Saturday, February 29


Daily News Stuff 29 February 2020

Leap Day Edition

Tech News

  • Sony's Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is almost the platonic ideal of small tablets. 

    The problem I have with mine is that it's the 16GB model and Sony disabled adoptable storage.  If I'd been able to get the 32GB model it would be fine, but I don't think that ever reached Australia, and certainly wasn't available in the half-price sale where I got it.  Or if it had adoptable storage, also no problem.

    I recall now why I put it away in the box last time: The Kindle app couldn't store books on the SD card, and it was perpetually running out of space.  Amazon have fixed the app now - mostly - so I have been able to put my entire Kindle library on it (which is 16GB by itself) plus 52 Kairosoft games, Final Fantasy 1 through 6, and a bunch of other essentials.

    If they kept the exact same form factor, screen, and battery, updated the CPU from the Snapdragon 801 to even a recent low-end chip like the Snapdragon 460, and either put 32GB in as standard or enabled adoptable storage (preferably both), I'd buy two.

    Also, if you happen to be installing apps on your new/old tablet and find that Endless Frontier doesn't pick up your account and instead creates a new one and links it to your Google Play account, and you go back to your other tablet and your account is still there but you pick Load rather than Continue and it overwrites that as well...  Don't Panic.

    Turns out that the developer is smarter than that, even if the UI is a bit confusing.  Next time you open the game, both accounts will still be there to choose from.  In fact, I'm not sure how to get rid of the new one it created.

  • Sonnet has a USB-C to 5Gb Ethernet adaptor for those of us stuck on all-in-one desktops like the iMac or Dell Inspiron 27.  (AnandTech)

    There are a few of these adaptors around, in fact.  They all use the same chipset, and they all seem to be unavailable for purchase anywhere.  I don't know what's up with that.

  • Another day, another leaked video card.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This time it's Nvidia with a card 75% larger than the 2080 Ti.  Probably a Tesla compute board rather than a gaming product though.

  • Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs says the EU needs its own operating system.  (Tom's Hardware)

    If only there were someone from Finland capable of such a task.

  • Hydrogen power is stupid.  (BBC)

    A hydrogen powered train, with a range of 50 miles.

    First, why is the BBC talking in miles?

    Second, the article states that the range is 50 to 75 miles, and then that the hydrogen tanks can run it for three hours, so that is one slow train.

    Without the style.

  • Go is slowly morphing into Node.js.

    Slowly.  The author freaks out about a simple HTTP request timeout function that installs 196 packages.  Node developers would freak out too, because how can anything be that simple?

    Anyway, the whole mess (I'll spoil it because the article is pretty lengthy) comes down to one package with one file that has one useful function with one line of code that - wait for it - simply exports something that is already in the Go standard library but that you can't access.

    Go has since fixed that, but fixed it in a way that is neither forward nor backward compatible nor controlled by Go's semantic versioning, so if you rely on Google's solution you will, sooner or later, be fucked.  And if you import the very simple third-party solution, a hundred other packages come along for the ride.

  • LG has updated its Gram laptop range for 2020.  (ZDNet)

    No major changes, just 10th Generation Intel CPUs.  The top of the line 17" model has a 2560x1600 screen (yes, 16:10), 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and a four core / eight thread i7-1065G7 and yet weighs just 1350g - a hair under three pounds.  That would make a pretty nice laptop for software development, though I'm not personally looking for a new laptop at the moment.

  • Freeman Dyson has passed away, aged 94.  (Brickmuppet)

Video of the Day

Found this via My 70s TV which is a great way to waste time.  I fired it up just now and it tuned me in to the middle of this interview with Isaac Asimov:

It does that - tune you in to the middle of things - because it's emulating 70s television where that was kind of your only option if you weren't there exactly on the half-hour mark.

And yes, there's also My 80s TV and My 90s TV.  Press Y at any time to open the current video on YouTube.

70s music is pretty hit-and-miss, and 70s music videos even more so, but there's a simple reason for that: The entire planet spent that decade stoned out of its collective mind.

I was just a kid and had no understanding of this at the time, but I look back now and everything suddenly makes sense.

Disclaimer: Well, almost everything.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:36 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 867 words, total size 7 kb.

1 Meanwhile, the last 13 years of Tomcat releases have giant cluster-holes!


Posted by: J Greely at Sunday, March 01 2020 02:48 AM (ZlYZd)

2 You'd have to screw up pretty badly to be affected though.  Your application server would need to be directly on the internet with the management port exposed.  There couldn't be more than, say, a million Tomcat servers set up like that.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, March 01 2020 03:00 AM (PiXy!)

3 Remember when Adobe bundled a home-grown version-control system with their suite that launched a Tomcat instance and automatically opened firewall holes so that it could share your files on the network without a password?

I know Node.js is the new hotness, but for a long time, people with really bad ideas just loved to bundle Tomcat instances with their products. Like Netapp's management software, which despite being Windows-only, was Tomcat+browser rather than a native application.


Posted by: J Greely at Sunday, March 01 2020 05:55 AM (ZlYZd)

4 Go:  Eric Raymond just announced that a tool he's been working on for years, Reposurgeon, which is designed to convert older version control repositories to git, has completed a conversion of the GCC source tree.  180K commits, IIRC.  Took a couple of years (IIRC) to get the software to where it could handle something that big, and he had a custom server with 128GB of RAM built to do it.
It's written in Go because even with that much memory, Python couldn't handle it and would die with out of memory errors.  Plus I guess it's a lot faster.  (I don't know if he looked at the compiled versions of Python, but he probably did.)
Entirely different class of problem, heh, but he says he likes Go a lot now.

Posted by: Rick C at Sunday, March 01 2020 09:03 AM (Iwkd4)

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

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