The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.

Friday, November 30


Daily News Stuff 30 November 2018

Tech News
  • QNAP's HS-453DX Silent NAS is another attempt at a latter-day Cobalt Qube.  (AnandTech)

    Gemini Lake Celeron J4105 Atom CPU (these are the good, or at least adequate, Atoms), up to 8GB RAM in what looks like two SO-DIMMs, two regular drive bays, two M.2 (SATA only) slots, two Ethernet ports, one of which goes up to 10Gb (including the new 2.5Gb and 5Gb speeds that work over crappy cables), two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, one USB-C, one HDMI 1.4, one HDM 2.0, and three 1/8" audio jacks.

    I was trying to make sense of the photos and then realised that this is not all that small - it's 16" wide and 9" deep.  The drive bays are full 3.5" size, not 2.5" as I'd first assumed.

  • Microsoft may be releasing new Surface models next year, which may include different chips and other features than the 2018 models.  Unless they don't.  (The Verge)

  • Australia's crappy government is going ahead with it's universally derided internet insecurity legislation.  (TechDirt)

  • Go 2 is a thing that will happen at some point, probably.

  • Gigabyte's H261-Z60 squeezes four dual-socket EPYC servers into 2U of rack space.  (Serve the Home)

    Each dual socket node supports 16 DIMM slots, two M.2 110mm slots, and a mezzanine network card with dual 10GbE ports as standard.

    With the upcoming Rome CPUs that will deliver 512 cores and up to 16TB of RAM.

    This model has 24 2.5" SATA bays; the H261-Z61 replaces those with NVMe.

    Oh, and it has 2.2kW redundant power supplies to keep everything fed.  The thing must sound like a jet engine.

  • Are you sad because you have an all-in-one desktop or a new laptop and can't upgrade to 10Gb Ethernet like all the cool kids?

    Based on recent Linux driver updates (a key source of leaks these days) Aquantia is working on that.  (Phoronix)

    Whether these upcoming USB adaptors will handle full 10Gb speeds is an open question, but the driver supports 2.5Gb and 5Gb, which is a good start.

  • Everything has been hacked and everyone's details have been leaked.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I may have glossed over a few minor details there.

  • Bull Computers, which apparently still exists, has announced a range of Rome-based supercomputers with up to 12,288 cores per rack.  (Next Platform)

    If you need more than 12,288 cores, they can do that too.

  • Amazon is updating their Lambda quote serverless unquote platform to support more languages including C++, Rust, Erlang,  Elixir, PHP, and, seriously, Cobol  (ZDNet)

    They've also released an AWS Toolkit plugin for PyCharm, which is my IDE of choice.

  • Back in September, which seems like a long, long time ago, I was looking at upgrading my two desktop PCs, Tohru and Rally.  They only have 256GB of SSD each, which fills up rapidly when you start, oh, I don't know, cloning the entire production environment to your desktop on a daily basis.  And just forget about trying to store your Steam library anywhere but on an external drive.

    The 1TB Samsung 970 EVO was the drive of choice, but it cost A$549, and I needed two of them, and then I spent all my money on those two shiny new laptops (Index and Railgun).  They have 1TB of SSD each, and since they cost A$1275 including sales tax and shipping, when the SSD alone was nearly half that, it seemed like a much better way to spend my money.

    And it was, three months ago.

    Today that same SSD is selling for A$319.  A$274 after a mail-in rebate, if you believe in such things, which I don't, but if you do, that's a dollar less than half price - in three months.

    I'll have to check my bank balance, but Tohru and Rally may be getting a Christmas present.  (The rebate ends 31 December, even if it is of purely imaginary value.)  And even if money is tight this month, this one isn't a one-off blink-and-you'll-miss-it deal.  Hell, the 970 PRO is cheaper than the 970 EVO was just a couple of months ago.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Crunchyroll and Cartoon Network are threatening an anime sequel to Blade Runner.  Fortunately we already have that, so they can't screw it up.

Picture of the Day

The Andromeda Galaxy is fucking huge.  It's too dim to see easily, which is why it doesn't actually look like this in the night sky - even a sliver of a crescent Moon will outshine it a thousandfold - but if you could see the two at the same time you'd realise that it's absolutely bloody enormous.

(Click to embiggen.)

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Thursday, November 29


Daily News Stuff 29 November 2018

Tech News

  • Asus has a cheap new notebook that doesn't look cheap. (AnandTech)

    But is. Probably. Pricing not specified, but the lower models in the range have crappy low-resolution TN displays and should be avoided even if they are cheap. (I still have a notebook with a TN display, but it cost me about $150. If they're that cheap it can be forgiven.)

  • NEC has a 27" 4K monitor with USB-C and 1mm bezels (AnandTech)

    These would be great companions to my HP notebooks; if I got two each one could plug into one monitor by USB-C for charging and the other by DisplayPort adaptor.

    Price is $699, which isn't super cheap but not terrible, and it includes a USB hub.

    If you have a 2017 HP Spectre x2, you could do a lot worse than one of these as its desktop complement.

  • Gravitons have finally been detected. (The Register)

    These are Amazon's Arm-based Graviton CPUs though, so probably no Nobel Prize in the offing.

    They're based on the Arm A72 core, which is the same one in my tablet, and three generations behind the current model. Performance is best described as meh - but fast enough for lighter workloads. (Serve the Home)

  • If you're planning on visiting rural Japan in the near future don't forget to pick up your free house.

    Well, only a few of them are free, and they look like they need a tiny bit of work. But still, I could pick up a dozen of the more expensive homes listed on this site for the market value of the place I currently rent. [Sydney property prices. Ugh.] If I were a Japanese resident. Which I am technically not.

  • The Compleat O'Rly.

Social Media News

Anime News

Picture of the Day

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Wednesday, November 28


Daily News Stuff 28 November 2018

Tech News

Video of the Day

Car Ad of the Day

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Tuesday, November 27


Daily News Stuff 27 November 2018

Tech News

  • The InSight Mars lander has landed.  On Mars.  (Tech Crunch)

    I didn't notice that before.  I thought it was just called Insight, which is a perfectly nice name for a Mars mission.  InSight?  Seriously, NaSa?

  • The Drobo 8D is a nice storage array that costs too much.  (PC Perspective)

  • Error displaying the error page  (Fudzilla)

    Don't I know it.

  • Yikes.

    Do not use Linux software RAID with ASRock motherboards with UEFI BIOS until further notice.  They have a feature which will helpfully "repair" your partition table.

  • Open Source is Not About You
    As a user of something open source you are not thereby entitled to anything at all. You are not entitled to contribute. You are not entitled to features. You are not entitled to the attention of others. You are not entitled to having value attached to your complaints. You are not entitled to this explanation.
    It's true.  All of it.

  • Friends don't let friends use Node.js.  (Bleeping Computer)

    A backdoor in a "popular" JavaScript library set up your apps to steal all your Bitcoins.  The event-stream library was updated to use the flatmap-stream package, which was initially benign, and then flatmap-stream was updated to steal all your goodies.

    flatmap-stream contained three lines of functioning code.

    That should have thrown up all sorts of warning signs, but that sort of behaviour is universal in Node.js.  Node apps routinely pull in crap from everywhere, up to and including parallel dimensions and entirely imaginary worlds.

    This sometimes happens in real programming languages, but even then, at the end of the day, you have a real programming language.

  • Intel has 8 core Xeon E engineering samples.  (AnandTech)

    This is a huge surprise given that they are exactly the same as their 8 core desktop chips.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

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Monday, November 26


Daily News Stuff 26 November 2018

Tech News

  • Get your own POWER9 motherboard and CPU for just $999.

    Perfect for...  Perfect for...  Uh.  Honestly, 99.99% of people should just get a Ryzen 2700.

    Pretty good pricing for a fancy IBM RISC CPU though.

  • The mantra of the major tech companies has become haha fuck you because you don't have any real alternatives.  (Tech Crunch)

    And they know it.  And you know it.  And they know you know it.

  • Cyber Monday is a good time to buy actual real microSD cards.  (WCCFTech)

    I got two Sandisk 200GB cards last year at $50 a pop; this year they're just $30.  I don't need any more, but that's a great price.

  • Australian's all let us rejoice for we can shop overseas.  Again.  (Tech Crunch)

    In other news, Amazon Australia still sucks.

  • Which image moderation API works best?

    Just in case you were planning to launch your own social network in coming weeks and wanted to steer clear of that particular minefield as long as possible.

  • How the fuck do you lose a quasar?  (Quanta)

    It's basically an exploding galaxy.  You can't exactly leave it in the back seat of a taxi.

Video of the Day

Ceci n'est pas une pekopon.

Picture of the Day
Ceci n'est pas un chat.

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Post contains 216 words, total size 3 kb.

Sunday, November 25


Daily News Stuff 25 November 2018

Tech News

  • Speaking of 100 gigabit Ethernet and PCIe 4.0, Huawei announced a chip that provides both in a neat little package.  (Ars Technica)

    Along with up to 64 Arm Ares cores (this is a server version of the recently released Cortex A76), 64MB of L3 cache, and 8 memory channels, it has dual 100 GbE ports and 40 lanes of PCIe 4.0, plus interconnects to support up to 4 sockets per server.

    64 cores is the new 32 cores.

    Also, it probably steals all your data and sends it back to the People'S Liberation Army as part of their crackdown on... Marxism.  (NPR)

    Maybe stick with chips that only do that by mistake.

  • Apple's brand new, long awaited Mac Mini is more or less adequate for some basic tasks particularly if you add a large, noisy, and expensive third-party external GPU.  (Ars Technica)

    In other words, completely pointless and no-one should buy it.

  • Cards Against Humanity had their own little Black Friday sale.  (Tech Crunch)

    If you were looking for an eight foot long twenty-seven pound Gummy Python at 99% off YOU'RE TOO LATE because they just passed by sold out.

  • To no-one's surprise if they've tried to buy memory lately the top three memory producers have hit record revenues in 2018  (Fudzilla)

    Memory prices are down 20% from their peak a year ago, but are still more than double their low point way back in 2013.

    On the other hand, that low point way back in 2013 is a large factor in why there are only three major memory manufacturers remaining today.

  • Most of America is terrible at making biscuits?  (The Atlantic)

    No, all of America is terrible at making biscuits.  Those are fucking scones ya mad drongos.

    (Actually, it turns out to be the type of flour, and that depends on the type of wheat.  The right flour for making Southern-style scones isn't sold outside the region.)

  • Why websites are so slow, and why HTTP/3.0 won't fix it.  (Ars Technica)

    One of the rare cases where it was worth reading the comments.

    With custom filters, the Ars Technica page took 1.48 seconds to load.  Without filters, 26.92 seconds.

Social Media News

Picture of the Day

Cerberus puppy by April Prime

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Saturday, November 24


Daily News Stuff 24 November 2018

Tech News

  • 100GbE just not getting the job done any more?  Mellanox has a dual-port 200GbE card for you.  (Serve the Home)

    This is one of the factors behind the push for PCIe 4.0.  This card - which will not be at all expensive by enterprise standards - needs more bandwidth than a full PCIe 3.0 x16 slot can provide.

    As I've mentioned before, I mostly still work with 1GbE.  Current model servers might be twice as fast as what I have access to, but current model networking is playing an entirely different game in an entirely different stadium.

  • If you need PCIe 4.0 RIGHT NOW TODAY well, tough, but you can pre-order the Raptor micro-ATX POWER9 motherboard for $799.  (Phoronix)

    One PCIe 4.0 x 16 and one x8 slot, dual GbE ports, 5.1 channel sound (?), two memory slots (?!) and supports up to an eight core POWER9 CPU.

  • AMD's Ryzen 2600X MAX and Ryzen 2700 MAX are exactly the same CPUs with the bigger Wraith Max cooler.  (Tom's Hardware)

    For...  I don't know who these are for.  But they only cost a little more than the standard edition.  The 2600X MAX is a good budget overclocking bundle.

  • How the Paris Accords are destroying the planet.  (New York Times)

    In case you were having a good day.

Picture of the Day

Peeved soccer bunny by Carlos Ortega Elizalde

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Friday, November 23


Daily News Stuff 23 November 2018

Tech News

  • If you have too much money and want to run Minecraft at 5000 fps Nvidia has just the thing.  (AnandTech)

    Just $399,000.

    It does have 512GB of video RAM, though, so there's that.

  • I think the entire computer industry is in a food coma.

  • Speaking of which, I switched off Tohru for the first time in I don't know how long, maybe a year.  Her Bluetooth controller had disappeared (which is slightly irksome since I have Bluetooth keyboard) and she had audio hiccups.

    Powering off for five minutes fixed both problems, so whatever.  This is actually a posted solution for the Bluetooth problem.

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Thursday, November 22


Daily News Stuff 22 November 2018

Tech News

  • Now if you want to take a picture of the fascinating witches who put the scintillating stitches in the britches of the boys who put the powder on the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus or order that ODROID-H2 board from yesterday YOU'RE TOO LATE because they just passed by.  (Fanless Tech)

  • The FreeTail EVOKE Pro microSDXC UHS-II memory card sounds like one of those fake items you find on Amazon where a 1GB card has been programmed to pretend to be a 256GB card but isn't.  (AnandTech)

    Just...  Just buy Sandisk or Samsung, okay?  A Sandisk 128GB card is cheaper than the FreeTail 64GB card, nearly as fast, and is made by a real company that actually exists.

  • Tame Apple press drone says calls for the breakup of Apple are nonsensical.  (Six Colors)

    No, they're not.  Which is not to say that I think it's a good idea, just that calling such calls nonsensical is nonsensical.

  • Australia's crappy Prime Minister wants his crappy internet insecurity legislation passed pretty promptly so that the government can continue ignoring all the problems with it.  (ZDNet)

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day

Take me home, country railroad...

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Wednesday, November 21


Daily News Stuff 21 November 2018

Tech News

  • Apple and Amazon have teamed up to "Enhance Customer Experience" by banning second-hand products.  (TechDirt)

    Unless the second-hand reseller can
    prove they spend at least $2.5 million dollars every 90 days buying Apple products "directly from a national wireless carrier or retailer with over $5 billion in annual sales”
    Or in other words, haha fuck you.

  • Google just pulled the plug on Android malware apps with an aggregate of 580,000 downloads.  (TechCrunch)

    Google pulled 700,000 malicious apps from their store in 2017 alone.  Not downloads, apps.

  • The ODROID-H2 is a Gemini Lake Atom board with everything you might want for a latter-day Cobalt Qube.  (Liliputing)

    Well, almost.  It has a quad-core CPU, supports up to 32GB RAM, has an M.2 slot and two SATA ports, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort, two gigabit ethernet ports, two 1/8" audio jacks and an S/PDIF optical port.  And it's passively cooled, and completely silent.

    It also has an eMMC socket if you want to have a dedicated boot drive and a proprietary expansion header for, um, proprietary expansion header things.

    It's a pretty small board - just 4.3" square - so the M.2 and SO-DIMM sockets are on the bottom.

    The one thing it lacks is WiFi, but they do have a USB WiFi adaptor for $6.  The board itself is available for pre-order for $111.

  • I used that Humble Bundle bulk download button.  Now I have 50GB of Fairy Tale manga.  Be warned.

Video of the Day

A reminder not to invade Moscow in winter with tin soldiers.

Picture of the Day
50GB of Fairy Tale manga.

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