Wednesday, August 08


Daily News Stuff 8 August 2018

Tech News

  • Intel's 660p QLC NVMe SSD is here and the benchmarks are out.

    Conclusion: It's reasonably priced and offers good read speeds, and should work fine for most users. It doesn't show the performance anomalies of the earlier 600p (TLC) and it has a large enough SLC cache that writes probably won't be a problem unless, oh, you're running Linux VMs with test databases doing natural language analysis on large volume social network feeds. (AnandTech, PCPer)

  • Asus's ZenBook Pro 15 UX550 has separate PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys.

    Oh, and a six core i7 CPU, Nvidia 1050Ti graphics, 4K display covering 100% of Adobe RGB, two Thunderbolt ports, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD. But that's incidental stuff. The keys are the, um, key.

    Also, a crappy VGA webcam. Why do you do that, PC makers? Why? (AnandTech)

    Also, this one doesn't have that neat touchscreen touchpad.

  • Threadripper 2 rips threads. (Tom's Hardware)

    Benchmarks are still embargoed, so you have to wait until Monday for the good stuff.

  • Techdirt examines why people don't trust capitalism anymore. Answer: Because they're thumb-sucking economic illiterates. (Techdirt)

    The economist that joins this week's podcast episode puts it somewhat more diplomatically, but that's what it comes down to.  And they make the very good point that the industries most often held up as failures of free markets are precisely those where the free market is most distorted by government intervention.

  • TSMC caught a cold. (Bloomberg)

  • Democrats want to destroy free speech online, hampered by pesky Constitution. (CJR)

  • Semiaccurate is bearish on Intel's server chances over the next couple of years. And when I say bearish, I mean bearish. (Semiaccurate, additional reporting by National Geographic)

    Semiaccurate often buries the juiciest stuff behind a paywall (have to keep the lights on somehow) so subscribers may have known this for a while, but this article lays it all out for everyone.

  • HTTPS kinda sucks for all that it is a necessity. You don't need to go to rural Uganda to find this out, though; anyone in Australia could tell you. (via Hacker News)

  • A security researcher got commit access to Homebew, that open source distribution thingy for Mac. Nothing bad happened, and the tools were solid enough to verify that nothing bad happened, and the problem has been fixed.

    But like many such projects, Homebrew is maintained by a small team of volunteers, with little funding despite large numbers of users. They have a Patreon page up now so if you're a Mac developer, consider slipping them a few bucks. Because it's a small price to pay for not having to manually compile 397 different packages. (via Reddit)

Social Media News

  • Iron Man tweeted that he is seeking to take Stark Enterprises private sending shares soaring like a SpaceX launch. Hopefully this one won't explode on landing. (Ars Technica)

  • Journalists are upset with Facebook because the terms of service effectively prohibit investigative journalism. Now, 95% of American journalists are weasels, but Facebook is one giant weasel with a user interface straight from the last days of GeoCities and poor personal hygiene, so at first glance I'm with the journoweasels. (TechDirt)

    Refreshingly, the complaint is not based on who is doing the research, but on the nature of the research:

    First, the purpose of the project must be to inform the general public about matters of public concern. Projects designed to inform the public about issues like echo chambers, misinformation, and discrimination would satisfy this condition. Projects designed to facilitate commercial data aggregation and targeted advertising would not.

  • Snapchat got a $250 million investment from Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. Snapchat stock is down somewhat on lower user numbers, but it only lost $350 million this past quarter so things are looking up. (TechCrunch)

    Disclaimer: I have never used Snapchat and never plan to use Snapchat.

  • The New York Times speculates that Snapchat's dip to only 188 million users signals the beginning of the end for social media. For comparison, that number is almost exactly three times the circulation of all American newspapers combined at their peak in 1984. Or to put it another way, three hundred times the circulation of the New York Times today. (The New York Times)

  • No-one buys things via Alexa. (TechCrunch)

    I can certainly see the use of Alexa and other smart devices as magical hands-free phones when you're busy in the kitchen or occupied in the bathroom. But for regular shopping? I don't see the point, and apparently neither does anyone else.

Word of the Day

Absquatulate: To leave abruptly.

Video of the Day

What ancient Greek music sounded like ca. 408 BC, as best as we can reconstruct it. (With one small change that the higher registers are sung by women in the modern choir where in the ancient world it would likely have been boys.)

Thing of the Day

Tree cover map of Australia. Look, it says it right in the name, "null arbor".

This is why everyone lives in that arc from Adelaide to Brisbane. And a few weirdos in Perth. Everything in between sucks. (I have lived my entire life within that thin green band along the east and south-east coast.)

Picture of the Day

The train arriving on platform three is the late-running 1932 coals to Newcastle service. This train does not pick up passengers.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:17 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 892 words, total size 9 kb.

1 "I can certainly see the use of Alexa and other smart devices as magical hands-free phones when you're busy in the kitchen or occupied in the bathroom. But for regular shopping? I don't see the point, and apparently neither does anyone else."
Sales and advertising-type goons are constantly thinking about stuff like this that nobody else cares about.  Remember "use geolocation to send you a coupon to the coffee shop you're walking past"?  Because that's what normal want, a constant stream of advertising.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, August 09 2018 01:05 AM (Q/JG2)

2 Karl Schroeder, Permanence.  Took it to its logical conclusion back in 2002.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, August 09 2018 02:21 AM (PiXy!)

3 Man,  who wrote that?  "In the "rights economy", all physical objects are nano-tagged so that payment may be enforced for all uses of proprietary information. The result is a libertarian dystopia. "
Oh, ok.  So it's Somalia?

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, August 09 2018 06:40 AM (Q/JG2)

4 Not quite Somalia.  The book depicts it as functional, just incredibly annoying.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, August 09 2018 11:39 AM (PiXy!)

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

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