Tuesday, August 20


Daily News Stuff 20 August 2019

Wombats Are Us Edition

Tech News

  • The Cerebras Wombat* is the latest flung poo in the AI monkey war.  (AnandTech)

    It has 400,000 cores implemented using 1.2 trillion transistors, 18GB of internal SRAM, and 9PB/second of on-chip bandwidth, packed into a compact 46,225 mm2, i.e. the size of a small pizza.

    And yes, it's a single chip.

    What does all that hardware do?  8-bit multiplications.  Lots of them.

    And it's programmable in Python.

    It's not that TSMC module with the HBM2 though.

    * They call it the WSE but that's a terrible name so I gave it a better one.

  • On the other end of the scale, UPMEM is adding an 8-core processor to each 4Gbit DRAM chip.  (AnandTech)

    So an 8GB module has 128 cores and a fully-populated 256GB server would have 4096 cores.  The cores are implemented directly on the DRAM die.  No-one does this because DRAM production is very different to CPU production, and the resulting CPU cores can only run at 500MHz.  But with 4096 of them, does that really matter?

    Well, yes.  But for certain tasks - they cite genomics - it can be 20 to 40 times faster than conventional servers.

    Definitely not that module with the HBM2.

  • IBM announced the Power 9 AIO which is an update to the existing Power 9 architecture with a 25GHz memory bus.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This kind of thing has been tried for years and has never taken off, because although it offers more memory bandwidth per socket it has never provided more memory bandwidth per dollar.  Rather the reverse.

    And dollars can buy you more sockets.

    Still not that module TSMC was showing off.

  • Gizmodo's new owners are clueless.  (TechDirt)

    Well, sure.  They bought Gizmodo.

    Lots of great one-liners in the article, such as
    The company still employs some great investigative reporters
    We're still talking about Gizmodo?  Just checking.

  • The Ruby rest-client package got compromised.  (GitHub)

    Time for capability-based programming languages.

  • Why ElementaryOS left Medium and returned to 1993.

  • Julia 1.2 is out.

    Julia is a clean and elegant language for scientific computing.  Fortran done properly.  It has one major problem (for certain users) in that it uses an optimising JIT compiler rather than static compilation.  That allows the language to provide generic functions without eldritch horrors like C++ templates, but means it's a pain to generate distributable binaries.  Not impossible, but a pain.

  • Gmail went down.  (Bleeping Computer)

    I noticed this one because it was during the day Australia time and we use Gmail for work.  And then it stopped working.  Fortunately not for very long.

  • A bug in iOS 12.4 means you can jailbreak your iPhone.  (ZDNet)

    But given the nature of the bug, so can a malicious app.

    But apps can only be downloaded from the App Store, and we all trust the App Store, right?

  • Twitter is banning state-run media organisations from buying advertising on the platform after being criticised for showing Chinese anti-democracy propaganda.  (The Next Web)

    ABC, BBC, CBC hardest hit.  Oh, and SBS.  Yeah, we have two of them.

    I give Twitter 48 hours before they completely fuck up this basically sensible decision.

  • Bill Nye the Chromebook guy vs. Best Buy.  (ZDNet)

    Key takeaway:
    "So who buys that $999 Pixelbook?" I wondered.

    "No one," he said.

Video of the Day

Bonus Video of the Day

Disclaimer: 48 hours is probably FAR too generous.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:21 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 570 words, total size 6 kb.

1 "That's the kind of thing that a really paranoid management who has totally lost control over its employees would demand."
It's like the dweeb who wrote this article never heard of Gawker.

Posted by: Rick C at Wednesday, August 21 2019 01:27 AM (Iwkd4)

2 "A bug in iOS 12.4 means you can jailbreak your iPhone."
Apropos of nothing, it's interesting that what's called "rooting" on Android is known as "jailbreaking" on iOS.

Posted by: Rick C at Wednesday, August 21 2019 01:30 AM (Iwkd4)

3 I know someone who's got a Chromebook, and his use case is:  web browsing and Office-type stuff, and remoting into a server for software development, because it's not powerful enough to be a development platform on its own.  I guess that could make sense, instead  of spending $1000 or more for something closer to a desktop replacement.

Posted by: Rick C at Wednesday, August 21 2019 01:53 AM (Iwkd4)

4 They are getting better at letting you use the Linux capabilities of ChromeOS.  And it runs Android apps.  Between those, I could probably be happy on a Chromebook 95% of the time.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, August 21 2019 09:53 AM (PiXy!)

5 I would generally agree if I weren't a gamer and a windows developer.

Posted by: Rick C at Wednesday, August 21 2019 12:56 PM (Iwkd4)

6 Those two factors are a problem for Chromebooks, yeah.  smile

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, August 21 2019 01:16 PM (PiXy!)

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

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