Monday, February 03


Daily News Stuff 3 February 2020

Pursuing Panini Edition

Tech News

  • Don't install CDisplayEX.  Unless you have a download file from 2017 or earlier.  The current version has malware, and previous versions had different malware.

  • There's a new Robert Heinlein novel.  (Amazon)

    The manuscript was originally thought lost and only fragments remained.  Then someone dug through all Heinlein's files and put all the fragments together in the right order and realised that they had the entire thing.

    On the other hand...  This is an earlier version of The Number of the Beast.

    On the gripping hand, it is reportedly significantly different and reads more like early Heinlein than late.  Same characters, same setup, but about a third of the way through it heads off in the opposite direction.

    Release date is March 24.

  • Intel's Xe GPUs will support 8-bit integers.  (Tom's Hardware)

    But then so did the 8008.  (I stopped to see if the 4004 supported 8-bit data.  It did not.)

  • Cui bono?

    Who benefits from the Wuhan Bat Soup Death Plague?  Skype.  (Bloomberg)

    Also, bats who don't want to be made into soup.  Skype bats.

  • The Space Jam website is still up.  (

  • A brief history of everything web dev.  (

    Which is how I learned that the Space Jam website was still up.

  • Get your 288GB archive of flash games here!  (Bleeping Computer)

    38,526 games with a launcher utility and standalone player.

    And yes, it includes Epic Battle Fantasy 1 through 4.  5 is available on Steam (and is well worth the price if you like not-entirely-serious old-school RPGs).

    Full game list.  (Blue Maxima)

  • India will spend ₹8000 crore on quantum computing.  (ZDNet)

    Not included in the budget: Learning to count like normal people.  A crore is 100 lakh; a lakh is ten thousand.  It is written - cover your eyes if you're sensitive to numbergore - 1,00,00,000.

    In other words, about a billion dollars.
    Fibre to the home connections through Bharatnet will link 100,000 gram panchayats this year.
    A 100,000 gram panchayat is a small hippopotamus used to deliver milk.

  • Apple has extended its lead in the tablet market due to nobody bloody well making any Android tablets that aren't either complete garbage or absurdly expensive.  (

    $100, sure.  $1000, no problem.  In between?  Tumbleweeds.

    And that's in the US.  In Australia you can't even buy the Kindle Fire.  Can't get it from Amazon Australia, and Amazon US won't ship it to you.  Won't even show it in search results.

  • Google is experimenting with Chrome to show the search query in the URL bar rather than the search URL.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The behaviour of the Chrome URL bar is starting to get seriously weird.  If you cut and paste URLs as often as I do it's...  It's like that quiet neighbour who everyone knew was going to construct a meat dragon one day.

  • Testing Ubuntu 20.04 (which isn't out yet) on a $199 Walmart laptop.  (Phoronix)

    This beastie - the Motile M141 - has a Ryzen 3200U; at the bottom end of the Ryzen laptop range, but still far better than an Atom processor.  It has 4GB RAM (upgradeable , though apparently only one DIMM slot), a 128GB SSD (which is enough to actually run Windows and is also upgradeable), a 1080p IPS display, HDMI, four USB ports, probably microSD, and wired Ethernet.

    I just checked and it's listed at $279 right now, which isn't quite as much of a bargain.

  • Spotting fake antiques with carbon-14.  (LiveScience)

    Atmospheric nuclear testing significantly increased the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere, resulting on what is called the Modern Era - the point at which carbon dating doesn't work because every living plant in the entire world has been arbitrarily contaminated.

    That is, you can't reliably tell how old something is if it's newer than about 1950, but you can easily prove that it was made after 1950.  Because on the classical carbon dating scale it gives a reading that indicates it was made in the future.

  • Between December 30 and January 1, eight doctors in Wuhan sounded the alarm over a new SARS-like virus appearing in the city.  (MSN)

    Chinese authorities sprang immediately into action...  And arrested them.

Disclaimer: Fight for your right to Chinese Communist Party.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:44 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 706 words, total size 7 kb.

1 " will link 100,000 gram panchayats"
Shouldn't that be "1,00,000" or are they not counting in lakhs?

Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, February 04 2020 01:18 AM (Iwkd4)

2 "The behaviour of the Chrome URL bar is starting to get seriously weird. "
Ugh.  Maybe Microsoft will forwardport the old way of doing it.  That'd be pretty awesome.

Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, February 04 2020 01:20 AM (Iwkd4)

3 "I just checked and it's listed at $279 right now"
One thing several reviews have noted is that the price bounces around a lot.  If it's not $200, just wait a week and it probably will be again.
I'd love to see a new version of this later this fall with a 4000-series APU.

Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, February 04 2020 01:21 AM (Iwkd4)

4 The Phoronix article says "I'll run some additional tests after upgrading to two DDR4-2400" which suggests it's got two sockets, but only comes with one populated.  That's probably not too bad.  Stick in another 4GB (4GB of DDR 2400 is $20 or so) and you will probably get a decent GPU boost now that you're running in dual-channel mode, and more than 8GB is probably wasted at the low end.

Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, February 04 2020 01:29 AM (Iwkd4)

5 Whoops, in the comments several people say the Motile does have just one SO-DIMM slot (but also point out that with Vega 3 dual channel probably wouldn't help much.)  For $100 more you can get the 3500U which has Vega 8, which should probably be a big step up graphically, and you get twice the cores and threads.

Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, February 04 2020 01:36 AM (Iwkd4)

6 Heinlein novel now pre-ordered.  March 24th is going to be a very nice day.

Posted by: Wonderduck at Tuesday, February 04 2020 11:30 AM (cTMj+)

7 +1, Wonderduck.

Posted by: Rick C at Tuesday, February 04 2020 03:48 PM (Iwkd4)

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

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