You know when grown-ups tell you everything's going to be fine, and you think they're probably lying to make you feel better?
Yes.
Everything's going to be fine.

Monday, December 31

Cool

To Infinity And Beyond

The New Horizons probe zipped past Pluto on July 14, 2015 at a distance of less than 8000 miles, providing in a few short hours most of the information we have about the ninth planet.*

Tomorrow, at about 4:30PM AEDT, it will pass (486958) 2014 MU69 - also known as Ultima Thule - at a distance of just 2200 miles.

As the official name suggests, Ultima Thule was only discovered in 2014. But its addition to New Horizons' itinerary is no accident. The Hubble Telescope was assigned to scan the region around the probe's trajectory to look for additional targets beyond Pluto but within range of the available propellant. A second, somewhat larger object was also found, but is further from original path and reaching it would require more of the propellant reserves.  An assessment was made that New Horizons had ample reserves for what was originally designated PT1 - potential target one - but only had a 95% chance of reaching PT3.

Right now, our best picture of Ultima Thule is still in the potato-at-ten-thousand-yards category but that will change rapidly. Only not that rapidly: While New Horizons is closing in at a rate of 30,000 miles per hour, the probe is so far away that its high-gain antenna effectively has the bandwidth of an early dial-up modem.

This is what New Horizons did for our understanding of Pluto:


It remains to be seen if the valiant New Horizons will run afoul of the Mi-Go after its narrow escape during its previous rendezvous.

https://ai.mee.nu/images/NotReallyAMi-Go.jpg?size=720x&q=95

Artist's depiction of a Mi-Go warrior princess.  Given that Mi-Go are fungi, we suspect our artist may have got into the liquor a bit early tonight.


* Shut up, Neil.

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Geek

Daily News Stuff 31 December 2018

Tech News

  • Apple is doomed.  (ZDNet)

    The current Mac lineup is a snoozefest, the iPad is in decline, and the hilariously overpriced iPhone XS Max is barely making half its projected sales.  (Tech Crunch)

    And the iWatch is a joke.  Which leaves, what?  Smart speakers?  Apple missed that market.  Overpriced uncomfortable earphones that you immediately lose?

    Apple makes enormous amounts of money, enough to fund a dozen entirely new products every year.  The question is whether they have the vision to actually do that.

    I don't think so.

    Amazon does.  Microsoft does, though not to quite the same degree.  Google has the vision, but the company is run by idiot children so they always fail.

    Apple has the money and competent leadership, but vision died with Steve Jobs.

    Analysts are trying to talk up the stock, framing Apple as the new Coca Cola.  (Fudzilla)

    But Coca Cola don't charge A$2869 per bottle and deliver it bent.

  • Nvidia is facing a lawsuit over mishandling its inventory in the face of the cryptocurrency bubble.  (Tom's Hardware)

    About 18 months ago I was looking to build a new PC, and I wanted to go all AMD.  I could not get an AMD graphics card anywhere.  By the time I decided to get Nvidia instead, they were gone too.  Then Dell announced the Inspiron 27 - and launched it with a 15% day one discount - and I just went with that instead.

    AMD cards were impossible to find for a long time.  And the reason AMD didn't just increase production is that they knew that the moment the crypto bubble burst, as all bubbles eventually do, they would be left with a ton of unsold inventory and the used market would be flooded with cheap cards.

    Not a good combination.  So they held tight and waited it out.  

    Nvidia doesn't seem to have been as successful in managing those events.

  • Tariffs are bad for high-end embedded CPUs.  (Serve the Home)

    Specifically because these CPUs are soldered-in, rather than socketed, so the tariff ends up hitting the entire product.  The CPU might represent 80% or more of the total cost, but since it has to be soldered to the board, the tariff hits the whole thing.

  • If you can't beat them, hire them?  Intel hired Ryan Shrout, Editor in Chief of PC Perspective back in October to become their Chief Performance Strategist, and they've now also poached Allyn Malventano and Ken Addison.  

    This is a good move for Intel, but a loss for tech journalism.  PC Perspective is still a going concern, though, with Sebastian Peak moving up to Editor in Chief.

    Until Intel hires him too...


Social Media News

  • Meanwhile things are tough in the professional shitposting biz.  (Tech Crunch)

    Mic, Vice, and BuzzFeed have all suffered cutbacks.  Vox is struggling, Gizmodo has had staff cuts, and so has Upworthy.  Defy is gone entirely, and The Outline has no staff writers left.

    I don't like to hear of companies failing and people losing their jobs.  Most people are trying their best to deliver what they think their customers want.  But Mic, Vice (except sometimes their Motherboard section), BuzzFeed, and Vox are objectively awful and their loss is humanity's gain.  I hope their former staff find productive and fulfilling jobs elsewhere as the companies crash and burn.

  • Charles Lane, who was editor of The New Republic at the time of the Stephen Glass scandal, just figured out that journalists lie.  (Washington Post)

Video of the Day

If you're thinking of picking up a new laser interferometer gravitational wave observatory for the holidays, don't click buy before you watch this roundup from Other Linus.

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Sunday, December 30

Geek

Daily News Stuff 30 December 2018

Tech News


Updates will likely be short for the next few days until the pre-CES leaks start and then will get crazy.


Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/MercuryStreamliner.jpg?size=720x&q=95

(Click for full size.)

Anyone have an idea when and where this might be?

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:23 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, December 29

Geek

Daily News Stuff 29 December 2018

Tech News

  • Nvidia's RTX 2060 is on its way.  Also the RTX 2060, the RTX 2060, the RTX 2060, the RTX 2060, the RTX 2060, and the RTX 2060.

    Gigabyte alone lists 39 models.  (VideoCardz.com)

  • HDMI 2.1 is coming, eventually.  (CNet)

    It will support resolutions up to 10k/120, 16 bit colour,and HDR - though admittedly not all at once, as that combination would require 300 Gbps and HDMI 2.1 only delivers 48 Gbps.  It is exactly fast enough to support uncompressed 8k/60 video in 8 bit colour.

    Most importantly, it's not here yet.  You can't buy HDMI 2.1 televisions, HDMI 2.1 Blu-Ray players, or HDMI 2.1 cables.  You don't need any of those for 4k, but you need all of them at once for 8k.

  • Speaking of which, Is 8K worth it? No.  (High-Def Digest)

    More specifically, not yet, unless you are editing major motion pictures (you're probably not) or doing technical computing or publishing work and someone else is footing the bill.

    For a TV, no.  It will be the Next Big Thing, and prices will come down fast, and I would love a curved ultrawide monitor of 10240x4320 or something similar that will come as panels move to mass production, but right now, no.

  • Microsoft is currently the most valuable tech company, but Apple makes as much profit - and nearly as much revenue - as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook combined.  (ZDNet)

  • How does Facebook guarantee that trillions of pointless drunken New Years' greetings are delivered promptly and accurately without overloading their servers?

    Like generations of smart engineers before them, they lose your message and lie about it.  (IEEE Spectrum)

    Harsh as it seems, this is actually a sound strategy.  If too many messages are coming into the network for you to deliver, your options are to crash and not deliver any of them, provide back pressure to slow down the influx of messages - the network equivalent of surge pricing - or just drop some of the messages on the floor.

    If you don't plan to do at least one of those, you will end up doing all three.

  • libpostal parses street addresses so you don't have to.

    It has a Python binding too.

  • Every time I do this roundup I have to shut down Chrome and restart it because it just stops working.  Will look at other browsers and see how they do, because that's nonsense.

Social Media News


Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/RocketsRockMyWorld.jpg?size=720x&q=95


Bonus Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/BFRvsSaturnVsmall.jpg?size=720x&q=95

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Friday, December 28

Geek

Daily News Stuff 28 December 2018

Tech News


Social Media News

  • In an award-winning act of introspective failure, the New York Times has run a 3500 word article taking Facebook to task for the incomprehensible censorship rules that the New York Times has spent years demanding Facebook implement.

    It's also a load of shit.
    In India, Chinmayi Arun, a legal scholar, identified troubling mistakes in Facebook’s guidelines.

    One slide tells moderators that any post degrading an entire religion violates Indian law and should be flagged for removal. It is a significant curb on speech — and apparently incorrect. Indian law prohibits blasphemy only in certain conditions, Ms. Arun said, such as when the speaker intends to inflame violence.

    Yeah, right.  Anyone remember when the whole of mu.nu got banned in India?

  • Meanwhile, Google and Facebook are being criticised for not filtering out encrypted content.  (Tech Crunch)

    The solution is clearly to ban journalists.

  • Indonesia has unblocked Tumblr now that no-one goes there anymore.  (Tech Crunch)


Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/FairyTailPrincess.jpg?size=720x&q=95

Tch.  Will you look at the state of that timber?  Can't just plane that out and repaint; we're going to need to replace the whole door or it will never be the same.


Bonus Picture of the Day

http://ai.mee.nu/images/Screen41.jpg?size=720x&q=95

Click for full size.

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Thursday, December 27

Geek

Daily News Stuff 27 December 2018

Tech News


Social Media News

Video of the Day


Yeah, I know, but she's a lot easier on the eyes than Bon Scott.


Bonus Video of the Day



It slices!  It dices!  It fills and it ices!  Make sure you sweep up or you're bound to get mices!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:47 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Wednesday, December 26

Geek

Daily News Stuff 26 December 2018

Tech News



Social Media News

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Tuesday, December 25

Geek

Daily News Stuff Christmas Day 2018

A short one today because I'm relaxing, eating too much, and playing Epic Battle Fantasy 5, and hope you're all doing the same!

Tech News


Social Media News

  • I linked to an Engadget story yesterday about Facebook banning a social media research company for what the company claims was research into how false media narratives propagate on social networks and what Facebook describes as, and I quote, "some seriously shady-ass fucking shit".

    This report from Tim Pool suggests that Facebook may have been right on this one and caught them with their red hands in the cookie jar.



    They were allegedly not only posting fake news during the Alabama elections, but presenting fake reports of Russian fake news efforts.

    It's mock turtles all the way down.

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Monday, December 24

Geek

Daily News Stuff 24 December 2018

Tech News

  • He knows when you are sleeping,
    He knows when you're awake.
    He knows where your solar panels are located
    Because he has a billion satellite images.

  • OrbitDB may be in the running for the slowest database ever devised.

    I've used IPFS.  Clay tablets eat your heart out.

  • This article on Business Insider which you can't view with an ad blocker argues that it's "really easy" to take entire countries offline.  (Hat tip: Brickmuppet)

    Yes, there are lots of idiots running really terrible infrastructure that can indeed be taken down.  And there are lots of incredibly crappy routers out there that can be used in reflection attacks that can deny service even to large internet companies for hours before getting shut down.

    And then they find you, and you go to jail for sev....  Wait. the guys behind the Mirai botnet avoided jail time?  Fuck.

    Well, apparently they're working for the FBI now, and let's face it, the FBI needs all the help it can get.

  • Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition is 33% off on GOG right now.

    But it's 70% off on Steam.

    The dungeon editor - a major feature of the game is that you can design your own adventures - ran like a slug on the hardware I had back in 2002.  I think my current graphics card is about 200 times faster (my CPU is "only" 50 times faster) so it might be worth giving it a another try.

  • Speaking of classics, Epic Battle Fantasy 5 is out!  It gets "overwhelmingly positive" on Steam with 98% positive reviews out of more than 600.



    Epic Battle Fantasy 4 meanwhile is 75% off and Epic Battle Fantasy 3 is free to play.

    The later games are better, with more sophisticated game mechanics, more detailed art, and more complex stories, but give EBF 3 a try and see if you like it.



Social Media News



Video of the Day


Justice delayed can still be sweet when the lying bastards and their false copyright claims get booted entirely from YouTube.


Bonus Video of the Day



The video in question, finally free.



Picture of the Day

https://ai.mee.nu/images/NewAngeles.jpg?size=720x&q=95

Nuevo Guayaquil/New Angeles by Kirsten Zirngirb on ArtStation.

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Sunday, December 23

Geek

Daily News Stuff 23 December 2018

Tech News



Picture of the Day

Note to self: Photoshop this to say Patreon.

https://ai.mee.nu/images/Secure.jpg?size=720x&q=95

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