Sunday, December 19


Daily News Stuff 19 December 2021

Own Goals R Us Edition

Top Story

  • Still dithering over what hardware to buy to build out my software lab - so far I have two laptops and two monitors, which is a good starting point.  I'll have the money just before Christmas but I have six different possible configurations and I can't afford them all.

    So I got a virtualised dedicated server with an Aussie hosting company I've used for a while.  I just have a couple of cheap cloud servers with them - about $20 a month combined - but they've been rock solid.  And they bill hourly in arrears so if it turned out not to be what I wanted the cost would be negligible.

    Turns out it's great.  I had it up and running with Ubuntu 20.04 in 30 seconds.  I wanted to configure it with 75% of the disk space in ZFS to run LXD, and they have a control panel that lets you do exactly that, without needing a reinstall or manual configuration.  Resize, reboot, configure ZFS, done.

    Disk is 800GB of mirrored NVMe storage and gets about 1.6GB per second on writes in an actual test, which is just fine.

    It's more expensive than US-based options but it's an 8ms ping from my house compared to a 180ms ping even to Los Angeles.  It's great.

    If I keep it for more than six months and I don't end up using it for any public or shared stuff I might as well have bought a NUC or something like that, but the ease of getting it up and running is hard to beat.

    So now I'm getting started on the software side of the software lab and maybe I'll wait for the sales after Christmas before ordering any more hardware.

Tech News

  • A well-known tech blogger got caught in that Princeton research project that involved thinly-veiled legal threats from fake email accounts to random websites. (

    I'd be happy to see this asshole getting sued.

    The problem is, you'd have to be able to prove actual damages.

    Oh.  Well then.  Gentlemen (and Christine), call your lawyers.

  • This isn't tech news but it has to be seen to be believed.  The German army, facing fierce criticism for organising a march of soldiers wearing 20th century uniforms and carrying burning torches, played the Don't Mention the War card.

    You started it!
    No we didn't!
    Yes you did!  You invaded Poland!

  • Kolmogorov Complicity.  (Slate Star Codex)

    Kolmogorov - a Soviet mathematician perhaps best known for his mathematically precise definition of complexity - walked a fine line with Stalin's thugs, mouthing Party platitudes while continuing his research and trying to protect others.  He survived the purges by keeping his mouth shut most of the time, though he did publish a paper that indirectly denounced Lysenko.

    This 2017 article links to pieces by Scott Aronson and Paul Graham from 2017 and 2004 respectively.  Given who was occupying the White House in those particular years I expected the comments to be a dumpster fire, but for the most part, no.  Though some of them have proven in retrospect to be hopelessly naive.

  • Log4j 2.17 is out fixing the bug in 2.16 that fixed the bug in 2.15 that set the world on fire last week.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Fucking yay.

    This one is relatively minor; all it does is kick of an infinite recursion that kills your server.

  • Putting a lampshade on the new MacBook's idiotic screen notch.  (IconFactory)

    The Dell Inspiron 16 Plus delivers 92% of the CPU performance of the M1 Max MacBook Pro (and 150% of the GPU performance) for half the price, weighs the same, and does not have an idiotic screen notch.

  • Wikipedia has booted a team Chinese editors working to push genocide apologetics.  (Wikimedia)

    They took it a little too far when they physically assaulted other Wikipedia editors.  Just posting communist propaganda apparently didn't raise any red flags.

    So to speak.

  • Scripps Memorial Hospital automatically marks everything up by 675%.  (MSN)

    Something needs to be done about that bullshit.  I can go to my eyecare specialist here locally, get a basic test for "free" (we have a specific extra income tax allocated to healthcare, so while it's not free at all, it is at least visible), and pay out of pocket for a retinal exam that isn't covered by the government plan.

    Last time I was there they recommended it since I'm past a certain age, but stressed that it was an additional expense.  Of 60 bucks.

    Lady, you charged me $600 for a new pair of glasses with the high refractive index glass I need for my prescription.  I'm not going to quibble about 60 bucks for a test every couple of years that could save my eyesight.


    I did however get my next pair of glasses from an online store.

  • Intel is planning to shower top engineers with $1 billion in cash and $1.4 billion in shares next year.  (Tom's Hardware)

    They already pay pretty well, but it's a fiercely competitive market.

Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day

The meme police they live inside of my chat
The meme police ain't gonna let them do that
The meme police I bonked them all with a bat
Oh nyo...

Disclaimer: Here in my car I have a pool and a bar
It doesn't go very far 
To the gallon
But hey.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:04 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 906 words, total size 8 kb.

1 WTH is going on with the German Army?

This probably would have had to be in the works before Merkel's resignation.

I know Germany has being going totalitarian under Merkel.  I know that I've alleged that the East German Communist party was an offshoot of the NSDAP.  I know that I've been suspecting that NATO is de facto defunct.

I'm still a bit surprised.

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, December 20 2021 12:42 AM (r9O5h)

2 I guess this is the logical endpoint of the Bundeswehr (There were definitely members of the Bundesmarine in the ceremony, if you want to call it that.), given how a plurality of Germans polled regarded the armed forces as an uniformed social welfare delivery service.  When your services' raison r'etre is not being on the cutting edge of national policy, but serving as errand boys and girls for the political cause of the day...You get something right out of the old films and photos of the Parteitag at Nuremburg and Munich.

On the other hand...For a while and not that long ago, the Poles had more Leopard 2 tanks than the Bundeswehr did, and currently have more tanks in total.  There is a better chance of the Poles marching into Berlin at this point, then the Germans marching into anyone else's capital.

And yes, every once in a while, I muse about how maybe the US should have insisted on the Morgenthau Plan after all.

Posted by: cxt217 at Monday, December 20 2021 10:49 AM (MuaLM)

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

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