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Tuesday, May 31


Daily News Stuff 31 May 2022

All The China In Thailand Edition

Tech News

  • Quick one because of a double helping of reasons today.

  • Vodafone is planning to add carrier-level tracking to bust ad blockers.  (Bleeping Computer)

    This is designed to work around such problematic features as privacy controls and end-to-end encryption and hand power back to the advertisers, because fuck you that's why.

    Let's hope they get sued.

  • Ryzen 7000 may clock as high as 5.85GHz.  (WCCFTech)

    Or it may not, but we have seen a live demo at 5.5GHz multi-core, so 5.85GHz single core is not out of the question.  But is fast.

  • Thou shalt not speak English.  (The Guardian)

    The French are back at their favourite pastime, taking simple and widely-used English-language terms - "stream" - and replacing them with drivel - "joueur-animateur en direct".

  • Blockchain: The amazing solution for almost nothing.  (The Correspondent)

    For the work I do, I need a cryptographically verifiable public ledger - and that's what the blockchain is.  I'm taking things that would usually just be a record in a corporate database and handing them over into the control of the customer. 

    It might not be much, but it's yours.  If the company cancels your account, it's still yours.  If the company goes out of business entirely, it's still yours.  So long as the blockchain itself stays up somewhere.

    But it would be much easier, much cheaper, much faster, much more reliable to just use a database.  Blockchains are like databases except they have a thousand-dollar-a-day cocaine habit and sometimes just don't show up on Monday morning.

    If your work doesn't actually need to be publicly verifiable and provably outside your control, don't use a blockchain.  Use a database.  Or clay tablets.

Disclaimer: Or Tuesday, for that matter.

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Monday, May 30


Daily News Stuff 30 May 2022

It's Not Junk, Its...  Okay, Yeah, It's Junk Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • More headlines from he 21st century: Robot orders increased 40% in the first quarter.  (Business Insider / MSN)

    Many entry level jobs are going to go extinct, which while inevitable, is not necessarily a trend we want to accelerate.  Change is a fine thing as long as it's not deliberately pushed faster than people can adapt.

  • 1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
    4. A robot may not be repaired by anyone other than the original manufacturer.

    Separate right-to-repair bills failed in North Carolina and California.

    You'll own nothing, and you'll repair nothing.  And you'll eat journalists, because bugs are too valuable.

  • This year's iPhone will stick to TSMC's 5nm, and not jump to 4nm or 3nm.  (9to5Mac)

    4nm chips are in early production now, but apparently not in the volumes Apple requires.  3nm won't ship until late next year.  And 5nm is pretty damn good already.

    But this means the iPhone...  The 2022 iPhone probably won't be a significant advance over the 2021 model.

  • Stuck some of my 8TB SMR drives in the Synology NASes so they're at least full of working drives.  Two mirrored in one unit, and one as a separate backup disk in another.

    So far they haven't done anything awful; as far as I know the serious problems only arise when rebuilding a RAID-5 or RAID-6 array, where they blow the time out from days to weeks.

Disclaimer: Do do do or da da da, there is no more I want to say to you.

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Sunday, May 29


Daily News Stuff 29 May 2022

Peak Bullshit Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Pikamee vs. GlaDOS Music Video of the Day

I kinda miss Pikamee's old model, seen here.  The new model is more detailed, but it's also a lot more mainstream.  Her original character had, well, character.

Of course Pikamee is still Pikamee, beloved bilingual kettle dolphin.

Disclaimer: Stop fetishising psychosis.

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Server crashed.
Alarm immediately went off and woke me up.
Logged in and restarted server.
Fell asleep again before that completed.
Software did not fully restart.
Woke up again after two hours and said oh shit.

I have a brand new server running Ubuntu 22.04 but need to finish configuring it.

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Saturday, May 28


Daily News Stuff 28 May 2022

A Plague On Both My Houses Edition

Top Story

  • Headlines from the 21st century: Omnipotent BMCs from Quanta remain vulnerable to critical Pantsdown threat.  (Ars Technica)

    I'm trying to think what science fiction novel that reminds me of.  Heinlein had futuristic headlines in at least one novel, and I think the Illuminati Trilogy did too.

    Anyway, it's always a bad sign when your quantum BMCs drop their pants, so best to avoid that.

Tech News

  • Ryzen 7000 will be faster than Ryzen 5000.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The numbers are complicated.  AMD say the new chips will be at least 15% faster on single-threaded benchmarks than the Ryzen 5800X3D, a special variant with three times as much cache as the 5800X, but also that the high-end Ryzen 7000 parts will be at least 40% faster on multi-threaded tasks.  Multi-threaded scaling is normally less than single-threaded, because you have to get two things right - improve each thread, and make sure that lots of threads can run together without slowing each other down.

    The new chips will also support Intel's AVX512 instructions - performing 512 bits of calculations per cycle instead of the current 256.  AVX512 is notably power-hungry on Intel chips, and has been disabled on 12th generation consumer parts.  It's present in the hardware; it just doesn't work.

    40% better multi-threaded performance would put the 16-core 7950X at parity with Intel's $9000 40-core Xeon Platinum 8380.

  • AMD also confirmed a Threadripper 7000 is on the way.  (WCCFTech)

    No details though, so we don't know when, or whether this is a 12-channel socket SP5 part or using the smaller 6-channel socket SP6.  Or both.

    They also said that Ryzen 7000 will max out at 16 cores at launch.  Not sure whether that's referring to Threadripper parts to come or higher core count Ryzen parts.

  • Are we on the verge of an 8K gaming revolution?  (Ars Technica)

    <shake shake>

    Signs point to maybe.

    I considered getting a single large 8K TV instead of multiple 4K monitors, but it's not practical just yet.  Maybe once I've finished paying all the expenses for this move.  The loan itself works out to $5 less per week than I've been paying in rent, but there's a ton of other stuff to pay for.

  • A top Federal Reserve official warned that the US could be falling behind in the race to set up digital currencies.  (Axios)
    We have the opportunity to wipe out trillions of dollars in savings in days rather than years.  We can't allow Europe and China to take the lead in this obviously self-destructive move.

  • Why won't PC laptop makers let Apple's awful Touch Bar die?  (Macworld)

    There's more than one PC laptop maker, and each company makes more than one model of laptop.  If you don't want a touch bar, don't buy the touch bar model.  You still have literally hundreds of laptops to choose from.

  • ChromeOS will now tell you when your USB-C cable doesn't do all the USB-C things and Apple should copy it.  (9to5Mac)

    They have a point.  USB-C is the one cable that does everything - up to 40Gbps data bidirectionally in a variety of different protocols - or double that in one direction for video, plus up to 240W of power in either direction.

    But not all USB-C cables are created equal.  In fact, most of them are less equal than others.  So having your operating system detect this and tell you, rather than leaving you wondering why you can't get a stable picture on your monitor, is such an obvious win that anyone who doesn't implement it should be strapped to the outside of the next Starship test launch.

  • How to cancel your Amazon Prime membership.  (ZDNet)

    1. Log in.
    2. Click cancel.

  • Three failed or failing drives on my (old, second-hand) Synology NAS cluster.  No two on the same device, and the last RAID rebuild is at 86% already and is on a RAID-6 volume.  For once I got to things before a disaster.

    Going to back up all my stuff onto them tomorrow, then put them in a box packed with pillows.

Disclaimer: Those aren't pillows.

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Friday, May 27


Daily News Stuff 27 May 2022

Box Crash Edition

Tech News

  • Short one today because my hovercraft is full of boxes.

    Which all just fell over.  Yay.

  • When even Vox thinks your project is a scam.  (Vox)

    Serial entrepreneurn't Adam Neumann, formerly of collapsed "tech" startup WeWork, is back with a new project to distribute carbon credits on the blockchain, as the - I swear I am not making this up- Goddess Nature Token.

    Vox - Vox - refers to this as "a scam within a scam".

  • The high-end models of the upcoming Ryzen 7000 will indeed have a TDP of 170W.  (Tom's Hardware)

    There was some confusion over whether the number was constant power or peak power, and AMD has now clarified that it is indeed constant power, with a peak of 230W.

    This is actually good because the current 16 core parts are clearly constrained by something - either power or memory bandwidth - and the new parts will resolve both limits.

  • Broadcom is buying VMware for $61 billion.  (Tech Crunch)

    Previously EMC bought VMWare, and then Dell bought EMC, but more recently Dell spun VMWare off as a separate company.

  • Doing some maintenance on my Synology boxes before the move.  Across four 8-bay devices I found one failing drive, one failed drive, and one drive so dead that the NAS can't even detect it as failed.

    I had two replacement drives that were almost the same model from an old PC (these are second-hand units from work, dating to 2013).  The third one I had to replace a 3TB drive with a 6TB model because I didn't have anything small enough.

    Looks like RAID will finish rebuilding this time tomorrow on all three.

Disclaimer: Ugh.

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Thursday, May 26


Daily News Stuff 26 May 2022

Double Plus Ouch Edition

Top Story
  • Eastasia has always been at war with Elon Musk.  (The Register)

    China views Starlink as a threat, not just because it provides unfiltered internet access to anyone, anywhere in the world, but also because it already constitutes one third of all satellites in orbit, with that percentage growing fast.

    And maneuverable satellites are also anti-satellite weapons.  If it comes to a space war, orbital speeds are high enough that any collision is likely fatal, so the small size of the Starlink satellites in no way hampers their effectiveness.

  • Also it seems Starlink is now generally available in the southern half of Australia, which includes both my current home and my new one.  Might take them up on that.

Tech News 
Disclaimer: Seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Wednesday, May 25


Daily News Stuff 25 May 2022

Sometimes We Can Have Nice Things Edition

Top Story

  • Seth Green - Oz from Buffy and Dr Evil's son Scott from the Austin Powers movies - had plans for a TV series based on an NFT.

    Then it got stolen.

    Since he no longer owns the ugly monkey jpeg in question he also loses film rights and the project is toast.

    Sometimes things do work out for the best.

Tech News

  • Nvidia had it's own big Computex announcement the day after AMD.  If you want a server-only GPU that uses 600W and costs tens of thousands of dollars and can't actually output video, they're all over that.

    Not particularly interesting for you or me, but it does make them a lot of money.

  • Asus announced a new 500Hz gaming monitor.  (AnandTech)


  • Asus also announced their high-end AM5 motherboard for the upcoming Ryzen 7000 series.  (AnandTech)

    The ROG Crosshair X670E supports two full-length PCIe 5.0 slots, plus a x4 slot running at a lower speed but I don't know what, and 5 M.2 slots two of which are also PCIe 5.  Plus USB 4.  Which when you add it all up requires more PCIe lanes than the CPU has available.  Not sure what they've done there.

  • Spain is investing $13 billion to upgrade the country's semiconductor industry.  (AP News)

    I was looking around what countries had semiconductor factories and I believe Spain was on the list - they're not starting from zero.  And there are worse ways to spend $13 billion, as our governments prove to use every day.

    I do not expect much to come of this nonetheless.

Disclaimer: Quoth the raven, "You want to complain?  Look at these shoes.  I've only had them for two weeks-"

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Tuesday, May 24


Daily News Stuff 24 May 2022

167 Hour Ahmed Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: To sleep, perchance to wake up again.

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Monday, May 23


Daily News Stuff 23 May 2022

Because I Don't Have Enough To Do Edition

Top Story

  • Spun up a virtual server running Ubuntu 22.04 today. So far I have nothing to complain about.  Which is good, if dull.

  • AMD officially announced Ryzen 7000, due "this fall".  (AnandTech)

    Most of the information we already had about it has been confirmed - though the 24 core model turns out to be wishful thinking at this point.

    The base model is 15% faster than the special edition Ryzen 5800X3D, which is good though not huge.  But it will go up to 16 cores where the X3D is limited to 8.

    Onboard RDNA2 graphics are confirmed for all Ryzen 7000 models, and clock speeds up to 5.5GHz.

  • Also confirmed is that dual-chip chipset.  (Angstronomics)

    The chip is call Promontory 21 and is designed by Taiwanese company ASMedia - not a respin of the CPU's I/O chiplet.  It's not a high-end design, but you can simply run two of them to get more I/O.  They daisy-chain so you only get 4 downstream PCIe lanes from the first chipset, and 8 from the second.

    It's a 7W part so it won't need a chipset fan, which was a problem with the AMD's first X570 chips.

Tech News

Disclaimer: You're just my type - you've got a pulse and you are breathing.

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