Wednesday, August 26


Daily News Stuff 26 August 2020

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Edition

Tech News

  • Need 16 cores, 128GB of RAM, and dual built-in 10Gbit Ethernet ports on a mini-ITX board?  ASRack Rock has you covered.  (Serve the Home)

    It's a server board, so rear panel I/O consists of the two 10GbE ports, two USB ports, VGA, and a separate 1GbE management port.  The design is server-oriented in other ways as well: It's an X570 board with no chipset fan, so without server-style case fans it's gonna melt.

    I'm not sure what the market is for mini-ITX server boards, since a rackmount case has plenty of room for ATX and even larger boards.

  • Birds, honestly, kind of dumb.  (Ars Technica)

    Painting one blade of a wind turbine does seem to help them notice that there is a huge whirling death machine in their flight path, though, reducing impromptu chicken dinner incidents by more than 70%.

  • Not beta, just broken.  (The Register)

    The new version of Firefox for Android is here.

    People don't like it.

    There's no option to go back to the old version.

    Well, it's open source so I suppose building it yourself and side-loading it is sort of an option, though with the current limitations of copy-protection you'll probably be locked out of YouTube even if you do that.

  • The upcoming RTX 3090 has been rumoured to cost $1400.  Another rumour might explain that if it really does come with 24GB of GDDR6X RAM.  (WCCFTech)

    I remember being at a computer show years back and sitting down to watch a presentation.  They had to reboot the computer running the projector and we saw that it had a video card with 24MB of RAM back in the days when 2MB was typical. 

    And 24MB is still enough to hold a 24-bit 4K framebuffer.

  • The Trump administration is providing a billion dollars in funding for research into AI and quantum computing.  (Tech Crunch)

    If the Wuhan Bat Soup Death Plague doesn't kill us all, the Nanobot Apocalypse is sure to finish the job.

  • The Asus Zenfone 7 has three rear cameras and three front cameras.  (AnandTech)

    In fact, it has three cameras.  They go bziiip and pivot around.

  • Asus also has a new 360Hz monitor if you're looking for a reason to buy that RTX 3090.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Only 1080p, of course.  At 4K you're still limited to "only" 144Hz.

  • The Microsoft Surface Duo is landing in reviewers' hands right now, and it looks really nice.  It looks like a little notebook from back in the days when those were made of paper.

    It's striking how much slimmer it is than the folding screen models.  At just under 10mm folded up it's still slightly chunky for a 2020 device, but that's just 1mm thicker than my Nexus 7, which doesn't fold unless you really, really want it to.

  • I've been looking up some details of 80s graphics chips to figure out what would be reasonable to implement in my imaginary system.  Of course I know exactly what the Amiga could do since that was my primary computer for five or six years (an A1000 and then an A3000).

    There was a Hitachi chip from the early 80s I was trying to find - turns out I was thinking of the HD63484 from 1984.  (

    That was followed in 1986 by Intel's 82786 which actually implemented my dual-bus architecture, and Texas Instruments' 34010, which was a graphics-oriented CPU.

    Before all of those, in 1982, NEC introduced their uPD7220  (Hackaday)

    Since that was a real chip that really existed (and was hugely successful), anything it could do is fair game for my emulator.  Also the chip from the original MSX systems, which came out in 1983, right in my fictional time window.

Disclaimer: Reading old issues of Byte.  Things sure changed between 1983 and 1987.  1983 might as well have been the 70s; 1987 was pretty much the 90s.  Even the look of the magazine changed dramatically.  1983 was before I had easy access to Byte - my allowance only stretched as far as Dragon magazine and APC - so this is new for me.

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