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Tuesday, November 30

Geek

Daily News Stuff 30 November 2021

Water Water Everywhere Edition

Top Story

  • Will Twitter become an ocean of suck?  (Matt Taibbi)

    Twitter CEO and ornamental hermit Jack Dorsey has resigned and everyone is wondering what this means for the world's favourite digital sewer, since he was - not kidding - leading the charge for freedom of speech as much as there is such a thing at Twitter.

    I respect Matt Taibbi as a reporter but I think he's being hopelessly optimistic here.  I can't think of any force that would raise Twitter to the level of being an ocean of suck.

Tech News


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day





Disclaimer: Please don't talk about blockchain tonight.

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Monday, November 29

Geek

Daily News Stuff 29 November 2021

Buses Considered Beneficial Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • The bus factor for PHP was two. (Musings)
    Maybe as few as two people would have to wake up this morning and decide they want to do something different with their lives in order for the PHP project to lack the expertise and resources to move it forward in its current form, and at current pace.

    Just focus on that number for a few seconds ... think of the number of people whose livelihoods depend on PHP, the number of mortgages, car payments, school fees, entire payrolls ...

    It's the scariest number 2 I have ever seen.
    Learn a real programming language, losers.
    Everybody who follows the development of PHP knows who these two people are.
    They are Dmitry Stogov, and Nikita Popov.
    Hmm. Oh. Neat, maybe we can just let it-

    God damn it.


  • I have no idea what I'm doing. (Surfing Complexity)

    Well, yes, but also no. Or possibly vice-versa.


  • When a Google cloud server gets compromised, it's mining crypto within 22 seconds. (CNBC)

    Only 8% of compromised servers are used as a platform for further hacking attempts; the majority are hacked and immediately mining crypto, which if you have any monitoring all will set off all your alarms.


  • Hololive Gen 6 - holoX, pronounced hollocks, seriously - has launched, and YouTube is doing what it always does: Automatically unsubscribing tens of thousands of fans.

    Exactly what they did to EN Gen 2 three months ago.

    YouTube is an interesting mix of incompetence, arrogance, and antipathy. They actively hate their users - creators and viewers alike - but they know that there's not really anywhere else for people to go.

    I think we're gonna need a bigger bus.


We Heard You Liked Blocks So We Put Blocks In Your Blocks So You Can Block While You Block Video of the Day



Okay, yeah. Don't care if it needs a 3090 to run. I'm getting that.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day





Disclaimer: This bus goes to eleven.

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Sunday, November 28

Geek

Daily News Stuff 28 November 2021

And Nothing Of Value Was Created Or Destroyed Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Another comparison of Intel's i7 12700K to the Ryzen 5800X and 5900X.  (Tom's Hardware)

    To cut the story short - though it's worth reading if you want to buy a new computer with a specific purpose in mind:

    • The 12700K is very good, and avoids most of the excesses of the 12900K. For most tasks it's nearly as fast and significantly cheaper
    • AMD's chips are much more power-efficient, and it really looks like their multi-threaded performance is constrained more by power limits than the chip's capabilities.
    • There's little reason right now to bother with DDR5 at all, which is good because there isn't any.

  • The full list of non-K - mainstream non-overclockable - Alder Lake CPUs has been assembled thanks to multiple leaks by online stores around the world.  (WCCFTech)

    And if online stores in Bangladesh have the details, everyone does.

    Except for the 12700 and the low-power 12700T, none of these have the new Efficiency cores, just the full-size Power cores.  Which means that there's really only two new configurations: Four cores / eight threads on the 12100, 12200 (if that exists - I suspect it's a typo), and 12300; and six cores / twelve threads on the 12400, 12500, and 12600.

    For the average user even the low-end 12100 should be a very capable CPU.


  • Pop psychology has killed the villain.  (UnHerd)

    Kills and skins puppies just to make a stylin' new coat?  That's because she was traumatised by a TV commercial as a child.

    Villains in stories are villains for the same reason that 1+1=2 in arithmetic: Because it works.  You can construct a system of arithmetic where 1+1=3, but it's pointless to do so because it doesn't relate to reality.

    Quite a good examination of trends in entertainment generally, pointing out that competent directors were aware of this danger and warned against it decades ago.


  • GitHub went down again.  (Hacker News)

    As in: Ted was planning to spend the entire afternoon wanking in his cubicle, but GitHub was down so he had to actually do some work.


  • We're doomed.


  • Smoking a turkey with Prometheus, Home Assistant, and Grafana.  (BlockLoop)

    And a smoker.


  • Python library of the day is Bokeh.  (Bokeh.org)

    This is a data visualisation library that lets you construct your graphs and charts - and entire interactive dashboards - in Python and display them as a web page, or a component within a web page.

    You don't need to do any direct JavaScript nonsense yourself, and it can produce some pretty sophisticated data plots.


Local News

  • So apart from that, how are things-



    Sorry I asked.


  • On the other hand:

    March for Freedom in Sydney yesterday.  And the police joined in rather than, as is traditional down south, pepper-spraying children and tackling immigrant grandmothers to the pavement.


In Which the New York Times Almost Wakes Up From Its Nap Video of the Day



I had Viva Frei playing on the second monitor while I ate lunch and skimmed the news for this roundup, so when that video ended and YouTube cued up another I didn't have many hands free to stop it and just let it play.  

After I minute I looked over to see which conservative or libertarian-leaning channel I had landed on, and was bemused to find that it was the New York Times.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day



There's clearer videos of this one in English, but it sounds better in the original Klingon, so that's what I went with.  Well, there's a 2019 performance which I think has one of the original band members, but that doesn't count.

This is one of the first I thought of when I started rounding up 70s songs as a commentary on the world's present economic and sociopolitical woes, and one of the things I immediately thought is that it would make a great mashup with Boney M's Rasputin.

Apparently it doesn't - Moskau has variable tempo, not a lot but enough to wreck the sync with any other song.  You can adjust the tempo of one song in a mashup as long as it remains consistent, like this:



But adjusting it from one verse is to the next is not only a whole lot of work, it changes the feel of the song and ruins the mashup.


Disclaimer: Breakfast cereal off the starboard bow.

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Saturday, November 27

Geek

Daily News Stuff 27 November 2021

Nugs Ahoy Edition

Top Story

  • Gluten-free chicken nuggets acquired.  After my fifth grocery order in two weeks.

    I also have bread and rice, so now it's just gluten-free breakfast cereal that's out of stock everywhere.  Well, the crappy brands are readily available, but inedible.  The good brands, which are Kellogg's and no-one else, are not to be found.


  • Correlates of Coddling: How an entire generation of college students came down with brain worms.  (PsyArXiv)

    It's a psychological study following up on the 2018 book The Coddling of the American Mind.  Only problem is psychological studies are barely in a better state than those college students:
    A total of 812 participants began the study. After removing the data of participants who did not finish the study, the final sample consisted of 786 participants (653 female, 127 male, 6 other/unspecified).
    Yeesh.  No selection bias here.


Tech News

  • The Seaberry is a mini-ITX carrier board for the Raspberry Pi CM4.  (Jeff Geerling)

    It has four mini-PCIe slots, four M.2 2230 slots, one M.2 2280 slot, a full-size PCIe x16 slot, and a PCIe x1 slot on the edge of the board for custom expansion.  Plus two Ethernet ports, two HDMI ports, and two USB ports.

    The only problem is that the largest model of the Pi CM4 - with 8GB RAM and 32GB built-in flash storage - costs $90, and this motherboard costs $435.  That's partly because it's a low-volume board for prototyping and hobby projects, and partly because the chip that expands the Pi to deliver all those PCIe slots costs $125 all by itself.

    Also it's not available.  The initial batch sold out in five minutes.


  • This new Gigabyte power supply doesn't explode.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It's still not great - it's about average - but it doesn't explode.

    Gigabyte had a batch - apparently a large batch - of power supplies that had the over-power protection cutoff set far too high.  Like protecting a 10A circuit with a 100A fuse; by the time the protection kicked in things were already on fire.

    This new model doesn't do that.


  • California port truckers downing in supply chain inefficiencies.  (FreightWaves)
    "Our operations are normal and wait times are normal (no delays)," Bernando (communications director of the Port of Oakland) told FreightWaves.  "Who are you going to believe, us or the lying live camera view of the two mile long line of trucks waiting to enter the port?"
    Who indeed, Mr Bernando.  Who indeed.

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/HoloHeights1.jpg?size=540x&q=95
    Hololive JP Gen 6's La+ Darkness next to Gen 4's Kiryu Coco


  • AWS has reduced its bandwidth pricing.  (Amazon)

    By how much, you ask.  I have no fucking idea, I reply.  Not only does the official announcement fail to tell you, it doesn't even provide a link to the new pricing details.


  • Lossless image compression in O(n) time.  (Phobos Lab)

    QOI - the Quite OK Image Format - is similar in its goals to PNG, with similar levels of image compression, but thirty times faster.  The difference for reading images is smaller but even there it's three times faster.  

    And the algorithm is dead simple - it's about 300 lines of C in its current form.


  • That's racist: The Biden Administration has banned travel from eight African nations.  (Politico)

    South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini-

    Now you're just making things up.

    Swaziland king renames country 'the Kingdom of eSwatini'.  (BBC)

    Apparently iSwatini was already taken.


  • Samsung won't be offering a Note model next year.  (9to5Google)

    Seems to be a distinction without a difference, though, because the S22 Ultra is going to ship with a stylus and have the same little slot to hold that stylus.


  • Microsoft cannot resist the urge to fuck everything up.  (Windows Central)

    It's only a few weeks since they broke the Windows 11 preview release with an ad, and now they are shoving buy now, pay later features into the Edge browser.

    No, you idiots.  To have any value at all your operating system has to be a neutral platform.  No fucking ads.  No fixed news streams.

    And if you offer a browser, the same rules apply.


  • When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a museum on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp.  (New York Times)

    Just now figured that out, did you guys?

    Technically the Smithsonian was built on tidal mud flats within a coastal floodplain, rather than a swamp.  The swamp grew up around it.

    http://ai.mee.nu/images/HoloHeights2.jpg?size=540x&q=95
    Hololive JP Gen 6's La+ Darkness next to Gen 4's Himemori Luna


  • Reddit engineer details how the new M1 Max MacBook Pro can save devs time and money.  (9to5Mac)

    In short: We've forgotten how to do incremental compilation.  Bring back TurboPascal.


  • JetBrains data tools have been updated.  (DevClass)

    As well as their IDEs for programming - IntelliJ for Java, PyCharm for Python, CLion for C, C++, Rust, Swift, and Python - quite good value if you can't afford the license for the entire suite, they offer DataGrip for managing database modelling and queries and DataSpell for data science.

    I got the suite license back when they made an unpopular licensing change and got an angry flood of emails, and walked the changes most of the way back.  So I'm grandfathered in at half price.  Since I spend all day every day with at least one of their IDEs open, it's worth it.


  • MongoDB 5.1 is here, only not.  (The Register)

    If you're using their cloud offering, called hang on while I look this up, in which case you are an idiot because cloud databases are terrible, you have it now.

    Community users and also on-premises enterprise customers can apparently get fucked.
    Kimberly Wilkins, MongoDB technical lead at open source support and services company Percona, said release stability was a much greater concern among the developer base.

    She pointed out that MongoDB was only providing one major release per year for on-premises and via the community edition, "with all other dot point releases going only to their customers that are using Atlas."

    The versions following 5.0 "have been problematic for users so far," she claimed, with bugs impacting through to the release of MongoDB v5.0.3 on September 21, 2021.

    Those first three releases were all labelled with the warning: "MongoDB version 5.0.0 is not recommended for production use due to critical issues..." The bugs caused issues such as duplicate unique keys, omitting a page of data, data loss, and problems restarting.

    Yeah, I was wondering why the Percona release of MongoDB was stuck at 4.4.  The fact that 5.0 is broken and Percona tries not to release broken databases would explain it.

    I was going to be working on a migration to MongoDB 5.0, but got swamped with other tasks.  Sounds like that was a blessing in disguise.


  • MariaDB 10.7 is in release candidate.  (MariaDB)

    I'm migrating everything from MySQL to MariaDB to take advantage of temporal tables, which are a bit of a pain when it comes to schema updates but a life changer when it comes to reporting and data safety.  I was working with 10.5, the last release to support TokuDB, but InnoDB with ZFS compression is just as good.

    TokuDB is apparently still supported in Percona's release of MySQL 8.0, but MySQL 8.0 doesn't have temporal tables.  Losing TokuDB means paying a bit more for larger, faster SSDs; losing temporal tables means writing and validating and maintaining equivalent code for every application you write.

    Not a hard choice.

  • FastAPI is a lightweight Python web framework aimed at building APIs.  (FastAPI)

    Since that's my job - since that's supposed to be my job - this is of signficant interest.  I've been using CherryPy for years because it just works, but it doesn't provide the benefits some of the newer frameworks do.

    In this case, it's dramatically faster (in pure Python mode, anyway, but in production we run CherryPy under uWSGI so there's much less difference), uses Python 3 type hinting throughout so you don't need explicit parameter conversion, automatically generates OpenAPI and JSON Schema docs, and has built-in support for async and websockets.

    It's not an async framework, though.  Well, it is, given the way Python's async works, but you can code methods as sync or async as you please and it all just works so long as you don't cross the streams - don't use blocking calls in an async method or try to make async calls in a sync method.

    It's built on Starlette which runs on top of Uvicorn, which is the actual underlying async web server.



Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day



Pleading (relative) youth here.  I've heard this song innumerable times, but didn't know who it was by or what it was called.


Party Like It's Ninja Hololive Team Gatchaman Video of the Day



I think HoloJP Gen 6 counts as a success.  One day, one channel, 165,000 live viewers, 1.7 million total views, 317,000 subscribers.

Her name is La+ Darkness, and if you think that because she's some kind of demon girl that it's a pun on Laplace's demon then you're absolutely correct.  I'm not sure about previous generations but all the HoloEN Gen 2 names are multilingual puns, ranging from the obvious (avatar of chaos Hakos Baelz - Bae to her fans - is an anagram of Khaos Blaze) to the subtle (one possible meaning of Nanashi Mumei is nobody no name).

Also YouTube itself translates her name to Laplace which rather gives the game away.

On those height comparisons: Hololive provide the height and birthday for every one of their talents.  We know the official birthdays are adjusted for reasons of practicality, because a couple of them have had two birthdays in one year in their professional and personal capacities.  We don't have much direct info about the height, but it's probably something close to reality because they do concerts using 3D motion capture and adjusting the model heights and making everything sync up when the characters are interacting is way outside of what's practical for a live performance right now.  If they tried to do it, it would be immediately obvious.

Coco's human persona isn't as busty as she's depicted in 3D - I think she's the only one we have direct evidence of for that - and perhaps not quite as tall, but she can certainly pull off a Bayonetta cosplay.

All of which means that Gura, Luna, and Laplace are tiny.



Disclaimer: Except Coco Pops.  Gluten-free Coco Pops they have.

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Friday, November 26

Geek

Daily News Stuff 26 November 2021

Thanks A Bunch Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Not At All Tech News

  • Hololive just announced holoX, which is their sixth generation of Japanese talents.  Where Prism went all Fractured Fairy Tales with their latest generation, holoX is pretty much Gatchaman in Vtuber form.

    The usual process is they announce an audition, and then you don't hear anything for five months, then there's a couple of teaser trailers before they announce the new talents and their debut schedule.

    This time they just went straight to Z; the announcement was four hours ago and the first debut stream is four hours from now.



    Meanwhile all the other generations are playing Pokemon.  They just got surprise blanket permission to stream - apparently - every Pokemon game ever, and they're not looking a gift Ponyta in the mouth.

    And yeah, I am thankful for Hololive.  They - and Nijisanji, and Prism, and Kson, and Vyolfers' little group - have been all that's kept me sane the past year or so.

Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day




Disclaimer: I bless the rains down in my basement.  I would like it to stop at some point though.

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Anime

Unexpected Expecteds

I was expecting Cover Corp to announce auditions for JP Gen 6 any day now, because while EN is growing like crazy and ID has Gen 3 on the way, JP Gen 5 is nearly 18 months old now and I couldn't see them leaving it a whole year without any new talent in the main branch.

They didn't do that. They didn't announce auditions at all.

What they announced was Secret Society holoX - JP Gen 6 - debuting in, oh, about six hours.




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Thursday, November 25

Geek

Daily News Stuff 25 November 2021

Wonders Never Cease Edition

Top Story

  • Slashdot linked to an Axios (spit) story bewailing the failure of the US Senate to approve the nomination of a communist to head up the country's banking regulations.  Not ever mentioning that she's a communist.

    A certain someone pointed out that she's a communist.

    And got voted up +5 Insightful.


  • Speaking of communists, China has suspended Tencent from updating existing apps or launching new ones.  (South China Morning Post)

    Tencent is a holding company for a huge range of investments in both Chinese and foreign businesses - like Engulf and Devour, their motto is Our fingers are in everything.  They run WeChat, which has 1.2 billion users, and own 20% of Universal Music, and a huge list of other stuff.

    They were one of the most valuable corporations in Asia at the start of the year, close to the trillion dollar mark, before Chairman Xi knifed the economy in the front.

    And now they are not permitted to fix bugs in their apps.  I'm sure this will work out just fine for everyone.


  • Speaking of communists and tech companies getting banned, miracle of miracles the Department of Commerce has actually been doing its job.  (The Register)

    Another 27 companies from China and Pakistan have been banned from doing business with the US - including one that has the exclusive distribution rights for HP servers in China.

Tech News



Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day



This one confused me - I knew in my heart it was a 70s song, but it didn't show on the charts I was looking at.

Because it charted in Australia way back in '76 but not in the US until '81.



Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with...  Wait, yeah, kind of is.

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Wednesday, November 24

Geek

Daily News Stuff 24 November 2021

Barrel Of Chaos Monkeys Edition

Top Story

  • Bad news: DDR5 availability is a bad joke at this point.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Good news: It doesn't make any difference to typical workloads anyway, and where it does you'd be better off with a Threadripper or Threadripper Pro.  For games, DDR4 averages about 2% faster than DDR5 because of the high latency of early DDR5 modules.

    I checked two Australian online stores plus Amazon and Newegg, and none of them have any DDR5 RAM.  On eBay scalpers are charging between $25 and $80 per GB.  Decent DDR4-3600 modules from Corsair, Geil, G.Skill, and Team are readily available at less than $4 per GB.


Tech News

  • No P-cores for you! (WCCFTech)

    If the listing here is correct, Intel is planning to flood the zone with low-power E (for efficiency) cores, while P (for power) core counts will remain static at 8.  The new 12900K has 8 P and 8 E, while next year's 13900K is expected to have 8 P and 16 E, and the future 15900K 8P and 32 E.

    That's...  Kind of mixed.  The advantage is that Intel's E-cores are half the speed of the P-cores (actually a bit more) while using one quarter the power and die area, so on multi-threaded test you are potentially better off with this flood the zone approach.

    The downside is that you have huge disparities in individual thread performance depending on which core a task lands on.  Bad enough on the desktop; chaos on a server.

    On the third side, while AMD offers a 16 core desktop CPU right now - since last year, though early on supply was pretty tight - it is clearly thermally constrained and would run faster given a higher power budget.


  • GoDaddy leaked user profiles for 1.2 million WordPress sites.  (The Daily Swig)

    Sounds like rather a mess.  Usernames and passwords were exposed - plaintext passwords in some cases because they're stored in config files for the app, along with private keys for SSL certificates.


  • You can't trust App Store review scores.  (The Verge)

    I mean, yes, we all knew that, but this is an interesting case.  




    Yep.  All the positive reviews are reviews of the podcasts, not of Apple's podcast app, which people still hate.


  • Samsung is building a new $17 billion chip factory in Taylor, Texas, just outside Austin.  (Yahoo)

    Not clear if this is for leading-edge production or for bulk production of older chips for embedded and automotive tasks - both are in short supply right now - but the price tag suggests it will be pretty up-to-date.


  • India is planning to propose banning all private cryptocurrencies.  (Bloomberg)

    Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.


  • The US is playing me too.  (Bloomberg)

    The Federal Reserve, FDIC, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency which I hadn't even heard of until Uncle Joe decided to nominate an unreconstructed Stalinist to the post, are working on regulations to roll out next year.

    On the plus side that might destroy the entire industry.


  • How retarded are the retards at Axios?  All the retarded.  (Axios)

    They do eventually concede that there might be concerns with China's new privacy law, which places no restrictions whatsoever on the government while hampering private business.


  • Russia meanwhile is demanding hostages from all foreign tech companies if they want to continue operations in the country.  (9to5Mac)

    That's a hell no from me.


  • Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the new Macbook?  (Hot Hardware)

    PC reviewer reviews the MacBook Pro, is not impressed with that stupid notch.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day



Could have sworn this song was from the 80s, but no.  This video yes, but not the song.


Party Like It's 1939, 1959 and/or 1989 Video of the Day




Disclaimer: Put regular in the time scoop instead of super and that's what you're going to get.

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Tuesday, November 23

Geek

Daily News Stuff 23 November 2021

Mounting A Scratch Monkey Edition

Top Story

  • To shuck or not to shuck?  (Tom's Hardware)

    With graphics cards still absurdly overpriced, it's tempting to get a prebuilt server from some place like Dell, pull the graphics card, and sell the rest on eBay.

    Dell did have an XPS desktop model with a 3070 that was good value for this, though the machine itself sucks.  But that model has disappeared and the best they offer in Australia right now is a 3060 Ti, and the pricing there is marginal at best.

Tech News


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day





Disclaimer: Do as I do - but only if you're prepared to clean up afterwards.

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Monday, November 22

Geek

Daily News Stuff 22 November 2021

Wuhu Bat Flu Edition

Top Story

  • Correction: The Wuhan Bat Virus Institute is not located a hundred yards from the Wuhan Bat Soup Market.  The Wuhan Center for Disease Control is located a hundred yards from the Wuhan Bat Soup Market.

    The Center for Disease Control is not rated for bat virus containment and any bat virus they had would likely escape immediately to any surrounding bat locations...  But I was still wrong.

    I think Google Maps showed the wrong lab if you looked it up early last year and has since been corrected.  Or I was just wrong.  Or possibly both, since there's a record of Google Maps being updated.


  • What is Intel up to these days?  As it turns out, rather a lot.  (CNet)

    Yes, they're playing catch up with AMD, Apple, Nvidia, TSMC, and Samsung, after years of decisions that enriched the board of directors and senior executives at the expense of the long-term viability of the company.

    On the other hand, they're spending $3.5 billion to upgrade their New Mexico fab, $20 billion to build two new fabs in Arizona coming on line in 2024, and up to $100 billion at a new US location to be announced soon.

    They're also planning on rolling out 4nm, 3nm, 2nm, and 1.8nm process nodes over the next four to five years.  Where nm stands for "numbers for marketing".  But even though they are marketing numbers, they are the same kind of marketing numbers that label the current process as 7nm, so that's a huge improvement.


Tech News


Personal Peeves

I've ordered 25 boxes of gluten free chicken nuggets over the past week.

I've received one.

I don't want 25 boxes, I want five or six. I keep ordering them and they keep telling me they're out of stock, when they show up as being in stock before, during, and after the order.

There's exactly one source of gluten free chicken nuggets hereabouts, and I'm not going there in person for another three weeks because they require you to check in with a government bat flu tracking app which I have refused to do through out this entire debacle. That ends on the 15th.

Gluten free bread? Also out of stock. Gluten free corn flakes? Out of stock.

I did order a few kilograms of rice, so I'm not about to starve, but it's annoying to have most of my staple diet disappear all at once.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day




Disclaimer: My latest fave nerdcore/hard rock cover band is Impedance/Resistance.

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