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Monday, May 16

Geek

Daily News Stuff 16 May 2022

Now Officially Extra Dead Edition

Top Story

  • When Luna implodes, Venus catches a cold.  Or something  (The Record)

    Venus Protocol - a decentralised finance thing of some sort - lost $11 million because it was using a pricing feed, Chainlink, that still had a minimum price of $0.10 when the price of Luna plummeted from over $100 to $0.01.

    So people could deposit worthless imaginary money and then use it as imaginary collateral to borrow imaginary money that had not yet collapsed.

    Other DeFi sites were hit by the same issue, though losses appear to be small compared to the $40 billion wipeout of Luna itself.

Tech News

  • Python is slow but is about to get faster.  (ZDNet)

    Python 3.11 is expected to be 1.25x faster than Python 3.10.

    PyPy - which already exists - is 4.5x faster than Python 3.10.


  • Will the upcoming Ryzen 7950X have 24 cores?  (WCCFTech)

    Maybe.  Would be nice.  With the other details we know (5nm process, DDR5 RAM, 170W max TDP) it should be possible.  And it would reduce the need for the lower-end Threadripper parts - a 24-core Zen 4 pat would be close to the speed of a 32-core Zen 3.

    And Intel is planning 24-core desktop chips for later this year, albeit 8 fast cores and 16 slow cores, where AMD's chips would have 24 full-size cores.


  • In 500 metres, crash directly into the ground.  (Business Insider)

    Crashed Russian aircraft in Ukraine allegedly have consumer grade GPS receivers taped to the flight console.  Had.  Had consumer grade GPS receivers taped to the flight console.


  • Heroku is having a bad day.  (Brandur)

    And has been for three weeks.



Disclaimer: Which is about average for my bad days, now that I think about it.

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Sunday, May 15

Geek

Daily News Stuff 15 May 2022

Donuts Vs Pretzels Edition

Top Story


Tech News

  • Elon Musk continues to use Twitter as his personal salt mine.




    He knows liberals are idiots, and they have no way to cancel him.  Let them hate so long as they seethe.


  • Kobo Kanaeru of Hololive Indonesia was one of the vtubers to be banned following a deliberate spam campaign designed to get vtubers banned.  YouTube did nothing to filter the spam or ban the spamming accounts, but they did ban the users targeted by the attack.

    Because they're retarded.

    Hololive management kicked up a fuss and got her account restored.

    And now YouTube has done exactly the same thing again, for exactly the same reason, not even a week later.



    Because they're retarded.


  • Good dog.  (Notes from Poland)


  • I learned the general form of Seven Colour Map Theorem today.

    If you draw a map on a flat sheet, or a tube, or a sphere, and there are no special rules - no enclaves or empires that need to be specific colours - you only need four colours to make sure no two bordering countries are the same colour.

    On a Mobius strip you need six colours.

    On a donut, or a coffee cup - any surface with one hole - seven.

    On a pretzel - a surface with three holes - nine.

    And so on up to twelve colours for a surface with six holes, called genus 6.

    On more complicated surfaces - genus 7 and higher - the number is given by the formula

    https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/bd4b3307ea500d58072fa09bafff72b3f9988087

    Which is not what I was expecting.


  • Aya has announced three new hand-held gaming PCs.  (Liliputing)

    The Neo Air, smaller and lighter than the Steam Deck.  This one is due this month and uses a Ryzen 5000 series APU, probably one of the cheaper / low power models.

    The Neo 2, with the latest Ryzen 6800U laptop chip.  This will more than twice as fast as the Steam Deck - once it gets here.

     The Neo Slide with a sliding screen and a full keyboard underneath.  No schedule on this one; it has the same specs as the Neo 2 plus the keyboard.

    These are all fairly capable computers that will run Windows (and probably Linux with some driver fiddling) with USB 4.0 for charging, external displays, and whatever else you can't fit inside a one pound device with a 7-inch screen.


  • Speaking of Ryzen APUs they have a new one on the way.  (WCCFTech)

    Where the 6800U has 768 GPU cores, the Instinct MI300 will have 28,160.

    Of course, the Instinct range is compute GPUs and not laptop chips, but this is the first model to include Ryzen CPU cores as well.  And it's expected to draw 600W of power rather than 12W - which is actually reasonable given the relative core counts.


  • Western Digital has announced 22TB CMR and 26TB SMR drives.  (Serve the Home)

    SMR has a major problem when used in RAID arrays - rebuilding an active array after a drive failure takes forever.  I've gone with SMR drives for my home storage because it's so much cheaper - literally half the price - since I can just write to a different drive if I need to replace a failed disk.  

    Not so great in a datacenter, where you kind of expect the data to stay where you put it.



Disclaimer: It ain't what you put, it's the place that you put it.

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Saturday, May 14

Geek

Daily News Stuff 14 May 2022

Still Blrrr After All These Years Edition

Top Story

  • Unexpectedly: This house move is now entering panic mode, despite my having had a whole five or six minutes each day to prepare for it over the last few weeks.

    I'm getting assistance from work, because that was only our second largest product launch this year, with the biggest one coming up in a few weeks, and they'd like me to be alive for that.


  • Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter is temporarily paused while he reviews the level of bot activity on the site after Twitter...  Twitter did what, Reuters?



    Yeah, that's what I thought you said.

    Musk says he's still committed to the deal, just looking to send a few executives to jail for fraud.  Well, I might have added that part.


Tech News

  • AMD leaks ahoy.  (WCCFTech)

    Zen 4 and 4C we already know about.  Zen 4 is the new core design; 4C is a smaller version with less cache for high-density servers.  "Genoa" server chips using Zen 4 will be out this year with 96 cores; "Bergamo" chips with Zen 4C will be out early next year with 128 cores.

    Zen 4 desktop chips up to 16 cores will be out in Q3 or Q4 this year.  

    Zen 4 for laptops will arrive in Q1 next year, with a choice of 8 cores and fast graphics, or 16 cores and slow graphics.  16 full-size cores too, not the 8+8 that Intel now offers.

    Zen 4 for Threadripper, with up to 96 cores, is expected in Q1 or Q2 next year, rather than being a full year behind mainstream desktop parts as with Zen 3.

    And there will be a Genoa-X server part, with up to 96 cores and 1152MB of cache per socket (up from 384MB on Genoa), launching in mid-2023.

    Plus some information on Zen 5 - planned for late 2023 with up to 256 cores using a 3nm process - and Zen 6 in 2025.


  • And new "low-end" server chips too.  (WCCFTech)

    The new Zen 4 server parts are huge, with 12-channel memory and 160 PCIe lanes.  The new plan is for a range of "smaller" cheaper parts - up to 32 Zen 4 or 64 Zen 4C cores, 96 lanes of PCIe, and 6-channel memory.

    These will use the same size socket as current Epyc and Threadripper parts - so existing mechanical designs and cooling systems can be reused - but with a new pin arrangement, increasing the pin count from 4096 to 4844.  Switching from 8-channel DDR4 to 6-channel DDR5 means they wouldn't be compatible anyway.


  • How the Luna cryptocurrency lost 99.99% of its value in a month.  (CNet)



    A lot of attention has been on TerraUSD, a "stablecoin" pegged at 1:1 with the US dollar which is currently trading at 44 cents if you can find anyone to buy it.

    TerraUSD wasn't backed by an equal amount of US dollars, but by an interlinked guarantee with the Luna currency, such that 1 TerraUSD would buy $1 worth of Luna at any time.  If that exchange rate shifted, you could make money on arbitrage, which would inherently push it back towards the 1:1 ratio.

    So long as people were willing and able to conduct that arbitrage - both of which broke down last week, making $40 billion evaporate.

    On top of that it was also an obviously unsustainable Ponzi scheme.

    Oops.

    That was just part of the overall crypto-related freak-out that had my day start at 4AM yesterday and finish at 7PM, when neither I, my employer, nor our clients are involved at all in the financial side of crypto.  Panic transactions overloaded multiple blockchains that we use to do, well, useful stuff.


  • Twitter is testing a "liked by author" feature.  (Tech Crunch)

    That's Twitter chasing the cult of celebrity.

    YouTube does this, but it's meaningful there.  If the creator of the video you commented on likes or responds to your comment, that actually means something more than some rando replying.

    On Twitter mostly the opposite is true.


  • Get free NFTs, get your crypto stolen.  (Bleeping Computer)

    It's a two-for-one deal!  Don't miss out!


  • A plan to secure open-source software will cost $150 million over two years.  (Venture Beat)

    It's not a government plan, but one backed by businesses who spent far more than that addressing just one of the major issues that plagued us last year.


  • Samsung is reportedly planning to increase chip prices by up to 20%.  (PC Magazine)

    That would push up the price of everything else - literally everything else - but given that the price per transistor has fallen by a factor of about a trillion over the past few decades is not entirely unreasonable.


  • This Synology router also turns an external disk drive into a Synology NAS.  (9to5toys)

    Don't know if it supports multiple external drives - it only has one USB port but it's easy to get multi-bay USB storage boxes.  It has 2.5Gb Ethernet so it could be usefully fast.


Disclaimer: And now there's a box shortage.

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Friday, May 13

Geek

Daily News Stuff 13 May 2022

Seventeenth Time's The Charm Edition

Top Story

  • It's the Night of the Blunt Knives at Twitter.  (The Verge)

    CEO Parag Agrawal is clearing the decks of the most competent senior executives ahead of Elon Musk's takeover so that...  I got nothing.

    The tweets are weird.  "You're great.  The best in your field.  A perfect fit for the role.  Also, fired."


Tech News

  • The EU wants to do a thing.  (Some Stupid EU Site)

    If you can read the article and tell me what they want to do, you win a kewpie doll.
    • Strengthen the support offered to children in vulnerable situations by the Safer Internet Centres in Member States to address the digital divide.

    • Expand the role of BIK Youth Ambassadors and BIK Youth Panels - young people working with the Commission to implement the strategy - to support peer-to-peer activities at national and local level.

    • Start mapping the existing research on the neurologic impact on children of methods used for commercial purposes.

  • Horrifying things, kewpie dolls.


  • Google announced stuff?  (ZDNet)

    Anything good?

    No.  Well, they seem to have fixed some things they recently broke in YouTube, but no.


  • An engineering sample for what is probably AMD's upcoming Ryzen 7800X runs at up to 5.2GHz.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That's about 10% faster than the current 5800X, and Zen 4 is expected to be 25% faster than Zen 3 at the same speed.  And right now I'm on a Zen 1 that is underclocked because it overheats, so this new chip would be quite a bit faster.


  • If you're looking to build a Threadripper workstation, there aren't any.  (Tom's Hardware)

    AMD can sell everything it makes into the server market at higher margins, so it's not really looking for extra niches where it can sell a few thousand - or tens of thousands - of chips.  So it's a good thing that the 16 core Ryzen 7000 will likely be as fast as most Threadripper 3000 chips.


  • BBC Basic for SDL is BBC Basic only for SDL (a cross-platform graphics and sound library.  (BBCBasic)

    It runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Raspberry Pi, and in your browser, and gives you up to 256MB for your Basic code which is just slightly more than was available on the BBC Micro.


  • If you're not an Ubuntu fan, Fedora 36 is now out.  (The Register)

    I got started on Red Hat Linux and used it for years, all the way through to CentOS 6, before giving up because of the eternities it took to release CentOS 7 and 8.


  • Getting utilities connected at my new house before I move in and learned something that I hadn't thought of.  It has a gas cooktop and gas hot water.

    It doesn't have gas.

    Specifically, the town doesn't have gas.  Have to get it delivered in bottles.

    Universal fibre internet, yes.  Gas, no.  Guess I'll take that trade.


Disclaimer: Some look at things that never were, and say, what the fuck?

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Thursday, May 12

Geek

Daily News Stuff 12 May 2022

Blrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Edition

Top Story

  • This is fine.



    Polygon is one the major blockchains we use at my day job. My year started out with it falling apart due to a viral game called Sunflower Farmers, and it's just not getting any better. Trying to move house while working 18 hours a day is not fun.

Tech News

Disclaimer: And double blrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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Wednesday, May 11

Geek

Daily News Stuff 11 May 2022

Whooshing Deadlines Edition

Top Story

  • My hallway is choked with boxes.  I cannot move.  Send help and gluten-free pizza.


  • ICE "now operates as a domestic surveillance agency".  (Engadget)

    Interesting to see this sort of article coming from the mainstream - read liberal - tech press.

    ICE is illegally outsourcing to private companies illegal data collection operations on US citizens that would be illegal for the agency to conduct itself.

    Which makes sense from the never allow a crisis to go to waste perspective; if you deliberately fail to secure the border you create a perpetual reason to monitor the activities of private citizens under the guise of fixing the mess you created.


  • Speaking of surveillance, that page generates 138 cookies across 34 domains.  Do not click.


Tech News

  • So that story about YouTube banning vtubers again.

    What happened was this:

    1. Spammers with R18 avatars flooded the chat of multiple vtubers based in southeast Asia, including some from leading agencies Hololive and Nijisanji.
    2. YouTube didn't block the spam even though it's forbidden.
    3. YouTube didn't ban the bots even though R18 avatars are forbidden.
    4. Some of the streamers had chat visible within their stream, because chat logs are often lost after the stream ends.
    5. The spammers reported the vtubers for R18 content because the spammers R18 avatars were (just barely) visible.
    6. YouTube immediately banned the vtubers because they are retarded.

    The world leaders in applied AI.


  • Oops.




  • Matter is a new standard for smart home and other IOT devices.  How will the industry fuck it up?  (The Verge)

    Shake shake.

    Ask again later.


  • Free speech could doom India's minorities, writes an anonymous idiot.  (ZDNet)
    "By 'free speech,' I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people," [Musk] recently tweeted.

    Sure. But what exactly is free speech?

    He just told you, you imbecile.

  • AMD's new Radeon 6950 XT is here - the last card of the current generation.  (Tom's Hardware)

    At 4k resolution it falls in between Nvidia's 3090 and 3090 Ti; at 1440p and 1080p it's the fastest card around.

    Price-wise it falls in between Nvidia's 3080 and 3080 Ti, making it good value in a strange way.  It's still a very expensive card, but it's not as overpriced as Nvidia's high end.

    If you want ray-tracing it mostly comes in behind the cheaper RTX 3080.  If you want to run workstation graphics it's the fastest current card.  If you want to run Blender it's not, because ray tracing again.

  • Why tech workers on six-figure salaries still feel underpaid.  (Toolbox)

    Well, partly it's the 80 hour weeks.  Partly it's the insane housing prices of cities where high tech industries tend to concentrate.

    But partly also because even those salaries aren't keeping up with inflation.



Disclaimer: And your little doge too.

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Tuesday, May 10

Geek

Daily News Stuff 10 May 2022

It Puts The Books In The Boxes Edition


Top Story


Tech News

  • There's a Girl Genius Kickstarter for the latest volume.  They have a backer tier that gives you a physical copy of every book in the series (20 in all).  Kind of expensive but it's 20 books.

    Except they warn that shipping to Australia is likely to cost more than the books themselves.  Yay.  PDFs it is.


  • YikYak is exposing the live GPS co-ordinates of all its users.  (The Response Times)

    What could possibly go wrong?


  • It may be impossible to de-extinct a species, but let's do it anyway.  (Quanta)

    Only one species has been de-extincted so far, and it wasn't a huge success - the cloned ibex died shortly after being born.

    But if you get a big hairy cold-adapted elephant that has mostly mammoth genes, how much are you going to quibble?  Also it could solve global warming.


  • This early iPodPhone design is actually pretty cool.  (9to5Mac)

    There's a reason Apple went for the all-screen design, but I do like this concept.  The lower half pivots so you can use the click wheel or a keypad.


  • The Asus ZenBook Pro 16X OLED is kind of neat.  (Liliputing)

    Core i9 12900H (6+8 cores), RTX 3060 graphics, 4K 16" OLED display, 32GB of (soldered) LPDDR5 RAM - I'd prefer SODIMMs but at least it's 32GB and not just 16 - and up to 2TB of SSD.  And the Four Essential Keys and a little dial thingy next to the keypad.


  • The Asus ZenBook Pro 14 Duo is also kind of neat.  (Liliputing)

    It has a 14" main screen - 2880x1800 pixel OLED with a 120Hz refresh rate - and also a second, touch-sensitive screen above the keyboard that is 2880x864.  Also supports the i9-12900H and an RTX 3050 Ti.  Again up to 32GB RAM and 2TB of SSD.  It doesn't have the Four Essential Keys but that's not because they forgot; there is literally nowhere to put them.


  • The Asus Zenbook S 13 isn't too bad either of you don't need a powerhouse system.  (Liliputing)

    It has the brand new Ryzen 6800U, 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD, and a 13" 2880x1800 OLED display, and weighs just 1kg.

    None of them are particularly cheap though.



Disclaimer: I will put them on a list, and they'll none of them be missed.

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Monday, May 09

Geek

Daily News Stuff 9 May 2022

Nice Monopoly You Have Here Shame If Something Happened To It Edition

Top Story


Tech News


Disclaimer: 504 Pixy timeout error.

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Sunday, May 08

Geek

Daily News Stuff 8 May 2022

Always Has Been Edition

Top Story

  • Starting to get cooler weather in Sydney - overnight lows around 8C at my old place.  I checked what it was up at the new place, and it was nudging 0C.  So when I move in a couple of weeks it will be straight into winter.


  • We have always been at war with West Taiwan: Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter could face national security scrutiny because Saudia Arabia is rolling its existing 5.2% stake into the private company rather than taking the cash.  (Ars Technica)

    Saudi Arabia is no friend of free speech and regulators are worried that this might lead to bias and censorship on the revived platform.

    Stop laughing.
    Reuters noted that "China blocked Twitter in 2009 but many Chinese officials have been active on the social media platform. Some of them have complained that the company's efforts to restrict misinformation have targeted them unfairly."
    Well, I guess you can laugh a bit.

    Dumb as the article itself is, the comments are downright Orwellian - in the useful idiot sense, rather than the dire warning sense.  The regressive left is panicked over the possibility that their bubble might get punctureed.

Tech News

  • Recycling of plastic doesn't work, particularly when you don't do it.  (Nasdaq)

    California's Attorney General has launched an attack on the petrochemical industry, blaming them for the failure of California's recycling program...  Which doesn't recycle much of anything.

    As reported previously, if you put plastic out for recycling in the US, it most likely gets shipped overseas - because that's cheaper - and dumped in a river rather than processed - because that's cheaper.  It's far better for the environment to dispose of it in a regular landfill.

    Recycling aluminium actually works - you can tell, because they pay you for it rather than charging you to take it away.


  • How to back up your Gmail account.  (ZDNet)

    1. Install a local email program.
    2. Use it.


  • Crypto miners: Menace or just studying algebra?  New mining software bypasses the hash rate limiter on Nvidia graphics cards.  (Tom's Hardware)

    With the ongoing slump in crypto prices this probably won't make graphics cards disappear from the shelves again.  It will probably be something else that causes that.


  • The upcoming Threadripper 7000 range will bring up to 96 Zen 4 cores sometime late next year.  (WCCFTech)

    It's not clear why AMD is delaying workstation chips for a year after server and desktop parts come out, particularly when this release will be close to twice as fast as Threadripper 5000.


  • VPN installations have spiked by 1500% in Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.  (Washington Post / MSN)

    The Russian government is trying to stamp out use of VPNs but even China can't keep up with that task and Russia is having even less luck, so an increasing number of Russians are able to access accurate and unbiased reporting from sources like the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times.


Disclaimer: I said stop laughing!

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Saturday, May 07

Geek

Daily News Stuff 7 May 2022

Down Is The New Up Edition

Top Story

  • Xbox is was down.  (Bleeping Computer)

    It looks like it came back online just minutes ago, after about 11 hours during which you couldn't play games you owned on the console you owned because the truth is, you don't.


Tech News

  • QNAP.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Again.  Though this one seems specific to its security video systems and not to its generic NAS devices.


  • I have 100,000 unread emails.  What do?  (ZDNet)

    The answer is "declare email bankruptcy" and archive all of them.


  • Conjunction disfunction: These five magic words crash Google Docs.  (Bleeping Computer)

    The five words were And.  Type that five times in a row - And.  And.  And.  And.  And.  And. - with grammar suggestions turned on, and and and and and splat.

    Sadly it seems to have been fixed now.


  • Apple's M1 and A14 CPUs have a speculative prefetch bug similar to Spectre and Meltdown.  (Tom's Hardware)

    In theory this could allow Javascript running in a hostile web page to read the entire memory contents of your Mac - and possibly your iPhone too.


  • You wouldn't buy a book, would you?  (Ars Technica)

    Well, now you can't.  The Kindle app for Android currently allows you to purchase Kindle books right in the app with a single click - great if you're reading through a series, because it shows up when you get to the last page.

    That's going away because Google wants a cut.  Instead you'll have to open Amazon in your browser.


  • Amazon is planning to spend $12 billion on five new datacenters in Oregon.  (The Register)

    This is expected to create 600 local jobs - which is not a lot.  Most of the complicated stuff is done remotely; the local staff are responsible for putting things in racks and then taking them out again a few years later.


  • Intel will be bringing back high-end desktop systems with Sapphire Rapids.  (WCCFTech)

    Based on the current Alder Lake cores, but with more of them - up to 24 on the mainstream range, and up to 56 cores per socket - and two sockets - on the expert range.  Clock speeds up to 5GHz, DDR5 RAM, PCIe 5 I/O, and TDPs up to 500W.

    Time to get that 2000W power supply.

    Expected in Q3 this year, which is not that far off.


Disclaimer: I'm gonna sing the doom song now.

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