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?

Saturday, June 30


Daily News Stuff 30 June 2018

Tech News

  • PCIe is coming to SD cards.  Transfer rates around 1 gigabyte per second and capacities up to 128 terabytes, at least in theory.  But so far only for full-size cards, not microSD.

  • Intel's 10nm process is 2.7 times denser than 14nm.  That's almost exactly what Global Foundries are offering in moving from their 14nm to 7nm.

Video of the Day

It's been a long time since I looked at Stonehearth, I wonder how they're do- holy shit.

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Friday, June 29


Daily News Stuff 29 June 2018

Tech News

  • Exactis (whoever they are) leaks personal info of every adult and business in the United States.

  • Europe says you all go to jail.  All of you.  Everyone.  GDPR says so.

  • Anandtech shows what faster RAM can do for AMD's Ryzen APUs.  Turns out to be quite a lot, depending on the application.  A 2200G with fast RAM can outrun a 2400G with slow RAM on both gaming and productivity.

    That makes DDR5 - due out in 2020 - and LPDDR4X - available today, but currently used only in phones, not personal computers - even more interesting.  Anandtech's tests went up to 3466 MHz.  LPDDR4X starts at 3733 MHz and goes up to 4266; DDR5 will be even faster.

  • Benq offers an affordable 32" 4K DCI-P3 HDR display except the HDR is not very...  H.  Doesn't actually meet the entry-level HDR standard. 

    Still, DCI-P3 is nice if you haven't seen one before.  It can show colours that you don't normally see on an LCD screen.  (Recent iMacs are also DCI-P3.)

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Thursday, June 28


Daily News Stuff 28 June 2018

Tech News

  • Huawei's MateBook X Pro is a great example of a notebook with leading-edge specs but no PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys, so fuck it.

  • ASMedia has you covered if you need 6.5GB per second of I/O.  Wait, that's kind of on the slow side isn't it?  Oh, it only has 8GB per second on the upstream port, never mind.

  • Tech employees are revolting.  No, TechDirt, these people are not indispensable.  No more than the air traffic controllers were.

  • Intel's Core i9 9900k is coming soon to compete with AMD's 8-core Ryzen chips...  Which have been out for more than a year.

  • Python 3.7 is out, bringing with it....  Records.  Catching up with Algol 68.  Good work!

Picture of the Day

Anemone by Cocoparisienne on Pixabay

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Wednesday, June 27


Daily News Stuff 27 June 2018

Tech News

  • Threadripper 2 pricing accidentally leaked, looks set for around $1500 for 32 cores.  This is less than what Intel currently charges for their 16 core i9 chip.

  • Build your own 10MHz 6502!  Perfect for that C256 project you might be working on.

    It uses around 700 CLBs in a Xilinx FPGA, which is pretty tiny.  A low-end FPGA can have 15,000 CLBs and cost $15.

  • Facebook and Google are battling the EU in a contest over who sucks more.

    Hard to tell who's winning at this point.

  • TLBleed is a problem.  So far it's only been confirmed on Intel; it seems to revolve around sharing the TLB between threads on a core.  I don't know if that's the case on AMD, IBM Power, or Sparc chips, all of which support multiple threads per core.

Picture of the Day

Stolen from Twitter

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Tuesday, June 26


Daily News Stuff 26 June 2018

Tech News

  • NASA is sending a solar-powered helicopter to Mars.  ETA 2021.  It's only small - 1.8kg with a 1.2m rotor span - and only capable of short flights, but this is amazingly cool.  It will act as a scout drone for the new Mars rover.


  • Micron enters production with GDDR6.  That's like GDDR5 only one better.  Top speeds are currently 14Gbps per pin, with 16Gbps coming, and the possibility of 20Gbps in the future.

    And yes, it comes in black.

  • Asus releases the ROG Swift PG27UQ, a $2000 gaming monitor - 4K 144Hz G-Sync HDR.

    Why so expensive?  It contains a $2600 FPGA to handle the G-Sync functions.

    Yes, that single chip lists for more than the retail price of the monitor.  I would guess that Asus and Nvidia are getting a better deal than retail list price, but still.

  • Firefox will soon automatically notify you if your logins have been included in a known data breach.

    The answer is of course yes, but it should give you some more specific details so you can do something about it.

  • Semiwiki has a scoreboard for future process technologies.  Spoiler: Intel's 7nm (which doesn't exist yet) is roughly equivalent to what TSMC are calling 3nm (which doesn't exist yet).

    So, if you're wondering how the foundries are suddenly planning to scale all the way down to 3nm, the answer is, they're not.  It's all marketing.  But fictional 3nm is still far better than the existing fictional 14nm.

Picture of the Day

Magic ponies by Dorota Kudyba on Pixabay

That's a pretty big pony, actually.

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Monday, June 25


Daily News Stuff 25 June 2018

Tech News


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Sunday, June 24


Daily News Stuff 24 June 2018

Tech News

  • Qualcomm's Snapdragon 1000 is aiming to take on low-end and mid-range laptop chips.  Windows on ARM is already a thing (and ChromeOS and Android and other flavours of Linux, of course).

    Apple are already playing in this performance space, but their chips are not available to other manufacturers, or running anything but iOS, so the point is moot.

  • Not a bird cage from Versailles, but IBM's 50Q quantum computer.


  • Gigabyte has you covered if you want to get ready for ThreadRipper 2's 32 cores later this year.  The board has everything you could want except for 10Gb ethernet.

  • Motherboard (part of Vice, but less worse than the rest of that site) has two updates on the EU's terrible horrible no good very bad copyright bill by Cory Doctorow and Karl Bode respectively.

    The one bright point is that the proposed law is so poorly designed that if passed it will be repealed in weeks as the internet grinds to a complete halt across Europe.  Because while having penalties for copyright infringement, legally obligating sites to establish automated filters, and broadening the scope of what constitutes infringement almost to infinity, there are no penalties for false reports.

    The EU Parliament have collectively painted a target on their butts and screamed "Kick me, 4chan!" with this one.

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Saturday, June 23


Daily News Stuff 23 June 2018

Tech News

  • Shadowrun Returns WAS FREE ON HUMBLY BUNDLY TODAY ONLY ACT NOW ACT NOW TOO LATE!  Still 75% off though.

  • TSMC are ramping up 7nm to full production including orders from AMD for both GPUs and CPUs, with more than 50 chips taped.  An enhanced 7nm process using EUV fairy dust is set to enter risk production in 2019, and 5nm starting in 2020.

    AMD normally uses Global Foundries for CPUs, but this time are spreading production across two suppliers.  7nm is very new so likely a wise move despite the increased costs.

  • Gluon is a new embedded scripting language written in Rust, statically but not explicitly typed.  It's designed to inherit Rust's strict guarantees of thread safety, though exactly how fast this will be in practice is a question to be examined.  Versions of Python without the global interpreter lock are quite noticeably slower than the regular release.

  • STH has one of those days.  I get to deal with lots of those days, only they are a fifteen minute drive from their datacenter, and I'm a fifteen hour flight from mine.

    I'm seriously considering migrating everything over to DigitalOcean and forgetting about running my own servers.

Picture of the Day

Wut?  Image by 12019 on Pixabay


Musical Interlude

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Friday, June 22


Daily News Stuff 22 June 2018

  • Samsung announces an 8TB PCIe 4.0 M.3 SSD.  Yes, those numbers are correct.  Although it's not clear why it uses PCIe 4.0 since nothing else does and its peak transfer rate could be handled easily by PCIe 3.0.  Still, nice to see that this is a real thing.

  • The 3nm node apparently has major cost problems.  3nm?  7nm should be moving into full production next year, with 5nm in 2021 or 2022, followed by 4nm, so possibly not your primary concern unless you happen to be named Nvidia.

    The article actually covers a lot more ground than its own headline suggests, going into all the thorny problems and clever solutions swirling around the next five to ten years of semiconductor technology, not least that everyone is now talking about 3nm as a straightforward matter of fact when not that long ago it was fairy dust.  For comparison, until last year AMD was still manufacturing their CPUs at 28nm.

  • MSI has you covered if you need 10GB per second of I/O bandwidth and a cute little fan to keep it cool.  I have to wonder how many people are asking for this, because it seems everyone and their sea monkey has an NVMe RAID solution all of a sudden.

  • Anandtech's CPU roundup is out and the Ryzen 2200G wins best potato.  Not a putdown; if you want a decent computer without spending a ton of money, it beats the hell out of the competition.

  • The EU is still run by idiots.  European Court of Human Rights says "surveillance, shmurvaillance".

  • California is also run by idiots...  Which we knew, sure.  While I was against the heavy-handed net neutrality rules handed down by the former FCC under Title II of the Quills and Parchment Act of 1534, I was more sanguine about legislation passed at the state level.  Looks like lobbyists successfully white-anted the California legislation because, as we noted, the state is run by idiots, and all the right people are upset which makes me happy even though I'm not actually against the idea.

  • Twitter has bought a company called - I shit you not - Smyte in order to more efficiently fuck up relationships with their users.  And also with Smyte's users, as Twitter's first action was to shut down the API without warning and leave everyone in the lurch.  They apparently think they're Google or something.

  • If you have an iPhone and are an EU citizen living in Britain, learn to swim.

  • Chuwi has a NUC that looks like an old-style Mac Pro that shrank in the wash but it's on Indienogo and costs a bundle.  Chuwi's whole raison d'etre is sticking one high-end component in an otherwise low-end system, like the Hi13 with it's gorgeous 3K display stapled to a sluglike Atom processor...  And that's exactly what they've done, again, only they usuall manage to come in a lot cheaper.

  • Google is full of idiots and children and idiot children and the management have no idea what to do about it.  This worries me.  I don't care at all if Facebook and Twitter and all the other Bay Area garbage companies dry up and blow away, but Google actually serves a useful function.

  • Micron announces 1Y nm DRAM.  Yeah, that's a real thing; they're not even pretending to provide real numbers any more.

Nobody likes me, everybody hates m - ooh, worms! Image by Gellinger on Pixabay

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Thursday, June 21


Daily News Stuff 21 June 2018

I am a lineman for the county...  Image by darkmoon1968 on Pixabay

* According to usually reliable sources.

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