Saturday, December 18
Starting Off With A Bang Edition
- First day of my holiday so naturally I got woken up by an emergency at 4AM because someone misconfigured a new website and overloaded the back-end servers with a flood of queries.
And my main Windows desktop had just updated itself and my terminal emulator had decided that it could no longer run without being updated to the latest release, so that was fun.
- The BMJ - British Medical Journal - published an expose of dubious experimental controls at a company contracted by Pfizer to assist in testing their Bat Flu vaccine.
Facebook, as is its wont, "fact checked" this.
The BMJ - which has been published since 1840 and is one of the world's leading medical journals gave them both barrels, reloaded, and is standing at the ready with one eyebrow raised. (BMJ)
- Meanwhile researchers at Princeton are running an experiment in which they, uh, threaten legal action against randomly selected subjects. (Free Radical)
These fake threats of legal action potentially open Princeton to real lawsuits. The research was passed by the university's review board which said, and I quote, yeah, whatever. (Princeton)
Good work, idiots.
- Nvidia has announced the RTX 2050 which is not an RTX 2050. (AnandTech)
It's an RTX 3050 with half the memory bandwidth.
The company also announced the MX550, which is an MX450, and the MX570, which is an RTX 2050, which is as we noted an RTX 3050.
Hope that clears that up.
- TSMC has announced their N4X process node - nominal 4nm - optimised for higher clock speeds. (AnandTech)
At least 15% faster than 5nm, which is up to 15% faster than 7nm.
But it won't be available for two years, while N3 - their basic 3nm process - which is up to 15% faster than 5nm, will be shipping in volume next year. Leaving N4X as rather a niche proposition.
- Two 8-core Chinese Ryzens are faster than one 6-core American Ryzen. (Tom's Hardware)
Back before the launch of the Zen CPUs, bleeding cash and with their share price at the bottom of the ocean, AMD signed a joint venture deal with Chinese company Rygon, sharing Zen 1 technology but no further updates.
That's what these chips are.
- Speaking of weird Chinese stuff, this 25" black-and-white monitor costs about $2500. (Tom's Hardware)
And it can only display 16 shades of grey.
Because it's an E Ink display, like a Kindle but much bigger.
Resolution is 3200x1800 which isn't too bad.
- I see it as a win either way.
And it's working.
- The US government says it should probably patch that bug thingy soon. (Bleeping Computer)
They'll get right on it.
- On the other hand, that's kind of your job.
- It's only a tornado - or two - says Amazon (The Verge)
Walk it off you big baby.
- It's only your own personal data. Why should you be permitted access, asks Google. (TechRadar)
Content that Google in its infinite wisdom deems "misleading" may be locked without notice.
Content on Google Drive.
Not on their social network, because they don't have one. On their file storage.
There is no cloud, there's just other people's computers. And they're probably communists.
- Adobe's share price plunged 10% after announcing sales growth of 20%. (CNBC)
This is due to investor concerns over inflation and interest rates, which I am reliably informed are a transitory issue and everything is going great and we are definitely not "fucked beyond any possibility of redemption".
- US schools are cancelling classes over TikTok. (The Verge)
At some point you might begin to suspect that teachers aren't actually interested in, you know, teaching.
- Verizon, caught spying on its customers, forcibly opted those customers into the spying program and sent them an email thanking them for their participation. (The Verge)
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- Amazon partnered with China to boost the country's booming historical revisionism and genocide apologetics industry. (Reuters)
Nice one, Jeff.
- US regulators are taking a look at the booming "buy now, pay later, definitely no interest or fees ha ha" industry. (CNN)
In fairness this industry is only marginally less ethical than the one mentioned above.
- US regulators also flagged stablecoins as a systemic risk to the economy. (Reuters)
This came in at #4, after inflation, interest rates, and US regulators.
- Scientists have discovered a millipede. (The Guardian)
Specifically the Australian creepy-crawly has 1306 legs, the first species discovered that truly has over 1000.
- A thousand-dollar iPhone lost to a $400 Google Pixel in blind camera tests. (9 to 5 Mac)
Aren't blind camera tests basically random?
- Dutch authorities have banned anti-5G "negative ion" pendants for being insufficiently fake. (The Register)
They really do generate negative ions.
Because they are radioactive.
Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day
Disclaimer: Remember folks, it's the holiday season, so this blog is issuing double demerits for anyone mentioned in these news roundups. Don't take the risk of being a corporate communist. It's not worth it. We accept bribes by cash, direct deposit, and most major cryptocurrencies.
I hope they're adding 2 days onto your holiday for the one day they had to call you in.
Posted by: Grumpy and Recalcitrant at Saturday, December 18 2021 06:36 PM (nRMeC)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, December 19 2021 12:45 PM (PiXy!)
Posted by: Rick C at Sunday, December 19 2021 01:36 PM (Z0GF0)
For some reason, the copy of Firefox I was using that I have been careful not to update...Decided to update for me. I hope Brave (Or if anyone else has another browser in mind.) does not do that, because this is the final nudge I need to jettison Firefox completely.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sunday, December 19 2021 02:17 PM (MuaLM)
All you have to do is make sure you can cash your leave in, and then quit when you have enough money to retire.The impossibility of me ever actually taking leave combined with my employer being good about things like cashing out accrued leave is why I can suddenly build my dream computer lab.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sunday, December 19 2021 05:53 PM (PiXy!)
The only way that I know to completely prevent brave/firefox/chromium from updating is to run a gentoo chroot with version locks in your package.mask (and very likely your package.unmask as well). As far as I know, there's no way to prevent automatic updates in windows, and it's very difficult to prevent inadvertant updates in most linux distros.
FreeBSD can also manage the trick, but it's not as easy to run as a service under windows. And the graphics and wireless support aren't "up-to-date" enough, really to run FreeBSD on your laptop, unless your laptop is pretty old.
Posted by: normal at Sunday, December 19 2021 11:06 PM (obo9H)
Don't know if it because it's an older Windows system or not, but apparently it USED to be possible to shut down auto-updates. Makes me wonder what business used to use this one.
Posted by: Frank at Monday, December 20 2021 09:46 AM (rglbH)
It did. And Microsoft got tired of being constantly yelled at because of all the people who never updated their systems and got malware, and they looked at Android and Apple phones auto-updating and just said "that's for us."
They were gonna get endless hate either way, but this causes fewer security problems.
Posted by: Rick C at Monday, December 20 2021 10:55 AM (Z0GF0)
MS operating system, with windows 10 it is possible to pause updates for 35 days.
Hate to say it, but I've shifted a lot of my "doesn't work in pale moon, and need it for business" websites to Edge.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, December 20 2021 11:41 AM (r9O5h)
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Thursday, December 23 2021 01:29 AM (iXREa)
You can always compile vimb yourself, if you like to have fun! Or use lynx.
Posted by: normal at Thursday, December 23 2021 04:16 AM (LADmw)
Delete the task from Scheduled Tasks? I usually do that periodically. Chrome doesn't need to check for updates every frickin' hour.
Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, December 23 2021 07:51 AM (oPg+d)
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