Monday, July 01


Daily News Stuff 1 July 2019

Keep Your Beer Close And Your Fireworks Closer Edition

Tech News

  • A firmware update for the Raspberry Pi 4 looks to have significantly improved heat and power consumption.  (CNX Software)

    Benchmarks that were thermally throttled before on a stock Pi 4 can now run 15% to 20% faster, close to the performance with an added heatsink.

  • There's a line in Snow Crash about - no, let me find the quote.
    When it gets down to it — talking trade balances here — once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and selling them here — once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel — once the Invisible Hand has taken away all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity — y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else:
    microcode (software)
    high-speed pizza delivery
    Which always bothered me because that is not remotely how economics works.  Anyway, how the iPhone helped save the planet except of course it's mostly cheaper Android phones that are saving the planet because by sheer numbers iOS is an also-ran; globally Android outsells iOS by 6:1, and in markets like India the ratio is 10:1.  (Wired)

    Where was I?  Oh, yeah.  Accepting the iPhone as a stand-in for all modern low-cost high-performance devices from the first-generation iPod to the Kogan L500 laptop, the point Wired is making is valid and Neal Stephenson's view of economic is not.  You don't need to print, bind, and ship billions of books, vinyl records, VHS tapes, and whatnot.  Squirt it over the air for about a cent, or over a wire for one hundredth that cost, and it's on your magic device.

    You don't need cameras and film processing, clock radios or CB radios, camcorders or CD players, and it's getting to the point where you won't need a desktop PC either, unless you're a software developer or video editor.

    The result is that while standards of living continue to rise, the resources required to produce those standards are falling.  America's electricity consumption is flat and use of minerals, timber, water, and land is actually down.

    Pakistani bricklayers had higher goals than Stephenson gave them credit for.

  • Telstra (Australia's largest, oldest, and most irritating phone company) has upgraded its network to 100Gbit and cancelled 99% of its mobile plans including all unlimited data plans.  (ZDNet)

    I almost went for one of those while waiting for the NBN to reach me, but mobile coverage at PixyLab is, how to put it...  Absolutely fucking terrible.

  • Brave says "screw you Google", introduces its own engine for ad-blocker developers.  (ZDNet)

    Oh, and it's 69x faster than Google's code.

    I assume this will be open source like the rest of Brave, though I couldn't find it at a quick glance.

    Full details on Brave's own site.

  • The h Programming Language.  (
    h is a project of mine that I have released recently. It is a single-paradigm, multi-tenant friendly, turing-incomplete programming language that does nothing but print one of two things:

     - the letter h
     - a single quote (the Lojbanic "h”)

    It is not so much a programming language as the Platonic Ideal of programming languages.

Video of the Day

You can get a "brand new" X79 motherboard for $100, supporting Intel's older HEDT CPUs.  With $100 for 16GB of second-hand DDR3 RAM (though to be fair I have 64GB of that stuff) and another $100 for a second-hand 3960X you can get something that can't compete with a Ryzen 2600, let alone a 3600, while using twice the power.

The market for this seems to consist of Other Linus.  And I guess people whose X79 motherboard just died and need NVMe boot support.

Disclaimer: When you hear hoofbeats, expect zebras.  You're level two support; level one has already screened out all the horses.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 06:20 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 The result is that while standards of living continue to rise, the resources required to produce those standards are falling.  America's electricity consumption is flat and use of minerals, timber, water, and land is actually down.
And thanks to the technological development that provided the IPhones and Androids, societies and nation-states to do not have go through all the (Often costly and unpleasant.) steps of economic and industrial development that had been entirely necessary in past decades,  You do not need to run hundreds or thousands of miles of copper telecommunication wires (Thus providing sustenance to Japanese trading cartels and Zambian presidents-for-life.) to have a basic communications infrastructure in a developing country.  Cheap natural gas means the poor no longer have to deforest the land to provide cooking and heating fuel.  The availability of cheap air conditioning allows more people to live and work longer and better in more places - which, unfortunately, includes Washington D.C., so that is not necessarily a benefit.
If anyone can find it, there is an old, but very interesting and timely article by Gregg Easterbrook in the Atlantic Monthly from 1997 or 1998, which covers how technology has changed the production and processing of natural resources.  It also includes the fact that highly advanced and industrialized countries tend to conduct most of their trade with highly advanced industrialized countries, which is why so many of the developing world want to be highly advanced industrialized countries - because that is the only way highly advanced industrialized countries (Who also have the most money.) are willing to buy more from them!
A couple of courses in micro and macro economics, as well as trade, finances, and natural resources economics, would do wonders for people - which is why over 95% of all sci-fi writers and people in general, have never taken any.

Posted by: cxt217 at Tuesday, July 02 2019 10:40 AM (LMsTt)

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

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