Saturday, August 14


Daily News Stuff 14 August 2021

Round Up The Usual Suspects Edition

Top Story

  • The usual suspects are distraught that the NSW government is refusing to implement an indefinite lockdown and plans to open up again as soon as vaccination numbers are up or case numbers are down.  (Australia waited for more safety data before rolling out vaccines so we're a few months behind the US.)

    I'm surprised that they've shown even that much sense, given their recent history, but I'll take it.

  • Apple "regrets" "confusion" over iPhone scanning.  (BBC)

    What they actually regret is being criticised for spying on children.

  • Apple is rolling out propaganda checklists to staff to "explain" to customers why the company is spying on children.  (Bloomberg)
    Some users have been concerned that they may be implicated for simply storing images of, say, their baby in a bathtub. But a parent’s personal images of their children are unlikely to be in a database of known child pornography, which Apple is cross-referencing as part of its system.
    That's not how it fucking works.  It doesn't take a hash of the file; that's too easy to cheat.  It uses perceptual hashes, the sort of thing that classifies a cat as an avocado.

  • It's so bad they've lost the Ars Technica commentariat.  (Ars Technica)

    That used to be a great site up until about five years ago; it was one of the first to get taken over by brain worms.  Today the comments are full of Apple-loving Biden voters, and yet, and yet, on this topic they are absolutely scathing.
    - I'll be OK with this if all governments super-pinky-swear they won't abuse the hash-repository for their own interests.

    - It’s a brave new world, my sentient brethren.

    - In related news, Apple noted that "ignorance is strength". Additionally, sources familiar with the matter opined "War is peace."

    - I guess you can technically claim this is an "advancement" on privacy, as long as you don't think too hard about what direction Apple is advancing.
    All of those have 90%+ upvotes too.

Tech News

  • Turns out the WD Black SN750 4TB model is real.  I'm going to put one in my next laptop - assuming I get the laptop and it works well.  With 64GB RAM and 4TB (maybe 5TB) of SSD I won't need to worry about a new desktop system for a long while.

    I will get the Linux lab set up, since I'll have memory and SSDs on hand to fill up three NUCs.  Plan is to name the desktop and the three Linux nodes Ina, Pina, Pika, and Pomu.

    Update: Ina (big laptop), Pina, Pika, and Pomu (NUCs), Gwem (small laptop), and Kson (desktop system).

  • A WHO expert had concerns about a lab close to the site where the first COVID cases appeared.  (AP News)

    Well, it now seems that the first COVID cases actually appeared at that lab, but the first reported cases were at a market 500 metres away.

    That actually understates things.

    The Wuhan Bat Virus Lab where they were studying bat coronaviruses is diagonally across an intersection from the Wuhan Live Bat Market where the bat coronavirus outbreak was first reported.

    Concerns my bat coronavirus ass.

  • Apple has released MacOS 11.5.2, a 2.5GB bug fix.  (ZDNet)

    What does it fix?

    Dunno.  Apple didn't say.  Microsoft might give you reams of incomprehensible tech jargon to wade through for each individual patch, but it's still better than "macOS 11.5.2 includes bug fixes for your Mac".

  • Gigabyte has released a statement on their exploding power supplies.  (Tom's Hardware)

    It reads, and I quote, Oops.

    A couple of models rebadged and sold by Gigabyte - they don't actually manufacture them - had the overload cutout set at 150% of rated peak load, which was much too high for some of the components.

    They still cut out, they just did so rather permanently.

  • A look at the QNAP TS-873A 8-bay NAS.  (Serve the Home)

    The unit has a Ryzen V1500B - a first-generation quad-core embedded part with a TDP of 16W.  It's a lot slower than current generation parts, but it's cheap, supports ECC RAM, and is rated for ambient temperatures up to 105C so it's not likely to die on the first warm day of spring.

    Apart from the 8 3.5" bays the unit ships with 8GB of RAM - upgradeable to 64GB, two 2.5Gb Ethernet ports, two PCIe slots, and two M.2 NVMe slots for caching.

    There's also a slightly cheaper 6-bay model - the TS-673A.

    Oh, and I completely forgot about this: The TS-H973AX-8G is a 9-bay model, with 5 3.5" and 4 2.5" hot-swap drive bays.  It has the same Ryzen CPU but includes a 10Gb Ethernet port as well as the two 2.5GbE.  It has no M.2 slots but two of the 2.5" bays support U.2 NVMe drives as well as the more common SATA.

    All three models support ZFS rather than BtrFS, which is more common in low-end NAS devices.  ZFS works by magic; it's hard to overstate how much better it is than classic filesystems like NTFS or Ext4.  Need to back something up?  One click, you have a backup.  Need to enable database compression?  Don't need to mess with the database settings, one click and it's compressed.  Need to de-duplicate 18 million images?  One click.

    ZFS does need a fast CPU and plenty of RAM to work well, and if you have a really huge array stuffed full of photos and want deduplication, you'll need more than the stock 8GB.    But we'd be talking about hundreds of thousands of raw camera files before that became a problem.

  • Facebook is rolling out end-to-end encryption for Messenger.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Facebook now has a stronger privacy story than Apple.  How the turn worms.

  • You can get a Threadripper surprisingly cheap now.  (Newegg)

    That's the first-generation 8-core model, though.  It's slower than the 6-core 5600G - a lot slower in single-threaded workloads, slightly slower in multi-threaded - but if you need a ton of PCIe slots and/or 256GB of RAM but not super-high CPU performance, motherboards for it are also available and not crazy expensive.

Disclaimer: Don't know, don't care, didn't vote.  (SLAM)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:50 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 The devil worshippers at apple already said that the cheese pizza their system finds will be reviewed by actual humans.  I suppose that the FBI (and other law enforcement) don't want to deal with 4 billion pictures of lampshades or avacdos every day, so I would assume that the first level of review is internal.  I'm sure they promise to avoid masturbating to said images as well.

Posted by: normal at Saturday, August 14 2021 11:10 PM (obo9H)

2 The frist few times I played around with ZFS (Solaris 10) I didn't really "get it", as the kids say.  But after playing with LVM and some other volume management tools, I'm utterly sold on ZFS.  Deduplication hogs too much memory, if you ask me, and outside of your example use-case of millions of possibly redundant images (gif and jpeg being compressed already), zfs-compression is the way to go.  I have around 6G of MUD logs (text with ansi colour codes) that compress on ZFS to less than 1G.  Admittedly, a zpaq archive with maximum compression takes up 77megabytes, but that also takes the better part of an hour to compress on an 8 core machine, and ZFS does it transparently, quickly, and the difference between 958M and 77M isn't really that much in these days of 2TB SSDs.

Posted by: normal at Sunday, August 15 2021 12:07 AM (obo9H)


"The company says its announcement had been widely "misunderstood".

"We wish that this had come out a little more clearly for everyone," said Apple software chief Craig Federighi, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

He said that - in hindsight - introducing two features at the same time was "a recipe for this kind of confusion"."

Ahh, the old "if only we'd explained it better, you rubes would totally be fine with it!  We'll try again next week" routine.

Posted by: Rick C at Sunday, August 15 2021 02:03 AM (eqaFC)

4 " "macOS 11.5.2 includes bug fixes for your Mac"."
Samsung and Nintendo are masters at that, too.  "This update improves the stability of your system."  (In Nintendo's case, that's code for "we found and patched out another vulnerability that lets you play unauthorized 3rd-party roms".)

Posted by: Rick C at Sunday, August 15 2021 02:05 AM (eqaFC)

5 normal - The 18 million images that needed deduplication was a real example. smile   We could have written the software better, for sure, but we could also just move them onto ZFS and pretend the problem never happened.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, August 15 2021 02:38 AM (PiXy!)

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

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