Sunday, October 22


Daily News Stuff 22 October 2023

Future So Loud Gotta Wear Shades Edition

Top Story

  • Thanks to AI the future of programming may involve yelling in ALL CAPS. (Ars Tchnica)

    Or more specifically, involve "AIs" (which aren't) yelling at each other in ALL CAPS.

    In this case, ChatGPT (a chatbot) yelling at DALL-E (an image generator).

    And we know this because DALL-E is stupid (though good at producing images) and repeated the instructions ChatGPT yelled at it. It's an idiot savant to ChatGPT's idiot.

Tech News

  • Scaling to 15,000 functions and beyond. (OpenFAAS)

    15,000 functions is a few megabytes of code. Sure, this would have been tricky on a CP/M system; even with a hard disk you'd have to be careful optimising your overlays so you weren't spending all your time swapping code in and out. For it to be a problem in 2023 has to mean you're doing something incredibly stupid.

    So, first thing: We're not talking about regular functions in a piece of code here; we're talking about "serverless" functions running in the cloud. These do have their place, though they are horribly inefficient.

    Second thing:
    I started off by looking to hardware that I already owned. My workstation runs Linux and has an AMD Ryzen 9 5950x with 16C/32T with 128GB of RAM. Then, behind me sits the Ampere Developer Platform with 64C and 64 RAM. I paid an additional 500 USD to upgrade the Ampere machine to 128GB RAM in order to recreate the customer issue.
    The container limit of 110 per Kubernetes node means that even if you have a bare-metal machine like this, it’s largely wasted, unless you are running a few very large Pods.
    It took me a moment to unpack this. Every single one of those functions needs to run on its own container - a lightweight virtual server. 15,000 functions means 15,000 virtual servers. That's insanity.

    The rest of the article discusses the struggles to get 15,000 virtual servers deployed, which is only interesting if you enjoy watching train wreck videos.

    So we have:

    1. Serverless functions, which are useful in a limited role.
    2. Some crazy people who want 15,000 separate serverless functions, which is insane.
    3. Some crazy people who deploy every single serverless function as a separate virtual server.
    4. The poor guy who has to make all that shit work.

    Every company has some of this nonsense going on: "Yes, I know we did this to ourselves, but we have to make it work somehow." But this example is truly spectacular.

  • Unison is a language that is supposed to make this problem go away. (Unison)

    You define your functions, deploy them somewhere, and then leave it up to Unison to manage where the functions are running and send the calls to the appropriate servers.

    Sounds good.

    The website is terrible, though; half of it is reminders to join the slack channel.

    Also, this:
    tour/main> find : [a] -> [a]
    1. : [a] -> [a]
    When a user asks for a list of the functions that take and return a sequence value, you should not sort deprecated functions to the top.

  • Why could reviewers not run Geekbench on the Google Pixel 8? Because Google blocked it. (Notebook Check)

    And why did Google do that? One has to assume, because the scores weren't very good.

    And checking some reviews, that seems to be the case. The Mediatek chip I mentioned yesterday is significantly faster than Google's powerhouse - 40% single core and nearly 100% multi-core.

  • The CEO of Hashicorp predicts that Silicon Valley will abandon open source unless open source stops, uh, being open source. (The Stack)

    If you didn't want to give your software away, mate, maybe you shouldn't have given your software away. It's not my fault that you're an idiot.

Disclaimer: It's not, is it? I didn't flood the world with idiot juice by accident at some point... Though if I had, that would explain a lot.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:23 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 I dunno, kinda looks like _somebody_ must have spilled it everywhere.  Who was in charge of this idiot juice, anyway?

Posted by: normal at Sunday, October 22 2023 07:20 PM (obo9H)

2 Shouting AIs: How many times, in the original Star Trek, did computers get overcome by logic traps? And how many times have I heard that we would NEVER write code that stupid? And yet, here we are.

Posted by: Frank at Sunday, October 22 2023 08:30 PM (ItHi2)

3 At this point, the Daleks are a best-case scenario for AI.

Posted by: normal at Sunday, October 22 2023 11:32 PM (obo9H)

4 I'm not sure that we have a real need for silicon valley corporations run by dishonest fuckwits. 

There are two things that open source can do for a business that an 'unless you are competing with us' license might interfere with.  1.  Customers have a fall back if you screw up and go out of busienss.  2.  Network effects.

Conceding that yeah, if people are not making a profit, you can't count on it happening...

A lot of the people using that flavor as a talking point are heavily collecting rents for overly complicated products, with terrible feature management, and really friendly with the governments of totalitarian states.  IE, they owe their rent collection to sucking up to people who ruin national economies. 

IE, a bunch of fad chasers who are more concerned about rapidly adding features instead of limiting attack surface by way of limiting complexity. 

Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, October 23 2023 07:53 AM (r9O5h)

5 "I'm not sure that we have a real need for silicon valley corporations run by dishonest fuckwits."

I mean, in a certain sense, I get what you're saying, but as systems get more complicated (complex?) I think we actually need _more_ dishonest fuckwits because that is a useful specialty.   Like the snake-oil salesmen of the late 19th century, society (at large) needs these parasites and grifters to exist because they are the hackers; the meddlers who are exposing the margins of acceptible behaviour.
Then again, maybe I'm all wet behind the ears: society needs thieves because they lead us to safer houses, but they also lead us to less trusting societies that require houses that are less open.  Maybe we should treat software developers like we treated witches:  sure, you have a special insight into the workings of the unexaminable dark side of reality, and you've shown us how to benefit, but we're still going to drown you for being able to manipulate that part of reality.

Posted by: normal at Monday, October 23 2023 04:00 PM (obo9H)

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

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