What is that?
It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?

Sunday, July 05

Geek

Daily News Stuff 4 July 2020

Space Force Anthem Edition

Tech News


Anime Music Video of the Day



Happy Independence Day everyone!

Update: Via Brickmuppet, this:



Did I disable videos in the comments or is it broken just for that one?


Disclaimer: Needs an update, but I don't think the Space Force even has an anthem yet.

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Saturday, July 04

Geek

Daily News Stuff 3 July 2020

End Of End Of Financial Year Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: So that's it for today and as always, I hope you've learned something.

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Friday, July 03

Geek

Daily News Stuff 2 July 2020

Hairy Wizard Edition

Tech News

  • Reminder that there are two new Dresden Files books due this year - Peace Talks lands this month, and Battle Ground in September.

    This was originally planned to be a single volume but Jim Butcher couldn't make it work.  Eventually his editor suggested making it two books, and Jim said, oh, yeah, and went away and rewrote it all.


  • If you need a shiny new dedicated server, redacted has the brand new and very shiny wait where did it go?

    They did have an offer on the brand new W-1290P, the workstation version of Intel's Core i9 10900K, but the post seems to have disappeared.  

    You can read about the W-1200 family even if you can't get one just yet.  (Intel)


  • A deep dive into Intel's Lakefield.  (AnandTech)

    I do not find this particularly exciting - one Core core and four Atom cores makes for a barely adequate experience at best - but maybe it's just what someone, somewhere is looking for.


  • HBM2E is memory taken to ludicrous speed.  (AnandTech)

    3600MHz is pretty common for DRAM these days, but having a 1024-bit bus on a single chip less so.


  • A closer look at LG's Gram 17.  (WCCFTech)

    This is a 3lb 17" laptop with a full keyboard and a 2560x1600 display.  If you need a big screen laptop that weighs less than some 13" models, this might be for you.  It's not exactly cheap, though, and gaming performance on the Core i7-1065G7 rates a "meh".


  • How much Python does a Python need to be a Python?  (Snarky)

    Asked in the context of getting something better than goddamn JavaScript to run on browsers, since WebAssembly's security model makes a full Python implementation problematic.

    The article also reminded me that there's an effort under way to implement Python in Rust.  (GitHub)  And that already runs under WebAssembly.


  • If you really miss Motif and CDE, SerenityOS might be just what you are looking for.



    Only...  Why?

    Well, aesthetics aside, it does seem to be a lightweight and fast little Unix-like OS.  Nothing wrong with that.


  • Rust is designed from the ground up to compile slowly.  (PingCAP)

    Much of this also applies to Crystal. 


  • Don't use closed-source encryption.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The EncroPhone network - popular among the criminal set - was infiltrated by law enforcement, mesages intercepted, and several hundred people arrested across Europe.

    My American readers will laugh though, to see the British police boast alongside siezing two tonnes of narcotics and 28 million tablets of very off-brand Valium, 1800 rounds of ammunition.


  • BDFL just don't mean what it used to.  (ZDNet)

    Salvatore Filippo, also known as Antirez, is stepping down from his role as chief maintainer of Redis.  Basically because he was finding he was spending more time as a manager than as a programmer.


  • The Blackview Tab 8 is a $160 Android tablet that doesn't seem to skimp too much on anything.  (ZDNet)

    Android 10, 1920x1200 display, 8-core 1.6GHz A55, 4GB RAM, 64GB EMMC, USB-C, SD card, dual SIM cards, headphone ja-

    Wait, 10" screen?  Then why did you bloody well call it the Tab 8?  Grumble grumble.


  • Microsoft is updating the start menu from being a shrieking dumpster fire to being merely a loudly cursing dumpster fire.  (Thurrott.com)

    Don't look at me, I've been running Start8 since back when it was still called Start8.


  • Kongregate is shutting down.  (TechRaptor)

    Not surprising given that Flash is dying at the end of the year, but a sad end of an era, brought about by Adobe's fuck-upedness.


  • Remember last year when I was fiddling with the idea of building a computer based on an embeded Arm chip and nothing ever came of it because that would actually require work?

    Well, someone actually did it.  (GeoffG.net)

    The Colour Maximite 2 is based on the same family of ST Micro Arm microcontrollers that I was looking at (and that I actually have a development kit for).

    It's not a complete custom board, using a rather nice module from Waveshare that includes the CPU, 8MB of RAM, headers for absolutely everything, and a USB port.

    The only problem is that the module itself costs US$30 and I was aiming for a system cost of around that.  I was using the cheapest member of the family but got derailed when I realised that it was not possible to do everything I wanted with the 100-pin package that version came in, and upgrading would instantly double the unit cost.

    Also I don't really know what I'm doing with this stuff, but I rarely let that stop me.


Anime News


Video of the Day

And here is the wee beastie itself.



It executes 270,000 lines of interpreted Basic per second, so Basic runs faster than assembler on an 8-bit era system.  It has a simple file manager but mainly it throws you straight into Basic with no complications to slow you down.

I may have to get one.  I'd need to dig out an old monitor though, since it only supports VGA - no DVI, which is the way I planned to go.


Disclaimer: Could get a VGA to HDMI converter, I guess.

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Thursday, July 02

Geek

Daily News Stuff 1 July 2020

Half-Way Mark Edition

Tech News

  • The Apple press is insane, part one.

    Apple Silicon - that is, Arm - trounces Microsoft's Surface Pro X - again, Arm - in first tests.  (ZDNet)

    A desktop device scored 800/2900.  That's within 5% of Microsoft's mobile device - faster on single-core tests, slower on multi-core tests.  The article actually lies about the Surface Pro score - it links to a list of benchmark results, and then ignores the top 300 results.


  • The Apple press is insane, part two.

    Apple Silicon - that is, Arm - may have killed the PC as we know it.  (ZDNet again)

    No, but it's kiled the Mac as a general-purpose computer.  Enjoy your walled garden.


  • YouTube TV has hiked its rates by 30%.  (Six Colors)

    Does anyone use that?  I suppose someone must.


  • AWS Snowcone is an 8TB drive wrapped in an impact-resistant rubber brick, designed for getting bulk data into or out of the Amazon cloud.  (Phoronix)

    Since data transfer out of AWS starts at $90 per TB, this could save you a lot of money at the cost of inconvenience and time and oh they fucking charge you per gigabyte for data transferred out of AWS on these devices.

    Pro tip: Don't use AWS if you're the one paying for it.


  • Pandas cause global warming!  (GitHub)

    It reads like a parody of every bad woke "open source" license ever.  They're going after the Python Requests library, which reads web pages and APIs, because everything else uses it.

    If that were to happen, the library would get forked on it's existing open-source license in about three femtoseconds and the woke version would die.


  • The Samsung 870 QVO: Up to 8TB, slower than a hard disk.  (AnandTech)
    In general, the latency scores from the Samsung QVO drives are worse than from the DRAMless TLC drives, while the 4TB QVOs still have better overall throughput. The 1TB QVOs (both old and new) are prone to write latencies that are worse than the 5400RPM hard drive. Both capacities of the 870 QVO have worse read latency but better write latency scores than the 860 QVO.
    99th percentile write latency was 34ms.  That's not as bad as the worst case on a hard drive, but it's several times the typical latency.

    It's probably fine for regular desktop use - files, not databases - though the average write latency of a full drive is still 3ms, which is only twice as fast as a 5400 rpm laptop drive.

    Also, in testing the 4TB model, they found that its idle power consumption was the highest of any drive tested because it was never actually idle.  It was running garbage collection throughout the entire test period, even when they weren't actually testing it.


  • Qualcomm has a new Snapdragon processor aimed at smartwatches.  (AnandTech)

    It has four 1.7GHz A53 cores.

    Who is doing something on a watch that requires four 1.7GHz cores and would you please stop that right now?


Disclaimer: Ugh.  EOFY.  Just say no.

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Tuesday, June 30

Geek

Daily News Stuff 30 June 2020

Pardox Of Insanity Edition

Tech News

  • Get your Humble Mapmaking Bundle today!  (Humble Bundle)

    For A$51 - what, US$35? - you get a lifetime license for Campaign Cartographer 3+, City Designer 3, Dungeon Designer 3, Perspectives 3 (to do 3D projections of dungeons and buildings), and a bunch of related books and resources.

    That's all the core modules - the other two are Cosmographer for designing star systems and stuff like that, and Fractal Terrain for automatically generating entire planets (which can then be imported into Campaign Cartographer to produce more conventional fantasy maps).

    I've been meaning to buy Campaign Cartographer for years, but getting everything costs a small fortune.  This is a good way to start.


  • I know, MongoDB is web scale and all that.  But MongoDB's index support is a Swiss Army chainsaw when it comes to just getting the job done.

    Need to index every field in a table, even ones you haven't created yet?  One command.

    Sorry, that should have been a full-text index?  Still one command.

    Oh, you need a full-text index on every field, including ones not yet created, but it needs to be secondary to a top-level key, so that each user account has their own full-text index?  Still one command.

    Need to index an array?  You can do this in MySQL nowadays; you just create a JSON field, make sure you put array data in it since there's no validation, create a function that pulls the data out of that array, bind the function to a virtual field, and build an index on that field.  Or in MongoDB you just index the array and done.

    Shame it doesn't do a better job at joins.


  • Forget Google and Amazon, regulate the payment processors.  (Medium)

    Do that and most other things will sort themselves out.


  • The modern web makes me want to throw up.  (Seph)

    Not everything has to be an app.  Most of the time a web page is better.


  • Everybody is mad at everybody.  (Thurrott.com)

    Microsoft has suspended advertising on Facebook because Facebook has user-generated content that whiny babies don't agree with.

    Microsoft doesn't have a problem with user-generated content because all their social media projects have died.


  • Amazon is building a 200,000m2 robotic fulfulment centre on the outskirts of Sydney.  (ZDNet)

    Does this mean Amazon Australia will stop being total garbage?  No, probably not.


  • That didn't take long.

    The first benchmarks of Apple's Arm developer kits have leaked out.  (Thurrott.com)

    It looks like Rosetta 2 actually works well enough to merely be slow and not a total embarrassment.


  • Reddit has gone full-on fascist.



    Not only have they banned 2000 sub-reddits for refusing to believe what the Party tells them, they now explicit condone racist and sexist attacks on people outside the Party.



    Just a coincidence that YouTube and Twitch are doing the same thing at the same time.



    Reddit used to be a useful site.  Now I'll be happy to see it burn.


Disclaimer: Some men just want to watch the world burn.  Me, I want to make some popcorn first.

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Monday, June 29

Geek

Daily News Stuff 29 June 2020

Extra Double Remote ISO Edition

Tech News

  • Ryzen 5000 APUs wil have either  Zen 2 or Zen 3 cores alongside either Vega or Navi grahics, depending on stuff unless they won't.  (WCCFTech)

    If this article is right, there will be high-end parts with Zen 3 and Vega, and low-end parts with Zen 2 and Navi.  I don't know if that makes sense.  Maybe it's a scheduling thing - AMD are preparing to ship millions of Zen 2 with Navi chips right now for Microsoft and Sony, and don't have the resources to also prepare Zen 3 / Navi silicon for the beginning of next year.

    Or of course it could just be complete fiction


  • GitHub is was down.  (Hacker News)

    Let's build a decentralised code repository and then all put our code in one place.  That'll work greate.


  • Has GitHub been down more since its acquisition by Microsoft? Yes.  (Nimble Industries)

    Twice as often, in fact.


  • Let's hope it's just aliens.  (IBT)

    Scandinavian atmospheric radiation watchdogs detected a spike in Scandinavian atmospheric radiation over the past week.  After checking that none of their mooses had spontaneously fissioned, they are pointing their slightly glowing fingers at a Russian research facility.

    A Russia spokesman said that Russia had not had any issues with any of their nuclear power stations.


  • How the Wuhan Bat Soup Death Plague took hold in America.  (New York Times)

    The answer is, in short, New York.

    Speaking of which, Australia was doing just fine, thanks, then someone in Melbourne sneezed and all the toilet paper evaporated.


Disclaimer: Maybe it's just me, or maybe they shouldn't make toilet paper out of dry ice or whatever the hell they are using that lets it disappear so readily.

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Sunday, June 28

Geek

Daily News Stuff 28 June 2020

Cancel All The Things Edition

Tech News


Disclaimer: Not that there is any pleasant cross between those two.

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Saturday, June 27

Geek

Daily News Stuff 27 June 2020

What Could Possibly Go Wrong Part Twelve Edition

Tech News



Disclaimer: Definitely not a giant space amoeba though.

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Geek

Daily News Stuff 26 June 2020

Oxygen Frequency Edition

Tech News

  • Twitter is a strange place.



    It probably won't show up here, but if you click through to Twitter, that post has a COVID-19 warning.


  • Want a mini supercomputer? You can get your own two-node A64FX system for just $40,000. (AnandTech)

    These are the chips that power the world's fastest supercomputer. However, it doesn't have two of them, it has 3168.


  • Arm-based Macs will be great for developers! (ML Illustrated)

    Assuming you are targeting MacOS or iOS. Sure, Docker will be a disaster, but that's fine, just don't use Docker.

    Actually I agree with that last part.


  • CLK is an emulator for 8 and 16-bit systems, including the Apple II and Vic-20. (GitHub)

    It... Uh. It produces an extremely accurate emulation of how games would have actually appeared by generating a composite video signal in software, and then decoding it again, in software, into a modern direct RGB bitmap.

    So it emulates not only the computer, but the monitor.


  • That's slightly creepy.



    No, not slightly.


  • Those favicons are up to no good again. (Bleeping Computer)

    In this case, a malicious script was embedded in the EXIF data of the icon. So the HTML and JavaScript would not contain any obvious nasties, but would be able to inspect and execute code from the favicon.


  • Boot Camp will die along with the Intel Mac lineup. (ZDNet)

    But that's no loss, because the only reason you'd use Boot Camp is for games, and Macs, even running Windows, are terrible for gaming.

    ...

    And that's a good thing.


  • There may be another Xbox on the way. (The Verge)

    It looks like there will be a lower-spec console, with probably 10GB of RAM and a much smaller GPU, but with the new Zen cores. This would replace the current Xbox One S, which has the old and relatively sluggish Jaguar cores.

Playlist of the Day

On second thoughts, no, let's not do that.


Video of the Day

Let's update the Asus TUF 15.  With a Dremel!



I watched the original video, which was pretty damning, but don't think I posted it.  Here they go the extra mile and it's definitely worth a look.  Five minutes' work and a voided waranty boosted clock speeds under full load from 2.3GHz to 2.9GHz.


Disclaimer: Oxygen frequency!

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Friday, June 26

Geek

Daily News Stuff 25 June 2020

The Kafka Goes On Edition

Tech News

  • AMD has succeeded in its ambitious 25x20 goal.  (AnandTech)

    In 2014 they promised to deliver 25x the power efficiency by 2020; their latest mobile parts deliver 31.77x.

    The power numbers are slightly odd but not irrelevant.  Ryzen 4000 APUs deliver 5x the performance of 2014 Kaveri with better than 6x the idle power efficiency, which means much bettter battery life if you're not running the CPU flat out all the time.  And we do see both of those in this year's Ryzen laptops - amazing performance and excellent battery life.

    Whether it's 31.77x times for real use is a bit harder to determine, but since they are the best laptop CPUs you can get, slightly beside the point.


  • A Ryzen-powered NUC that doesn't look like poop?  (Tom's Hardware)

    Unfortunately based on a Ryzen 3000 APU and not the far superior Ryzen 4000.  And it's not available.  At all.  They're planning an Indiegogo campaign but that hasn't even launched yet.


  • Amazon has announced Honeycode, a tool for creating unusable mobile apps without coding.  (Tech Crunch)

    Of course, it ties you permanently into the AWS stack and costs...  $10 to $20 per month per user.


  • Surprise!  TikTok is spyware.




  • Wirecard lost $2 billion. (Deutsche Welle)

    No, expenses didn't exceed revenues, and they didn't have a big write-down on assets.  They lost it the way you'd lose a quarter down a storm drain.


  • Perl 7 is coming.  (Perl)

    Like the PHP guys, they're pretending that 6 never happened and the last few years were all a bad dream.


  • GitHub has rolled out a new UI design, aimed at people who don't use GitHub and never will.  (ZDNet)

    This is a very common failing.  UI design is reviewed and it is found that people who don't use the application and aren't part of the target audience don't like it.  So the UI is changed to reach a broader audience - while making things objectively worse for existing users.


  • Apple's move to Arm has been in the works for some time.  (PC Gamer)

    A former Intel engineer has gone on record to say that bugs in Skylake drove Apple away.

    Skylake came out five years ago.

    The timeline works.  That's about how long it would take to prepare properly for such a transition.


Disclaimer: Or two weeks, whichever comes first.

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