Sunday, February 23


Daily News Stuff 22 February 2020

Snake Eye Soup Edition

Tech News

  • So if DigitalOcean is 1% the size of AWS, how exactly is the market divided up?

    Turns out to be easy to approximate, since the total cloud spend for 2019 was on the close order of $100 billion.  (MSN)

    DigitalOcean's share puts it at around 0.25% - and DigitalOcean is not a small company, giving you an idea of just how big this is.

    AWS is the market leader, of course, with 32.4%.  Azure is second with 17.6% - but is growing at twice the rate.  Between them they control exactly half the market.

    Google is a rather distant third at 6%.  Despite the fact that their service works very well and their management interface is light years ahead of AWS - we use both at my day job - I would hesitate to recommend it because their entire corporate culture has brain worms.

    Alibaba has 5.4%.  Both Google and Alibaba are growing at similar rates to Azure.

    IBM's total cloud and hosting revenues are greater larger than Azure, but that's not a pure cloud offering, combining cloud, traditional servers, and services.  Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce are also pretty substantial but are largely service-oriented rather than pure cloud.

  • SLC is back - sort of.  (AnandTech)

    Nobody makes SLC SSDs - that I know of - though you can buy SLC flash chips for embedded and industrial applications.  But most modern SSDs have a pseudo-SLC cache, where instead of using (for example) all sixteen discrete levels on a QLC device, you only use 1111 and 0000.  That gives you much larger margins for error and lets you write data faster.

    So what if rather than making that a cache, you made the whole drive like that?  MEMXPRO did exactly that.

    If the target niche isn't obvious, the drives are also waterproof and rated for -40°C to +85°C.  Transfer rates are around the 3GBps mark for both reads and writes, close to the limit of PCIe 3.0.

  • Speaking of limits PCIe 6.0 is on its way with a final spec due next year.  (AnandTech)

    PCIe 6.0 uses PAM4 encoding, so the signal frequencies are the same as with PCIe 5.0, but with four levels.  I'm not sure what the plan is for PCIe 7.0, though 112Gbps PAM4 encoding is already a thing  (SemiAccurate) and I'd be surprised if they didn't leverage that work.

  • Bethesda has pulled most of its games from Nvidia's GeForce Now streaming service.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I don't know what's going on with this, and haven't seen anyone explain it.  You have to buy the game first - on Steam or Epic or another supported store - so the game publishers already have their money.

  • Every melody in the world is now in the public domain or something.  (TechDirt)

    Well, every possible short melodic phrase within a normal harmonic scale, anyway; 68.7 billion of theme.  You can still copyright a song, of course, but you might need more than that if you want to sue someone for sounding similar in the future.

  • The first benchmarks for Intel's upcoming ten core Comet Lake Core i9-10900 ES have leaked and they don't even rise to the level of meh.  (WCCFTech)

    It's unlikely to reach the performance of AMD's 3900x, but so far it's struggling to beat the 3800X.

  • Twitter has suspended 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts.  (LA Times)

    Apparently they've finally found a Democrat they don't like.  Admittedly Bloomberg's viral efforts have been pretty amateurish.

  • Is fusion finally less than 20 years away?  (New Atlas)

    Maybe.  The new approach fuses regular hydrogen with boron-11 using 10-petawatt chirped pulse amplification lasers.  Boron-11 is the most common isotope and is stable, but boron itself isn't particularly abundant, since it's not part of any of the regular fusion pathways in stars.  Still, you don't need a lot of it - and it's more plentiful than uranium.

    The research is going on at the University of New South Wales and elsewhere, and I found a published paper but even so it seems rather heavy on the speculation and light on the results.

Disclaimer: No doubt about it, I gotta get another hat.

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