne and Fushigi Yuugi, which aired at roughly the same time. 

Two words of advice here:
  • With Escaflowne, watch the TV series.  If you're curious you can then also watch the movie, but don't watch it first.  It tries to compress a 26-episode TV series down to 98 minutes, and it simply doesn't work.

  • With Fushigi Yuugi, watch the TV series, and then for the love of all that is holy, stop.  There are three OVA sequels, but they are the anime equivalent of necrotising fasciitis.

It might not be be Yoko Kanno but it's better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick.  Except for the Miaka! Takahome! parts.  Those, I'd take the stick.

Disclaimer:That fun little show just got renewed for a fourth season, so be warned if you do start watching it.

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Saturday, May 01


Daily News Stuff 1 May 2021

B Ark Edition

Top Story

It was, of course, a descendent of these eccentric poets who invented this curious tale of impending doom which enabled the people of Golgafrincham to rid themselves of an entire useless third of their population. The other two-thirds, of course, stayed at home and lived full, rich, and happy lives until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone.
— The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Radio Series, Episode Six, by Douglas Adams

A couple of years before Yoko Kanno made a huge splash with the soundtrack for Cowboy Bebop, she wrote the score for another very popular series, The Vision of Escaflowne.  The music is very different, but just as exceptional in its own way.  The series itself is also quite good, though I don't know how well it has stood the test of time.

Tech News

  • Intel's future Sapphire Rapids server CPUs could have as many as 80 cores.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This will be Intel's first chiplet-based CPU.  AMD started this trend in 2017, largely because they simply didn't have the budget to design and manufacture huge server chips with a then-unknown market acceptance.

    Instead, AMD's engineers added three high-speed interconnects to the standard desktop CPU, so that four eight-core parts could be linked together as a single 32-core part.

    It worked, and AMD now has server market share they haven't seen in 15 years, leaving Intel playing technical - if not sales - catchup.

    It's not clear when Sapphire Rapids will actually ship; the only official word so far is that Intel will be using these parts in a supercomputer for Argonne National Lab starting this year.

  • Taiwan has banned recruitment for semiconductor industry jobs located in West Taiwan.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The Chinese government is scrambling to build up its semiconductor industry, after being banned from purchasing both latest-generation chips and latest-generation manufacturing equipment by the Trump Administration.

    Despite the changeover in Washington DC those bans are still in effect.  China is five years behind Taiwan, and while that might not sound like much, five years ago Taiwan's semiconductor industry was a mess.  Back in 2016 TSMC was still mostly producing 28nm parts, because the 20nm process was a disaster and 16nm was still ramping up.

    This year they plan to start production of 3nm.

    So five years behind actually means ten times worse.

  • The unannounced Zen 3+ core for Ryzen 6000 may have been cancelled.  (WCCFTech)

    Or not. 

    It looks like there won't be a new desktop lineup from AMD this year, with Zen 4 expected to arrive in Q1 of 2022.  With manufacturing constrained and demand consistently outstripping supply across AMD's entire product range, it makes sense for them to focus on major new generations rather than trying to fill in gaps in the schedule to keep marketing happy.

    Intel will ship Alder Lake late this year, and that will introduce support for DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 - double the memory bandwidth and double the I/O bandwidth - but that doesn't look like a great part for desktop systems, since it's limited to 8 full-size cores where AMD already goes to 16.

    For laptops, possibly yes, since it also has up to 8 low-power cores, similar to the recent Arm based MacBook.  That could help deliver all-day battery life in a lightweight notebook.

  • Do not buy the PNY CS2130 SSD.  (Serve the Home)

    Instead of office chair, shipment contained live bobcat.  Would not buy again.

  • Pornhub received 500,000 DMCA takedown notices lat year - and issued nearly ten times that number.  (TorrentFreak)

    They all deserve each other, frankly.

Yoko Kanno Music Still Picture of the Day

The soundtrack for Vision of Escaflowne tends towards the classical rather than the bold jazz of Cowboy Bebop, but Kanno showed off her range here as well.  This track - Medicine Eater - only plays briefly as incidental music in two episodes, but it's one of my favourites.

This one, though, titled Dance of Curse, is the one anyone who's seen the series will recognise.

British Panda Accent Video of the Day

Either she's really English or she's much better at maintaining a consistent accent than Amelia from HoloEN.

As for her character, she's either a panda from the Panda Realm taken human form, or a tomato.  Possibly both.  It's complicated.

Disclaimer: Unless they got dropped on their head since then, anyway.

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Friday, April 30


Daily News Stuff 30 April 2021

British Panda Accent Edition

Top Story

Wait, that's still not the original music from Cowboy Bebop.  How does this keep happening?

Tech News

Never Trust a Squirrel With Fireworks Video of the Day

Risu from Hololive Indonesia is one of the quiet, normal ones, which means she once narrated a Minecraft stream half as David Attenborough and half as Peter Falk.  She can also sing in harmony with herself.  Drives her audio engineer insane.  I'll post that video sometime.

Cowboy Bebop Opening Theme Video of the Day

I promised.  I delivered.  Happy now?

Disclaimer: You're never happy.

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It's Not Our Fault

So I was setting up LXD on Akai and discovered that you get what you pay for.

Although the server itself is fast, downloading images to install virtual servers was dead slow.  About 1MB per second.  Grumble grumble.  But at least once downloaded they're cached and refreshed automatically, so I don't need to care.

Then I discovered that the contributed images repo wouldn't respond at all.  Wouldn't even give a listing, much less download an image.


Doing some quick Googling about the images repo I notice this question: Are you running IPv6?

I was indeed running IPv6.

Now I'm not.

And things are working perfectly.

Thanks, IPv6.  Thanks a lot.

Image downloads are around 10MB per second now - not super fast but fast enough - and launching a container takes around four seconds, exactly what I'd expect for that CPU.

Also, systemd-resolv is the stupidest thing I've ever seen.

Update: Can create containers but not VMs.  Apparently this is a known issue relating to the QEMU version with current LXD.  I specifically uninstalled the stable branch to run the current branch, and I got bit.

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Thursday, April 29


Daily News Stuff 29 April 2021

Mining For Birds Edition

Top Story

  • Chia is bad news.

    The new and extra-stupid cryptocurrency based on storage rather than compute has spiked Adata's SSD sales by 500%.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That's good for Adata, right up until their regular customers can't find SSDs anymore, so, about a week.

    Also, Chia's write-heavy workloads might void your warranty.

    The original main server here has an enterprise SSD rated at 5 DWPD - drive writes per day - and since it's a 3.2TB drive that's 16TB of writes.  (The second main server I just added has two Samsung 970 Evo drives - 1TB for the system and backups, 2TB for VM storage.)

    Second and third-tier consumer drives from companies like Adata and Galax don't come anywhere near that endurance and will die if you write to them continuously day after day.

    Actually, I've fried a 7.6TB enterprise MLC drive with a 2.5 million hour MTBF, but I think that was a freak event and not an endurance issue, since we had six of them in production and only one failed.

Not exactly Megumi Hayashibara today, though she does have a starring role in Cowboy Bebop as femme fatale Faye Valentine.  The music in the show is by Yoko Kanno and Seatbelts, and is justly famous, but doesn't actually feature in this video at all.

Sorry about that.  We'll get to it, I promise.

Tech News

  • The Acer Nitro XV272U KVbmiiprzx is a 27" 170Hz 1440p gaming monitor.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It supports DisplayHDR 400 and a 90% DCI-P3 colour gamut.  I'd much prefer a 4K monitor at 60Hz though.

    But they can't seriously be that short of names.

  • AI Dungeon leaks data.  (GitHub)

    Details of your dungeon may have been [reads article] definitely were publicly accessible.  Not your username or password or email address or driver's license or credit score or phone number or date of birth or blood type...  Just the information about the adventure you were working on.

    More significantly, the imbeciles running AI Dungeon were busy filtering private content.

  • Speaking of imbeciles Experian.  (Krebs on Security)

    If you jumped from just the name to the conclusion they leaked my personal information and credit score you are mostly correct.  They leaked everyone's personal information and credit score.

  • Australia's corporate watchdog, the ACCC - more-or-less equivalent to the US FTC - is investigating Apple and Google over unfair practices in their respective app stores.  (

    International watchdogs are more likely to have teeth here than US ones because if they can find an excuse to levy huge fines, it's basically free money.  And Big Tech spends an inordinate amount of time generating exactly that sort of excuse.

    Also, the comments on that article are full of the kind of people who would have reported their parents to the Stasi and then declined the reward.  Disappointing, because Paul Thurrott, who runs the site, is more sensible than that.

Megumi Hayashibara - Excuse Me - Reliant K Music Video of the Day

We will get to the actual music from Cowboy Bebop soon.  

Disclaimer:  Really.  Promise.

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