This accidentally fell out of her pocket when I bumped into her. Took me four goes.

Saturday, October 01


Daily News Stuff 1 October 2022

Comatose Coders Edition

Top Story

  • Google Stadia's shutdown shocked developers too.  (The Verge)
    "I woke up getting ready for my workday, and I see on our Discord private chat for the company that one of my employees sent a message saying 'is this true?,' with a link," Rebecca Ann Heineman, CEO of Olde Skuul, said in an interview with The Verge.  "I follow the link and it's like 'oh, okay.'"  Olde Skuul had planned to launch Luxor Evolved on Stadia Pro on November 1st and was even planning to meet with Google on Friday to discuss the release plan. That obviously isn’t happening now.
    I feel bad for small developers who are looking for every avenue available to get games out there without going the gacha route or worse, NFTs, but if you didn't see this coming a mile away you have no business being in the industry.

  • Google Stadia never mattered and it never had a chance.  (The Verge)

    That's more like it.  Game streaming had its golden opportunity during the Wuhan Bat Soup Death Plague when everyone was at home and both consoles and graphics cards were all but impossible to buy, and it went nowhere.  Now that that situation is over it's only going to get worse.

    Google shut down its own game studio in February last year, which should have given everyone ample warning to take the money and run.

Tech News

  • Intel's Arc graphics cards are in the hands of reviewers.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Earlier reviews of the low-end Arc A380 were not particularly favourable, but Intel has had a couple of months to fix driver bugs, plus these cards are four times as fast.  That, coupled with Nvidia's stratospheric pricing push, might make for a more receptive audience this time around.  We'll know within two weeks, but for now, the cards themselves at least appear to be well made.

  • Ryzen 7000 CPUs - 7700X and up - from Microcenter come with a free 32GB DDR5 memory kit.  (Tom's Hardware)

    While stocks last.

    Meanwhile the hosting provider that runs the big server has Ryzen 7000 servers in stock already.  They're not especially cheap, but they range from 25% to 200% faster than the existing server.

    Though it looks like Ryzen 7000 doesn't support ECC RAM.  DDR5 RAM has on-die ECC by default so they're still viable for non-critical tasks, but it removes one of the advantages AMD had over Intel.

    The other advantage AMD has is Intel's Efficiency cores, which just plain suck for servers - once you run out of Performance cores, additional thread will run at half speed.

  • Update: I was wrong.  Ryzen 7000 does - unofficially - support ECC, just the same as earlier desktop Ryzen chips.  (Serve the Home)

    Gigabyte already has a server motherboard out for Ryzen 7000, with built-in remote management and dual 10Gb Ethernet ports.  It's not a high-end board, with two PCIe slots, one M.2, and four SATA ports, but with ECC support and a suitable disk controller card would make for a good storage server solution.

  • Steampipe is a library that turns cloud APIs back into SQL queries.  (Steampipe)

    A lot of cloud APIs.

    Weird but extremely useful if you just want to know, for example, how many of your Amazon Lambda functions are running on outdated versions of Python.

  • If you're running Microsoft Exchange, unplug it right now.  (Krebs on Security)

    Sure, it won't work if you do that, but nobody will be able to send you emails complaining about it not working so what does it matter?

Artificial Music Video of the Day

Iku Hoshifuri of Prism Project.  She had a birthday stream today and announced her upcoming debut album, and that if she could hit a (fairly modest) fundraising goal by the end of October she'd be able to commission cover art and a new music video.

Took about fifteen minutes.

Disclaimer: Can't file a complaint if we run out of complaint forms.

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Server Migration This Weekend

Might be some site hiccups, planned or unplanned.  I'll post more details when I have the final switch scheduled.

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Friday, September 30


Daily Tech News 30 September 2022

Friday Afternoon Meeting Blues Edition

Top Story

  • Minor correction to the story on Intel's A770 graphics card: It starts at $329, but that model has 8GB of RAM.  The 16GB model is $349, which is a great price for a 16GB card if the card (and the drivers) are otherwise good.  We'll see once the reviews come in.

  • Google is shutting down its game-streaming service Stadia.  Expectedly.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Everyone predicted its imminent death within days of its launch, because game streaming services suck, and Stadia both sucked and blowed because you had to pay for the service and then pay for the games as well.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Although Kez's Kitchen lemon creams aren't bad either.

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Thursday, September 29


Daily Tech News 29 September 2022

WhatsApp Doc Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • An early benchmark of Intel's unannounced 13900KS suggests that it may be very fast and also burn your house down.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is the model that will hit 6GHz, and it will also use 350W.  Which is a lot.

  • Amazon's new Kindle Scribe has a pen.  (Liliputing)

    It's still an e-ink display (and still has amazing battery life), but now you can take notes on it.  And it's the first new large-format Kindle in years, with a 10.2" screen.

    Given the ongoing existence failure of good small Android tablets, I'll probably be buying a Kindle for reading.  The other option is the iPad Mini, which...  No.

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh is not the oldest surviving work of literature, unless it is.  (Tales of Times Forgotten)

    It depends on how you define "oldest", "surviving", and "literature".

    But pedantry aside, the article does provide a fascinating review of some other very, very old manuscripts.

  • Reasonably priced Socket AM5 motherboards are on the way.  (WCCFTech)

    For the new Ryzen 7000 chips, the only motherboards available right now are the high-end X670 and X670E models, and none of them are what you would call cheap.  Which is fine if you're building a high-end 7950X system and need 10Gb Ethernet, four USB-C ports, and five M.2 slots.

    If you were hoping to build an inexpensive gaming rig based around the new 7600X, though, you currently need to spend more on the motherboard than the CPU.

    The new boards, based on the B650 and B650E chipsets, will bring prices down to start at around $125.

  • 48GB DIMMs are here.  (Serve the Home)

    One of the changes made with DDR5 was support for 24Gb memory chips, allowing for 24GB and 48GB memory modules.  This was because 32Gb chips were not immediately within reach, and this half-step would provide a short term increase in memory capacities - for a laptop, up to 96GB, and for a desktop, up to 192GB.

    Only the modules being shown off here are registered DIMMs for servers, and you can already get 128GB registered DIMMs.

  • Scientists have created an AI-controlled laser turret that kills cockroaches.  (Motherboard)

    I love it when a plan comes together.

Command and Conquer Yellow Alert Music Video of the Day

Disclaimer: I love the smell of cockroach bacon in the morning.

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Poop Again

Long weekend coming up.  Looks like rain.  Time to move servers.

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Wednesday, September 28


Daily News Stuff 28 September 2022

Cordless Domestication Edition

Top Story

  • Intel has announced its 13th generation Raptor Lake CPUs, available October 20.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Just three models initially: 

    13600K (6P+8E cores) at $319
    13700K (8P+8E cores) at $409
    13900K (8P+16E cores) at $589

    Intel is boasting of improvements over its own previous generation and in comparison to AMD's previous generation, which is just slightly awkward since AMD's new generation chips are available in shops today and make the comparison just a little less favourable.  (CPUBenchmark)

    These are not bad chips, and there are some cases where I'd recommend them over AMD right now, but the 13900K is roughly comparable to the 7900X, not the 7950X.

  • Meanwhile Intel's high-end (for Intel) Arc A770 graphics card will be available October 12 for $329.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The viability of this one depends entirely on driver support.  Reviews so far of lower-end Arc GPUs say that games run just fine, but the drivers to enable the advanced features of the cards are a disaster.

    The A770 has 16GB of RAM, more than any other card in its price range (double Nvidia's 3060 Ti or AMD's 6600 XT), so if Intel keeps improving the drivers it may become a worthwhile option in the next year.

  • The Bae case has landed.  Bae has been informed and hopes I'll have fun building my new system.  No, really.

Tech News

  • Intel also showed off a new 34 core workstation CPU.  (WCCFTech)

    Not intentionally.  They showed off a wafer of CPUs, and the internet being what it is, people had figured out that this was a previously unannounced product with 34 Raptor Lake cores in a mesh arrangement connected to eight channels of DDR5 RAM within thirty seconds of the photo being made public.

  • A new power is arising.  Its victory is at hand.  (Nature)

    I speak of course of mice, which were pretty much immortal and indestructible already, and now have nanobots:
    Bioinspired microrobots capable of actively moving in biological fluids have attracted considerable attention for biomedical applications because of their unique dynamic features that are otherwise difficult to achieve by their static counterparts. Here we use click chemistry to attach antibiotic-loaded neutrophil membrane-coated polymeric nanoparticles to natural microalgae, thus creating hybrid microrobots for the active delivery of antibiotics in the lungs in vivo. The microrobots show fast speed (>110 µm s−1) in simulated lung fluid and uniform distribution into deep lung tissues, low clearance by alveolar macrophages and superb tissue retention time (>2 days) after intratracheal administration to test animals. In a mouse model of acute Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia, the microrobots effectively reduce bacterial burden and substantially lessen animal mortality, with negligible toxicity. Overall, these findings highlight the attractive functions of algae–nanoparticle hybrid microrobots for the active in vivo delivery of therapeutics to the lungs in intensive care unit settings.
    Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

  • AMD has announced a new range of embedded processors - Epyc V3000.  (Serve the Home)

    These are based on Zen 3 - up to eight cores, support DDR5 RAM, and have two USB 4 ports and two 10Gb Ethernet ports built in.  Integrated graphics are not mentioned.

    Which is odd because this seems to be a truly separate product line and not a repurposed laptop part, and I wouldn't have thought the market justified the expense of that.

  • The hacker who infiltrated Australia's second largest phone company and stole data on 11 million customers says oops.  (Bleeping Computer)

    And has withdrawn their extortion demands.

  • Found the catch.  (Liliputing)

    The Star Labs StarFighter is a 16" laptop with a 4K 16:10 screen, a choice of Intel or AMD CPUs (up to 12900H and 6800H respectively), up to 64GB of DDR5 RAM, two M.2 slots, two Thunderbolt / USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI, an SD card slot, an audio jack, and a removable webcam module so you don't have to worry about privacy because you can just leave it in the laptop bag.

    And the Four Essential Keys.

    And it weighs just 1.4kg (3.1lb), which is the same as my 14" Dell laptop.

    The catch?  The RAM is soldered in place.

    Also no USB 4 on the AMD model because they couldn't get the interface chips.  The component shortage is ongoing.

Disclaimer: Cut ALL the cords.

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Bae case secured!

I was somehow expecting it to come in a boring brown box.

Oh no. Not this chaos rat.

The box is as gloriously Bae as the case itself.

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Server took an unscheduled nap.


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Tuesday, September 27


Daily News Stuff 27 September 2022

Tomorrow Edition

Top Story

  • The reviews of AMD's Ryzen 7000 are in and it looks pretty darn good.  (AnandTech)

    The first PassMark scores are in too.

    The 7950X is 25% faster than the 5950X single-threaded, and 44% faster multi-threaded.  (

    The 7900X is 35% faster than the 5900X on multi-threaded tests, confirming that the 5950X was indeed limited by power / thermals, and the increase to 170W has fixed that.

    And finally, while Intel's upcoming 13900K has a small advantage on single-threaded tasks - around 8% - the 7950X beats it by 21% on multi-threaded work.

    Which means - if you read through all 20 pages of that AnandTech review and get to the experiment at the end - that if you turn the power down on the 7950X all the way from 170W to 65W, it is still slightly faster than the 13900K, because that only reduced multi-threaded performance by 18%.

    And that means two things: First, AMD's upcoming Dragon Range laptop chip will deliver true desktop-class performance to high-end laptops.  And second, if they could jam in the chiplets somehow, AMD could deliver 32 cores in Socket AM5 without any real bottlenecks.

  • Bae case quite notably has not moved from the depot.  I called again and they put in a redelivery request again.  And this time gave me a case number to refer to when I call again tomorrow.

    Their web site is still broken.

Tech News

Disclaimer: And the little dog you rode in on.

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Monday, September 26


Daily News Stuff 26 September 2022

Earthworms Alfredo Edition

Top Story

  • Intel's high-end Arc A770 graphics card is coming October 5.  (Tom's Hardware)

    On the one hand, any competition for Nvidia and AMD in this space is welcome.

    On the other hand, Intel's high-end card is expected to compete with the RTX 3060 or possibly the 3060 Ti, which are low to mid-range cards.

    And on the third hand, Intel's dedication to dedicated graphics is dubious, and the entire venture could be dead in two years.

    We'll see how they go in the benchmarks, and if the drivers have improved in the past few weeks, because last time the tech sites took a look the driver situation was a disaster.

  • Bae case arrives tomorrow.  It actually arrived last Friday but I was otherwise occupied at that precise moment and it went away again.  Time to camp out in the living room all day where I can see the courier van approaching.

    Also, StarTrack?  Fix your website.  It's one thing to not be able to schedule a redelivery because there's a glitch somewhere, but that took me to the contact form, and that also glitched out...  And took me to the contact form.

    At least your call center is reasonably efficient.

Tech News

  • The low-end Ryzen 7000 chips - the six core 7600X and the eight core 7700X - are also a big improvement over their respective predecessors.  (WCCFTech)

    Across multiple benchmarks - including tasks that take advantage of AVX512 - the 7600X averages 48% faster than the 5600X.  Meanwhile the 7700X averages 39% faster than the 5800X.  And there will likely be a faster 7800X eight core model in the near future.

    AMD's implementation of AVX512 is halved but not half-baked.  It works by using the existing 256-bit hardware twice, but supports the more advanced AVX512 instruction set.  The result is 85% better average performance on code that can take advantage of the new instructions, without the cost in die size and power consumption that comes from a full 512-bit floating point unit.

  • JMAP is IMAP but sane.  (Unencumbered By Facts)

    Which is probably a death sentence on the internet.

    IMAP is one of the three main email protocols (SMTP for sending, and POP and IMAP for receiving.)  JMAP modernises it by running over HTTPS and using JSON as the data format.

    While JSON isn't perfect, the early internet protocols (including HTTP itself) are all text based and each needs its own dedicated parser, and there's a long history of subtle bugs in those parsers leading to disaster.

    Every programming language in the world can read JSON data, and the format is simple enough and universal enough that most of the horrible bugs have already happened to someone else.

    This makes it much easier to built a reliable email client, just leaving the problem that the big email providers make it almost impossible to deliver email to anyone anymore.

  • 58 bytes of CSS to make your web pages look great everywhere, or at least not terrible in most places, probably.  (GitHub)

    A few variations are provided taking the total payload as high as 200 bytes.

Disclaimer: 200 bytes of CSS should be enough for everybody.

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