Wednesday, August 05


Daily News Stuff 4 August 2020

As A Disgraced Number Theorist I Died From Overwork And Was Reincarnated As A Wombat In A World Where P=NP And For Some Reason Also Catgirl Warrior Nuns Edition

Tech News

  • TechDirt is drunk again in their own special way.  Emphasis on the special.  Mike Masnick is the only sensible one there and even he has a blind spot the size of the Horsehead Nebula.

  • Ryzen hits 6W.  (AnandTech)

    Only 2 cores, 4 threads, and 3 CUs on the graphics side, and a maximum clock speed of 2.8GHz.   Oh.  It's made on 14nm, so it's a cut-down previous-generation chip.  (AMD)

    Well, that's fine if the price is right.

  • Google has announced the Pixel 4a.  (AnandTech)

    The key point is that it costs $349, which is relatively sane.  Snapdragon 730G which is reasonably quick with two A76 cores and six whatevers, 2340x1080 5.8" OLED display, 6GB RAM, 128GB flash, only two cameras, headphone jack yes, microSD no.

    I'd much prefer it with a microSD slot, but 128GB of internal storage is enough for most tasks.

  • Intel's next-gen chips may be faster than AMD's current-gen chips on single-threaded benchmarks.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I saw it mentioned Ryzen 4000 but they mean the Zen 2 APUs; they don't have leaked benchmarks of Zen 3 just yet.  Tiger Lake comes with the new core that we've seen on a few Ice Lake parts, with around 18% better IPC than Skylake.  Zen 3 is expected to offer 10-15% better IPC than Zen 2.

  • How to increse your Elixir/Postgres performance 20x with one weird trick.  (Soykaf)

    This seems to be one of the lead developers of Pleroma.  The post starts out discussing simple stuff like using a GIN index to speed up array overlap queries, but the meat of it arrives half-way through when benchmarks show that the performance gain from adding the index depends on the order in which the benchmarks are run.

    That sort of attention to detail is very welcome and makes me more eager to try out Pleroma.

    Even if it has a dumb name.

    Anyway, the reason is that PostgreSQL tries out multiple query plans at first when a new index is added, but after a while locks in the one giving the best results so far.  So if an index scan happens to be the better solution for the first few queries that could use your new index, it will cheerfully ignore the index for that query going forwards.

    But if you connect to the database and run the query manually, it will switch back to trying out multiple query plans and find the best one, even if it's not the one your production code is using.

    I can see how that would have been a maddening debugging session.

  • Build your own COMIX-35.  (GitHub)

    Based on the RCA 1802 CPU.  Not exactly the first name in retrocomputing, but an interesting little project.

  • The most difficult possible maze.

    If you're a Roller Coaster 2 patron, anyway.

    It takes 6.6e20000 years to solve the maze but only two days to fix the code.  (GitHub)

  • If you update your Windows host file to block Windows telemetry Microsoft Defender will treat it as a virus.  (Bleeping Computer)

    You may not even be able to save the file.

    Now, detecting unwanted changes to the hosts file is a good thing, but Microsoft provides no other way to disable telemetry.

Disclaimer: We all know the reason.

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