Saturday, February 15


Daily News Stuff 14 February 2020

End Of The World As We Know It Edition

Book News

  • There's a new Repairman Jack novel: The Last Christmas.  (Amazon)

    Last time we saw Repairman Jack, the world had...  No, wait, there were the three prequel books.  Before that, then, in the updated version of Nightworld, the entire Universe had fallen to the Adversary and things were not looking so great.

    So this is a midquel, fairly late in the sequence.  It's number 16 according to the Amazon page, but with the post-Nightworld additions I'm not sure what that means exactly.

    Also from F Paul Wilson, Panacea has now spawned a trilogy, with the third book coming out - oh.  February of last year.  Never mind.

  • Speaking of universes eaten by alien space bats, there are two new volumes in Peter Clines what-is-now-apparently-known-as-the Threshold Series.  Volume three, Dead Moon, is rather further separated thematically and chronologically than The Fold was from 14.  It's still a solid addition, but none of the characters from the first two books appear, and some of the new ones deserved to be eaten by the alien space bats.  The casts of 14 and The Fold were more likeable on the whole.

    Volume four, Terminus, is currently only available as an Audible Original, though that will presumably change at some point.  I haven't had time to listen to it yet, and prefer audiobooks for re-reads anyway.  But I do have some spare credits so I will pick it up.

Tech News

  • Office 365 Pro Plus won't hijack your searches to Bing after all.  (Ars Technica)

    Well, not by default.  It does include a control panel for network admins to automatically configure the default search engine for machines under their control, which seems like a useful tool in the corporate world, but it does nothing until it is deployed and configured.

  • MacOS Catalina: Still more trouble than it's worth.

    What exactly does it give me?  I know what it takes away, but what does it give me?

  • WiFi Association: We've simplified things, so that there's just WiFi 4, WiFi 5, and WiFi 6.  Higher numbers are faster.  Probably.

    Also WiFi Association: Here's WiFi 6E.  (AnandTech)

    6E adds support for the 6GHz band, which is even less able to go through or around obstacles - which is both bad and good.  You'll get less overlap from neighbours' WiFi, but will have to take more care locating your own router for coverage.

  • The US Department of Justice has filed charges against Huawei under the RICO Act.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That's a significant escalation, raising the stakes from alleging that Huawei broke the law to alleging that it is a criminal enterprise in itself.

    China will likely be unhappy, but they have other things to worry about right now.  (Metro)

    Things are so bad that they may have started telling the truth:
    China's National Health Commission said it had recorded 121 new deaths and 5,090 new coronavirus cases on the mainland on Thursday, taking the total number of infected to 63,851.
    This hasn't bitten the tech industry or the broader global economy yet, but if the disease continues to spread, that's going to change.

  • The British police force, last seen stamping down on terror threats such as butter knives, safety scissors, and limericks, has turned its attention to...  Virtualbox and Discord.

    And they conquered a third of the globe, somehow.

  • A look at 3990X performance on Linux vs. Windows 10 Pro vs. Windows 10 Enterprise.  (Phoronix)

    A number of benchmarks show marked performance decreases under Windows when going from 64 to 128 threads.  In some cases Windows Enterprise helps; in other cases it offers no benefit.  Linux has little trouble putting all 128 threads to work.

    Blender, interestingly, has no troubles at all in this benchmark, working well on all operating systems.

  • Need something a bit faster than those 2.5Gb switches with 10Gb uplinks?  How about a 25Gb switch with 100Gb uplinks?  (Serve the Home)

    48 25Gb ports, 6 100Gb ports, $1999.  Which is remarkable value.

    Yes, it's SFP+.  I'll let that pass just this once.  25GBase-T is a thing that exists, but I haven't seen any products based on it.

Disclaimer: I don't have any Cat-8 anyway.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:59 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 The official reason for the jump in coronavirus cases is that the Chinese medical system is now permitted to make the diagnosis based on lung imaging, rather than solely on the RNA test kits.
It might accidentally capture a few cases of unrelated pneumonia, but how many of those are there compared to coronavirus?

Posted by: Jay at Saturday, February 15 2020 03:17 AM (mrlXS)

2 "What exactly does it give me?"
What more do you need beyond knowing you're better than the plebs who run Windows?

Posted by: Rick C at Saturday, February 15 2020 04:04 AM (Iwkd4)

3 I'd like a working Mac, given how much I paid for the damn thing.

The hardware, I must say, has been great.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, February 15 2020 04:44 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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