Sunday, November 17


Daily News Stuff 17 November 2019

Zoom Enhance Edition

Tech News

  • So for some reason if I add magnification to my reading glasses prescription I can use regular lenses instead of high refractive index ones and they get a lot cheaper.

    Looks like my cunning plan to replace my 7" tablet with a 6" phone is a go.

    Since I have a couple of promo codes from buying three pairs of new glasses earlier this year I'll probably get the reading glasses with built-in ZOOM ENHANCE and some prescription sunglasses as well.  That will give me five pairs of glasses and a spare set of frames for only slightly more than one pair cost me through a major eyewear chain last time. 

    (I found a frame I like that comes in five different colours so they'll all be colour coded, though I already find that when I'm not wearing glasses in the first place it's not particularly easy to distinguish the gold distance pair from the rose gold reading pair.)

  • Linux containers - often referred to as LXC or LXD - work just fine and are very easy to install and configure except for the networking which is fucking crazy.  I have them running now on virtual servers both for our stuff here and for my day job - so I can get one server from Digital Ocean or IBM or other cloud provider, and subdivide it and have different apps and services each running in their own little box without having a minimum monthly charge for every tiny app I might want to deploy.

    I was planning to move the whole of and to an LXC environment last year but the deployment dragged on forever due to network configuration problems (and general lack of time to fight those network configuration problems) and eventually I gave up on the idea because the server was costing me a lot of money and we weren't able to use it.

    Then a couple of weeks ago I realised that judicious use of SSH tunnels would have got me 95% of the way there and given me flexibility on distributing where the actual networking endpoints lived.  Realised that about a year too late to have used that trick to migrate us all to that lovely server I had at the time.

    Oh well.  Back to monitoring the bargain racks at reliable hosting providers again.

  • Rip all the threads!  (WCCFTech)

    Newegg has 8 core Threadrippers for $150 and 12 cores for $267.  And motherboards for $240, which is not exactly cheap but is not unreasonable either if you need 64 PCIe lanes for something.

    Of course, it is going to be superseded in a couple of weeks, but the cheapest Thirdripper will be $1400 plus a motherboard, so there is still room for a product like this.

    Meanwhile the second-generation 2920X is $370 on Amazon.  Which means that even with the motherboard it will work out cheaper than a 3900X (assuming you can find a 3900X).

  • Wikichip has a story on that trillion-transistor pizza-scale AI chip but their site has the hiccups right now so the page might not load.

    The article discusses how they manage die yield when the die is the size of a dinner plate.  There are - according to the spec - 400,000 individual cores on the chip, but there are several thousand spare cores that can be enabled before each chip is sold to take the place of failed cores in the grid.

    Yes, this chip has between 4000 and 6000 extra cores just to cover wafer defects.

  • New AMD Epyc servers from Quanta.  (Serve the Home)

    Not that interesting really unless you're specifically looking to buy one of these, except for the point that 1U servers can now squeeze in 12 2.5" front-accessible drive bays.

    And squeeze is the right word, because that leaves half an inch total per drive to account for the hot-swap drive caddy, the frame holding the drive caddies, the airflow between those, and the case of the server itself.

  • Apple has banned apps in any way relating to vaping including those designed to manage medicinal marijuana.  (ZDNet)

    They've even gone so far as to cancel the developer account of PAX Labs, developer of, uh, the "iPhone of marijuana vapes".

    Whatever you may feel about them, the devices are legal in many locations and Apple has no legal or moral obligation to police them.  They just chose to do so.

  • Google, meanwhile, is perfectly happy to collect all your medical data.  (ZDNet)

    Without your consent, or, apparently, even your knowledge.  They just hoovered it all up.  (Whether we're talking the vacuum cleaner or J. Edgar remains to be seen.)

  • Microsoft is killing Cortana.  (

    The digital assistant.

    For Android and iOS.

    In some countries outside the United states.

    I have never used it off Windows and hate it on Windows, but it was the only such service that worked across all devices.

  • Google manually changes search results, and they do it all the time.  (MSN)

    Originally published in the Wall Street Journal, but that's paywalled and MSN seems to have the full text of the article for free.

    The Journal found that Google engineers tweak the algorithm to favour certain companies, manually adjust autocomplete text and featured results, blacklist sites in certain contexts or indeed entirely, while Google executives lie about all of this.

    This comes as little surprise to anyone who has been awake any time in the past decade, of course.

Video of the Day

Nice CPU, but that's a hell of a BIOS bug AMD. (Watch from 1:00 to 1:30 to see what I mean.)

The Ryzen 3500U routinely beats the Intel i5 8250U - and uses less power. And it's cheaper. And it can actually play games.

This looks like a pretty decent device. $550 with 12GB RAM, 256GB SSD, a 1080p IPS touchscreen, and a pen. But no dedicated PgUp / PgDn / Home / End keys.

And of course this is still Zen+ - Zen 2 laptop chips will be out early next year and should deliver significant performance and power improvements.

Disclaimer: Moderator, ban thyself.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:35 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 1029 words, total size 8 kb.

1 What ever happened to Nukomasu, anyway?


Posted by: J Greely at Monday, November 18 2019 01:24 AM (ZlYZd)

2 " it's not particularly easy to distinguish the gold distance pair from the rose gold reading pair."
Well, there's your problem.  You should be using colors like Platypus Venom, Sydney Funnel-Web Black, or Box Jellyfish White.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, November 18 2019 01:49 AM (Iwkd4)

3 An AMD chip of any kid using less power than the competitor is big news.  (It's too bad I already have an Acer 8250U laptop that's only a year and a half old.)

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, November 18 2019 02:04 AM (Iwkd4)

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

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