Friday, May 07


Daily News Stuff 7 May 2021

Hypocrisy R Us Edition

Top Stories

There's a word for nostalgia for a past you never experienced, but I've forgotten what it is.  When I was a kid my parents moved to the very outskirts of Sydney.  Our backyard was Kuringai Chase National Park, where Skippy was filmed.  A schoolfriend was the son of the head park ranger.  Great for catching tadpoles in spring; not so good when it all caught fire.

Tech News

  • IBM has shown off the world's first 2nm chip.  (Tom's Hardware)

    AnandTech also has the story, with different details.

    The big news isn't that this is 2nm, because nothing about the chip is actually 2nm in size; it's just a marketing number.  The big news is that this is the first GAAFET chip, using an advanced new transistor design.

    A few years ago, at the 20nm node, Intel introduced FINFETs - transistors that stick up vertically like fins - while the rest of the industry bet that it could get another generation out of regular, planar, FETS.  Intel was right and everyone else was wrong, and it took years for the rest of the industry to recover.

    This is part of why AMD was so far behind until the launch of Ryzen in 2017 - they had an inefficient CPU design and an inefficient fabrication process from Global Foundries.  Not a good combination.

    GAAFET is required for the next few generations, from 2nm (meaningless number) down to 1.2nm (meaningless number).  I'm not sure exactly where this train will end; there's at least four full generations to come as well as in-between generations like 6nm and 4nm, but without seeing the actual transistor density, power, and frequency numbers - not to mention costs - it's impossible to know what any of it means.

  • For example Sony is reportedly planning to update the PlayStation 5 to TSMC's 6nm process.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is 18% denser than the current 7nm process but otherwise very similar, so it might be cheaper than switching to an entirely new process node.  This is an expensive task and not something you do unless you're churning out millions of devices, but Sony is churning out millions of devices.  Even with the industry-wide supply constraints they've sold over 8 million of these consoles.

  • China's greenhouse emissions now exceed those of all the OECD nations combined.  (BNN Bloomberg)

    One easy way to reduce greenhouse emissions is to export all your industrial capacity.  Not saying it's a good idea, just an easy one.

  • The Surface Laptop 4 doesn't have the four essential keys.  (AnandTech)

    Even on the 15" model which has tons of space all around the keyboard.

    It's available with either a 13" or 15" 3:2 screen, and a choice of 11th gen Intel or 4th gen AMD processors.  For me, without those keys, it's a non-starter even if they cut the price by half.

  • Delayed ACKs and Nagle's algorithm don't mix.  (WizardZines)

    Tracking down why the simplest requests take 50ms when the client and the server are on the same network.  In this case it's an HTTP POST and might not matter, but this could be crippling if you're using something like Redis or Memcached, or even a regular database.

  • Google is going to automatically enroll users for 2FA - two-factor authentication.  (ZDNet)
    You may not realize it, but passwords are the single biggest threat to your online security
    said Google, as news surfaced of the thirtieth major corporate data breach this week.

  • The HP ZBook Fury 15 G7 has the four essential keys.  (Hot Hardware)

    It has a full numeric keypad and the four essential keys.  The CPU is an 8 core Xeon W-10885M with a top speed of 5.3GHz, paired with an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 with 16GB of RAM.  The screen is a 15.6" 4K panel with 100% DCI-P3 colour and an eye-searing 600 nits max brightness.

    Main memory goes up to 128GB, and it has three user-accessible M.2 slots so you can install 24TB of storage if you really want to.  It comes with two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort, two regular USB ports, a full-size SD card slot, 1/8" headphone jack, wired Ethernet, and a dedicated charging port for the provided 200W brick.

    Not surprisingly given those specs, prices start at $2299 and go upwards pretty fast.  But if you need a no-compromises laptop for work - and the company is paying - this could be it.

Change of Pace Anime Music Video of the Day

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is a fun little series that doesn't have a mean-spirited bone in its body but is not kid-safe.  Tohru is in love with Kobayashi and though nothing ever happens on screen there's also nothing platonic about it.  Also she's a fifty foot long dragon.

Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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