Sunday, December 27


Daily News Stuff 27 December 2020

Gotta Pay The Bills Edition

Tech News

  • Someone sneezed in Sydney's Northern Beaches - about twenty miles from where I live - and toilet paper is rationed again.

    On the other hand, the shelves are full.  Being limited to two packs per customer but having plenty of supply is definitely preferable to the other way around.

  • AMD needs a Ryzen 5700X.  (Tom's Hardware)

    They will likely release one as soon as they manage to keep the 5600X and 5800X in stock for more than a few days at a time.

  • Asus seems to have leaked the RTX 3060 and 3080 Ti.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Both have 12GB of RAM.  It will be interesting to see how they position the price on the 3060 against the 8GB 3060 Ti, which in Australia is bloody expensive.

  • How to make your API horrible.  (Solovyov)

    I hate APIs that do this.  There is some useful discussion at Hacker News though.

  • No!  Why would you do that?!  (Serve the Home)

    The Sabrent Rocket Q4 is a PCIe 4.0 QLC SSD.  The cost of the PCIe 4.0 controller makes it more expensive than even a high-end PCIe 3.0 TLC drive, and while it is faster on sequential reads, QLC isn't great at write-intensive workloads.  It's really bad at write-intensive workloads.

    I guess if you want a nice big expansion drive for your PlayStation 5, this could fit nicely.

  • iCloud fell over.  (CNet)

    While Apple is particularly plagued by this sort of thing, no cloud provider went without a major outage in 2020.


  • On August 1 Twitter got hacked by a 17-year-old from Florida, because your security is only as strong as the weakest link and Twitter's weakest link was very weak indeed, and meanwhile RedHat made their weakest link 100% secure, so much so that your servers would no longer boot.

  • On August 2 the Dragon returned to Earth, Bootstrap Icons was a set of icons for Bootstrap, and Tesla and Google re-invented cookies.

  • On August 3 we visited Derepedia, Pleroma was a fediverse node written in Elixir and not a reportable medical condition, except that it also used Node.js which is.

  • On August 4 we were reincarnated as a wombat in a world where P=NP, Ryzen hit 6W except it was still Zen 1, Intel's next-gen chips would beat AMD's current-gen chips, and weird shit the PostgreSQL query optimiser taught me. Oh, and Windows Defender defended you from defending yourself. Peachy.

  • On August 5 Apple released new iMacs, ranging in price up to A$13,748 and already obsolete, Luau was Lua with types, Parkinson's law applied to web page load times just as every other field of human endeavour, and a SpaceX Starship prototype didn't explode.

  • On August 6 Samsung launched the Note 20 and Tab S7, Twitter locked the Trump presidential campaign out of its account over a factually accurate tweet, and the matte finish option on the new iMac turned out to cost as much as two Acer 27" 4K monitors.

  • On August 7 MySQL decided to drop 20% of incoming connections, Intel got hacked - sort of - and sort-of confidential documents were sort-of leaked, and Apple forbade game streaming on iOS because they are idiots.

  • On August 8 I was playing Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms, apparently, Google bought the creator of Focal smart glasses and immediately bricked all existing devices, the Note 20 was not very good, and Julia could compile static binaries.

  • On August 9 Twitter was in talks with TikTok to create the worst website ever envisioned, scientists actually demonstrated working cold fusion - useless for energy production, but working, and several hundred critical bugs were found in Qualcomm's DSP firmware.

  • On August 10 Department of Corporate Slave Rabbits came to an end, but to make up for it we got alcohol from air.

  • On August 11 the Oppo Reno3 came with an A75, A76, or A77 core depending on where you bought it, the Oppo A52 looked good, Reddit committed slow suicide, the customer was mostly wrong, ASRock showed off a standard ATX EPYC motherboard which might be very interesting now with Epyc 3 close to retail release, China blocked all TLS 1.3 connections, Ceres had an ocean, and 2020 was summed up in one tweet.

  • On August 12 a 128-core six-screen laptop for very large laps, LPDDR5 <> DDR5, Genius used Trap Street, there's a hole in the radio telescope, dear Liza, AMD clobbered Intel in value competition even after Intel slashed its prices, and Microsoft announced the Surface Duo, a very nice pocket productivity device for the busy young businessperson on the go in a year when all the busy young businesspersons are sitting at home in their pyjamas.

  • On August 13 Humble Bundle packaged Vegas, Sound Forge, and Acid Music Studio at a very reasonable price and if you missed it they're doing it again right now, Intel spilled a deet, Twitter announced their new API and hurriedly reassured developers that the old API wasn't going away because the new one was a train wreck, TechDirt got the DTs and I dumped them from my list of news sources, and I still don't trust Dropbox.

  • On August 14 Micron announced GDDR6X RAM - now ued in Nvidia's high-end cards, Ethereum gas prices briefly hit 300, Intel confirmed DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 for 2021, which probably means 2023, SpaceX's Starlink didn't suck, web browsers did, and YouTube went full Kafka. Oh, and the Yam cryptocurrency self-destructed - due to a bug rather than the more usual someone running off with the funds.

  • On August 15 notes on writing your own virtual machine, Ubuntu updated the kernel version on an LTS release, apparently forgetting what the S stands for, Clippy got a job with Twitter, and I migrated all my music over from Google Play to YouTube (since Google Play Music is now deceased) and only lost one track out of the thousands I'd uploaded - Deborah Conway's Holes in the Road. ((I chose Google Play Music precisely because it let me upload all the tracks I'd ripped from my own and my father's CD collections.)

  • On August 16 Google Cloud had more death flags than an otome game villain, and a California court found that Amazon does in fact sell the products it sells.

  • On August 17 a rather nice and not insanely expensive HP laptop, Notepad++ got banned in China, IBM announced their Power 10, and I realised that Hot Chips was on.

  • On August 18 the Chuwi AeroBook Pro also had a 4K display, but had a five year old CPU to go with it, IBM's Power 10 and z15 CPUs were too complicated to even describe coherently, Big Tech was playing Notice Me Senpai with the DOJ, a strategy that appears to be paying off, just not for them, and a new biography of Dave Brubeck got around to mentioning his birth on page 302.

  • On August 19 the A520 chipset was in fact a chipset, Microsoft presented the Xbox Series X, and Baldur's Gate 3 was announced for early access starting September 30. I should check on how that's going.

  • On August 20 Intel actually said what Tiger Lake would be, though they've probably forgotten which one it is by now, Melbourne got a brand new 212-storey residential skyscraper - in Microsoft Flight Simulator, and the Eiuyuden Kickstarter unlocked its 30th stretch goal.

  • On August 21 I started tinkering with my 10-bit home computer emulator, a Lightroom update helpfully freed up large amounts of storage by deleting all your photos, and the Synology DS1520+ was still only gigabit.

  • On August 22 the 6502 was fucking weird - and so was the BBC Micro that used it, 95 nearby brown dwarfs were discovered though none closer to us than Alpha Centauri, and Microsoft Flight Simulator required all the hardware.

  • On August 23 I tried out Nim for my emulator after running some initial experiments in Python, and it actually worked great, a retail release of Ryzen 4000 APUs sold out in minutes, we found a guide to de-Googling your life, and no-one recycled dead solar panels.

  • On August 24 server-side rendering was the new hotness, and Zoom went down. Also, 128k of RAM really is not a lot.

  • On August 25 Nim worked nicely, TSMC's 5nm node entered production with a total of one customer, and why not write your configuration files in JavaScript.

  • On August 26 birds were kind of dumb, the new version of Firefox for Android was bad, we underestimated the price of the RTX 3090 but not by much, the Zenfone 7 went bziiip and we looked at classic graphics chips from the 1980s.

  • On August 27 TSMC pushed GAA back to 2nm, Salesforce recorded reocrd profits and record layoffs, Fucking Elastic recorded a record share price, Arwes made your app look like 2020 as seen from 1980, and ArangoDB had some good stuff.

  • On August 28 8-bit Atari systems had an early version of the Amiga Copper chip, you will soon be able to exit your ship in Elite, Google declared war on the Fediverse, First Rule of 30% Fee Club is Do Not Mention 30% Fee Club, and we remembered the HP Series 200 Model 16.

  • On August 29 the Eiyuden Kickstarter ran out of ideas for new stretch goals after clearing 45 of them, Marvel cancelled their Arm server processors, Apple told everyone to go fuck themselves, a malloc Geiger counter was actually kind of a good idea, and Objective-Rust.

  • On August 30 I completed the programming model for my 10-bit home computer emulator - currently unfortunately on hiatus, Rochester Electronics had 27 billion components in stock in a warehouse the size of Belgium, and Google decided to attempt necromancy on Macromedia Flash only this time with "open" standards that just happened to be entirely controlled by Google.

  • And on August 31 we explored how to cheat wavetable synthesis into existence in a 1983 home computer, on a clear dodecahedron you could walk forever, Cloudflare sort of went down only it was someone else's fault and they blamed BGP, Pinterest decided they didn't need a shiny new building in the Bay Area, and Apple was working on an in-house GPU. Oh, and the media started tweeting their "fiery but peaceful" pieces because they have no understanding of how Twitter selects an image to associate with a link.

Disclaimer: Or for that matter of anything else.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:43 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 Picked up the ROG Zephyrus G14 today--the one with the 4900HS, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and RTX 2060 MaxQ (but also switchable iGPU).  Very nice, mostly.  Trackpad is the best I've ever used, although I haven't used a ton of them.  It's like glass, though.  Maybe it even is, I dunno.  Keyboard's good for a laptop keyboard, except the backlighting sucks.  It's fast.  The fans are definitely audible when gaming but they have an unobtrusive pitch unlike some other devices.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, December 28 2020 09:02 AM (eqaFC)

2 Rick C: Oof!  I bought one of the MSI Bravo 15s with a 4800H (zen2, 8 core, 16 thread) and it's a frightening monster.  I'm assuming the 4900HS just has a bit more thermal headroom.  Compiling llvm11 with clang takes nearly 20 minutes here.  Not a fan of the "gamer" aesthetic, but it's a nice fast laptop with a good screen, so why am i arguing?

Posted by: normal at Monday, December 28 2020 01:54 PM (obo9H)

3 The HS chips are a bit weird--the 4900 is clocked a bit higher than the 4800, but the HS suffix instead of a plain H means it's a 35W chip, not a 45W.  In this case the difference between the 4800H and the 4900HS is nominally 100MHz faster.  In practice, while gaming, it doesn't tend to stay near the max boost.  So far it's pretty nice, and it's not nearly as gamery as a lot of other laptops.  I'll know more once I've got a compiler on it but it feels faster than my 8250u.

Posted by: Rick C at Monday, December 28 2020 02:42 PM (eqaFC)

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

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