They are my oldest and deadliest enemy. You cannot trust them.
If Hitler invaded Hell, I would give a favourable reference to the Devil.

Friday, August 31


Daily News Stuff 31 August 2018

Tech News

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day

Catgirl Warrior, art by GZQ seven.

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Thursday, August 30


Daily News Stuff 30 August 2018

Tech News

  • Acer has announced the new Swift 5, a perfectly ordinary-looking 15" notebook.  Quad core Intel 8th generation CPU, up to 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, 1080p display, and my preferred keyboard layout, with PgUp/PgDn/Home/End at the right.  (AnandTech)

    But it weighs 990 grams - just over two pounds.  That's less than half the weight of my 15" Dell laptop.

  • Acer's 13" Swift 3 weighs 1.3kg.  (AnandTech)


  • If you need something with a bit more vroom to it, Acer's new Aspire 7 models offer Kaby Lake G, the Intel/AMD hybrid chip with Vega graphics.  (NotebookCheck)

  • Yes, Acer did just have a big product launch, why do you ask?

  • Samsung released their new NVMe Thunderbolt-only external SSD, the X5.  (AnandTech)

    It is remarkably ugly and overheats after a couple of minutes of sustained use, reducing performance by 95%, at which point you might as well be running a regular disk drive on a USB 2.0 port.


    PCPer's review is more positive and they also tested this $24 NVMe to USB 3.1 adaptor which does surprisingly well.  Of course, it's just an adaptor, and you have to add an M.2 NVMe drive before it does anything at all.

    Looks like there are a few of these available now.  The magic word is JMS583, which is the USB 3.1 to NVMe interface chip they all use.

  • TPG and Vodafone are merging in Australia as the consolidation of the hundreds of tiny phone companies and ISPs created by deregulation continues.  (ZDNet)

    My NBN connection is now two months late.  And that's after waiting 9 years to get a connection date at all.  No-one in the US is allowed to complain about their ISP unless their dog got run over by a Comcast truck.

  • Lenovo's ThinkStation P520 gets reviewed.  (ServeTheHome)

    Industrial design peaked with the SGI O2.  Which I have one of.  In my closet.  It runs at 150MHz.

  • Acer (them again) showed off their Predator X, a dual Xeon workstation that, fully configured, runs into the mid five figures, in a case that looks like it cost fifty bucks on eBay.  AnandTech says, and I quote, "Please No".

  • Looking for a convertible Windows laptop tablet thingy?  Living in Australia?  You can pick up an HP Spectre x2 for $1275 after the secret promo code (which is in bright red banner at the top of the page).  That's with a Core i7 with Iris Plus graphics (with 64MB of eDRAM), 16GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, and a 3000x2000 display.  Dual USB-C connectors (left and right) with charging and DisplayPort support, micro SD and a headphone jack.

    It's last year's i7 - 7th generation - and ultra-low-power, so dual rather than quad core.

    Only other real strike if it doesn't have my preferred key layout, but it's hard to fit that in a 12" laptop.  Also, it's a few ounces heavier than my old 13" LG UltraPC, but it has four times the memory, four times the storage, a much improved display...  And you can yank off the keyboard and use it as a tablet.  I mean, you can use what's left as a tablet, the keyboard just kind of sits there.

    Pen is extra in this package, I think.  $90 option.  But the equivalent Surface Pro model sells from $3299 - without pen or keyboard, and with a slightly lower-resolution screen.

    I just went and checked the price again, because the last time I saw pricing like this I had wandered onto Lenovo's US store by mistake.  Nope, it's real.  I think I'm going to have to get one...

Social Media News

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day
The aforementioned HP Spectre x2.  Pretty little thing.  Except that the Minx image scaler apparently hates diagonal lines.

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Wednesday, August 29


Daily News Stuff 29 August 2018

Tech News

  • What's in a lake?  Intel launches Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake CPUs.  (AnandTech)

    These are ultra-low-power (U series) and hyper-low-power (Y series) chips for thin and light and overpriced notebooks, and join Cannon Lake, Coffee Lake, Ice Lake, Kaby Lake, and Skylake in the increasingly crowded Lakes District.

  • Intel's product naming is getting confusing, says Tom's Hardware.

    Getting confusing?

  • Speaking of Intel, they are releasing their own Linux distribution - aimed at autonomous vehicles, so with lots of extra verification.  It's based on the existing Clear Linux distro.  (Phoronix)

  • Oppo's new Find X phone has beautiful hardware, terrible software.  (Android Central)

    Just ship stock Android, you idiots.

    The phone has a 93.8% screen ratio - that is, almost the entire face of the phone is display - and it achieves this with a little motorised pop-up widget holding the sensor array.  The rear camera is available all the time, but for selfies it needs to slide the camera out from behind the screen.  It's a complicated arrangement, but better than a notch.

  • Vocus have plugged in a 40Tb patch cord between Perth and Singapore.  If you've ever tried to use a Singapore-based server from Australia, you'd know that despite the relative proximity it's really no better than going all the way across the Pacific to California.  This might improve things.

Social Media News

  • Have you been posting your tweets to your Facebook timeline?  Well, don't look now, but they might be gone.  Not just the feature, but all the prior tweets on the Facebook side, and all the comments on them as well.  (Techcrunch)

    Facebook first broke the feature with an API change, then somehow screwed up extra hard and lost all the history too.

Law of the Day

Clarke's Corollary to Hanlon's Razor: Any sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.

Word of the Day

quaintrelle, n: A woman who is focused on style and leisurely pastimes; a dandizette.

Video of the Day

Picture of the Day

A very young Lauren Bacall with Hoagy Carmichael from To Have and Have Not

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Tuesday, August 28


Daily News Stuff 28 August 2018

Tech News

  • Friday:
    AMD are getting 7nm parts from both TSMC and Global Foundries, which will give them a full year with a solid fabrication lead on Intel, as well as the advantages of the Zen design.
    Today: Global Foundries stops all 7nm development.  (AnandTech)

    AMD likely knew of GloFo's uncertainty well in advance, hence the hedging of their 7nm bets with TSMC.  This probably doesn't affect AMD much, except that lower-tier parts are likely to continue to be produced at 12nm for a while.  The second generation server chips and professional graphics chips were already planned to be fabbed at TSMC.

    It might mean a delay - or higher prices - for 12 and 16 core mainstream desktop parts, though, depending on the volume TSMC can produce and how quickly AMD makes inroads into Intel's server market share.  Four Zen dies sold as a 32 core server CPU make AMD a lot more money than if they are sold individually as four desktop CPUs.

    So we might just have to struggle onwards with a mere 8 cores until 2020.  Or in my case, two computers with 8 cores each, thanks to Dell's clearance sale on 2017 models.  And the price cut to $399 for the Threadripper 1920X means that those who really need 12 cores can get them.

  • Freesync with an Nvidia graphics card?  Sure, if you have an AMD APU.  (PCPer)

    It does add some latency to the frames, but not so much as to make the idea worthless.

  • In line with new emission laws from the EPA, Toyota just set $500 million on fire.  (TechCrunch)

  • Qualcomm either is, or is not, shutting down its server division which doesn't make any servers.  (Fudzilla)

    Arm servers are not a thing.  Stop trying to make them a thing.

  • VMware announces Arm support in ESXi (pronounced "esxi").  (ServeTheHome)

    Arm servers are the next big thing.

  • Microsoft are pushing Intel CPU updates to AMD systems.  This seems to be harmless on AMD systems, since the patches are ignored, but some Intel users are reporting problems booting after the update.  (Bleeping Computer)

    On the other hand, that's true after every Windows 10 update.  Guess what I was doing last night?  Well, yes, swearing a lot, but apart from that.

  • I now have a script that syncs the entire production environment to my dev environment every day.  Finally!  This is why I bought Rally Vincent, and she's doing a great job.  The trick to getting it working smoothly was rsync --inplace, which allows me to quickly update my database snapshots even though I STILL DON'T HAVE NBN.

Social Media News

Video of the Day

I like that.

Picture of the Day

A knitted sky map.  Yes, knitted.

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Monday, August 27


Daily News Stuff 27 August 2018

Tech News

  • Like AMD video cards but 4096 shaders just not doing it for you? The new Radeon Pro V340 has 7128 shaders and 32GB of video RAM.  And I think it has a mini DisplayPort output, hard to tell.  (ServeTheHome)

    It's not for you, though, it's for datacenters, to deliver virtual GPUs to up to 32 virtual servers at once.  I kind of need one of these, or rather, 1/32 of one.

Video of the Day

May be familiar to some of you...

Picture of the Day

Cozy apartment by @hamukukka on the Twits.

This is now my wallpaper.

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Sunday, August 26


Daily News Stuff 26 August 2018

 Tech News

  • Fortnite bypassed Google's play store to avoid paying the 30% fee.

    Their alternative installer left your phone open to attack.  (Bleeping Computer)

    They've fixed it now, but expect similar flaws whenever anyone else does this.  Of course, with iPhones you can't do this at all - which is not an improvement.

Social Media News

Music Video of the Day

Well, music anyway, the video is slightly lacking.

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Saturday, August 25


Daily News Stuff 25 August 2018

Tech News

Social Media News

In honour of our first Dragon-Australian Prime Minster.

Is it all a plot by evil Tony Stark to take over Australia?

Picture of the Day

Video of the Day

In honour of our first Dragon-Australian Prime Minster.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 11:32 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 239 words, total size 3 kb.

Friday, August 24


Daily News Stuff 24 August 2018

Australian Political News

Tech News

  • California is close to passing its own net neutrality legislation. Approved 9-3 by the committee [Even numbers? Idiots.] and on its way to the Assembly. (Ars Technica)

    I'm sure the bill is garbage - this is California we're talking about - but voting in garbage legislation and suffering the consequences is what states are for.

  • Intel tried to prevent people benchmarking microcode changes, got yelled at, immediately fixed it. (Tom's Hardware)

    Dumb move, smart response.

  • Steam's policy on adult-oriented games is a mess. (Techdirt)

    Remarkably, Kotaku seems to be on the right side of this debacle. (Kotaku)

  • Apple has booted Facebook's VPN app from their store because it's spyware. (Techdirt)

    Yes, it's an official Facebook app. Yes, it's spyware. Don't use it.

  • The DNC was not attacked. The story is wrong. They set up their own phishing page to see if their staff were still falling for it. (Fudzilla)

  • Amazon appears to have deployed their drones to deliver good news to Twitter. (TechCrunch)

    This is just weird. Amazon, what are you doing? Don't do that.

  • TSMC is reportedly happy with 7nm and ramping up production - and preparing for 5nm next year. (Guru3d)

    Intel expects to release 10nm parts by the end of 2019. Intel's original launch date for 10nm was 2015, so that's a pretty big step backwards. Also, unconfirmed reports are that they've had to also take a step back on the process itself, so it's both late and less technically advanced than Intel had hoped.

    Intel's originally planned 10nm process was roughly in line with 7nm from everyone else (the numbers are 83.6% marketing) but now everyone else has 7nm and Intel still doesn't have 10nm, so the point is extremely moot.

    AMD are getting 7nm parts from both TSMC and Global Foundries, which will give them a full year with a solid fabrication lead on Intel, as well as the advantages of the Zen design.

  • By pure coincidence AMD's stock is up another 6.65% making it one of the top performers in the S&P 500. (MarketWatch)

  • Netflix tells Apple to go fuck itself and its 30% cut of everything. (Engadget)


  • Amazon have cut the prices for their Lightsail cloud VMs by 50% in most cases. Prices for Windows servers have been cut by about 30%, and new high-end plans added with 16GB and 32GB of RAM respectively. (ZDNet)

    This is a big deal. The mid-tier cloud providers - Digital Ocean, Linode, and Vultr - cut prices last year one after another and left Amazon in the dust, even though Lightsail was much cheaper than Amazon's enterprise-oriented EC2 servers. Now Amazon is competitive again. There are differences in the exact configuration levels - at a given price point, Digital Ocean might offer more CPUs but less bandwidth, or vice-versa - but the basic price tiers all line up.

    Amazon offers a much broader range of services than the mid-tier competition, but as a result their platform is painfully complicated. But $5 now gets you a virtual server on Amazon with 1GB RAM and 1 CPU (standard across all the providers), and 40GB of SSD and 2TB bandwidth. Digital Ocean offers 25GB SSD and 1TB bandwidth at $5.

    Nodes in India and Australia only get half the bandwidth provided in North America, Europe, and east Asia (Japan, Korea, Singapore), but (a) that's still damn good value, and (b) Digital Ocean doesn't have a datacenter in Australia at all, nor does Linode. Vultr does, but doesn't offer virtual disks outside of their New Jersey location, so it's much less useful.



    Really, though, I wanted a second one of these the moment I got the first up and running. And with Lightsail, there's always the chance of something like this:

  • Portland is run by idiots.

Video of the Day

Welcome to Ambient Irony, your all pengi all the time network!

Picture of the Day

don't stow thrones

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Thursday, August 23


Daily News Stuff 23 August 2018

Non-Tech News

  • Bunch of stuff happened.

Tech News

Social Media News

  • Everything is stupid.

Picture of the Day

Video of the Day

pengi da

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Wednesday, August 22


Daily News Stuff 22 August 2018

Tech News

Social Media News

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