Sunday, March 31
Your Roommate Is A Cat Edition
- Asus' WS C246M is a workstation motherboard supporting both Core series and Xeon E processors. (AnandTech)
Includes ECC support, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA, 8 SATA ports, two gigabit Ethernet ports, 8 SATA ports, audio, and various USB ports of random speeds.
No remote management so it's not so great as a server board, but otherwise pretty good.
- For some reason, buying a 256GB SanDisk microSD card from Amazon Australia costs as much as buying a 400GB SanDisk microSD card from Amazon US through Amazon Australia.
And Intel's 660p 1TB QLC SSD is US$109 on Amazon but A$275 on Amazon - US$195.
If only there were a global online store with enormous revenues and first-rate inventory management and logistics that could sort this kind of thing out...
- Uber says what, we're supposed to pay our employees? Do you have any idea what that would do to our share price?! (Slate)
Yeah, Slate is garbage, but so is Uber. It evens out.
- You too can be the proud owner of a 32-core Arm workstation, perfect for...
Perfect for being a 32-core Arm workstation.
- Google asks what it means for AI to fail. (ZDNet)
They could always ask Microsoft, hopefully before Tay decides to invade the Sudetenland.
- I'm going to try ProxmoxVE.
Social Media News
- Today's high-tech leader calling for the abolition of civil rights is Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. (Tech Crunch)
Fuck you very much, Mr Zuckerberg.
Cat Anime Opening of the Day
Saturday, March 30
- Samsung's Galaxy S10+ goes under the microscope. (AnandTech)
Executive summary: The US version is great. The international version, which has Samsung's own Exynos chip rather than the Snapdragon 855, is... Pretty okay. The international version suffers not only from inconsistent performance but also worse photography due to the differences between the image processing hardware on the two chips.
- Sony also has a 10+. (ZDNet)
The Xperia 10+ has a 6.5" 21:9 2520x1080 display (LCD rather than OLED), 4GB RAM, 64GB flash, microSD slot, USB C, and a headphone jack. The CPU is a mid-range Snapdragon 636 with four A73 and four A53 cores, putting it two generations behind the A76 found in 2019 flagship phones.
On the other hand, it runs £349 compared to £899 for the cheapest Galaxy S10+.
My Huawei tablet has an A72 CPU, which is equivalent in performance to the A73 but uses more power. It's not slow, and I wouldn't hesitate to get this or another A73 powered device on that respect, unless you are running seriously heavy apps on your phone.
Another possible upgrade for my ageing Xperia Z Ultra...
- Apple cancelled its AirPower wireless charging pad because it couldn't make it work. (Tech Crunch)
Wireless charging is easy. Fast, efficient wireless charging of multiple devices at once is hard, and what Apple found was that the AirPower could double as an electric wok.
- The SR-71 had its own R2 astromech droid - and it may be relevant again should we fuck things up sufficiently. (The Drive)
- How not to create an open-source license, example 462.
Another example. Well-meaning idiots will get us all killed.
- How to become a 10x programmer.
Two ways: One, spend a huge amount of time and effort in memory training programs of dubious merit and on memorising API calls that might disappear entirely in six months; or two, create a little personal wiki where you record things you might need to look up again. A notepad file. Anything.
- Oracle has sent out an advisory telling customers not to use Java for anything, ever. (Bleeping Computer)
That's not what they intended, but that's what they did, saying that critical security patches to Java 8, which is still very widely used, would require a paid license after the upcoming patch release in April.
Social Media News
- What if we built a surveillance state and nobody came? (TechDirt)
Google and Facebook have built massive - and massively intrusive - surveillance systems to monitor everything their users do, for the single purpose of increasing the amount they can charge for ads.
There's an increasing amount of data suggesting that all this, basically, doesn't work, that it's pointless and harmful and enormously expensive.
Try Incorporating These Into Your Next D&D Campaign of the Day
Your players will likely kill you, but totally worth it.
Was That "Insert Tab A Into Slot B" or "Insert Tab B Into Slot A" of the Day
Friday, March 29
- Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 gets a full review. (AnandTech)
This is a mid-range system, below the Surface Pro and Surface Book, but above the Surface Go.
It seems expensive for what you get, but then I waited for a 70% off sale before buying my latest laptop so my sense of value for money may be a bit skewed. But the i7/16GB/512GB model costs twice as much as the Dell Ryzen R7 laptop we got for a co-worker this week.
- This Dell wireless keyboard just eats batteries.
- Asus engineers apparently posted their email passwords on GitHub on more than one occasion. (Tom's Hardware)
Oops. If you do anything even slightly important with your email, enable 2FA.
- Huawei's networking equipment could be backdoored without warning accordng to a British security review. (Tom's Hardware)
Although Huawei have provided source code for review, they have not provided any way to validate that the source code matches the binary files they distribute.
- LAPD reports that their high-tech policing initiative is garbage that does little but infringe upon civil rights. (TechDirt)
So they're going to keep right on doing it.
- AMD's next-gen Navi graphics may support dedicated ray tracing - possibly even better than Nvidia's RTX 2080 Ti. (WCCFTech)
Unless it doesn't or it's not.
- Office Depot faked malware scans to rip people off on expensive tech support. (Ars Technica)
They've been fined $35 million, but someone should be in jail over this.
- The FCC has fined robocallers $200 million in the past four years. (Ars Technica)
The robocallers have coughed up 0.0003% of the total fines levied, because the FCC lacks statutory authority to enforce such fines.
The FTC meanwhile has collected 8% of the fines it has levied over the same period.
- How to use Google Sheets as a database. (codecentric)
Step One: Don't.
- A four-socket Supermicro server gets put through its paces. (Serve the Home)
The Intel Xeon Platinum CPUs used here are 12-core parts that cost $7000 each. Ouch.
Both Intel and AMD will have 48 core CPUs available this year. Maybe wait for those.
Social Media News
- Google is busy censoring the app store for... Religion. (Tech Crunch)
- Instagram is busy censoring commenters for... Who the hell knows anymore? (Tech Crunch)
Alex Jones is still on Instagram by the way.
- Australia wants Facebook to censor paid content relating to elections. (ZDNet)
- The New York Times ran an op-ed piece accusing teenage gamers of Nazi sympathies. (One Angry Gamer)
Written by an "assistant professor of game studies", a job title that makes minimum wage laws look like a bad idea.
- Microsoft calls for more online censorship. (One Angry Gamer)
Specifically, they want to use advanced AI to instantly scrub any content depicting real-world violence from the internet. And once that's done, they plan to turn their attention to "toxic" speech.
Maybe you should ask Tay how well that is likely to work, you fucking retards.
Thursday, March 28
Fuck Skype And Fuck Google Hangouts Too Edition
- Cisco: We fixeded it!
Testers were using Curl to exploit an open vulnerability in Cisco routers, so Cisco "fixed" it by blocking web requests that identified themselves as coming from Curl. This is about as effective as trying to stop a pyroclastic flow with a paper sign saying "Volcanoes Keep Out".
- PyCharm 2019.1 is out.
New features include.... Nothing much, really. But the previous version was already very good.
- Samsung's Galaxy A70 is a mid-range phone with a microSD slot. (AnandTech)
Huge 6.7" 2400x1080 OLED display, unspecified mid-range CPU, 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB flash.
Social Media News
- US Rep. Eric "nuke the peasants" Swalwell resubmitted his stupid bill making it a crime to assault journalists. (TechDirt)
Which is, of course, already a crime, and the bill is blatantly unconstitutional.
- Netflix submits that ChooseCo are idiots. (TechDirt)
If you agree, go to page 11.
If you disagree, go to page 94. Yes, that's the page were you got eaten by a bear the last three times you chose it.
- Just in case anyone needed a database of 5 million lesbians. (Tech Crunch)
Actually this is kind of serious, since China's government is entirely capable of rounding people up and shipping them off for re-education, for any reason or none at all.
My rule is this: Don't post anything online. Just don't.
Wednesday, March 27
- Try our new twitter and bitchute tags, fresh caught every day.
- Yes, I'm still banned on Twitter. No response to my appeal.
- Huawei launched their P30 and P30 Pro phones. (AnandTech)
These are focused heavily on photography, with a 40MP main camera in both models, an ultrawide camera at 16MP and 20MP on the standard and pro models respectively, and an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x or 5x zoom.
The telephoto camera is the interesting one: It uses a prism to refract light through 90 degrees to give the lens elements enough room.
CPU is a Kirin 980 - Arm A76 - coupled with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. The base model has a headphone jack and 128GB of storage. The one real flaw is that it uses Huawei's proprietary nano-flash cards for expansion. Oh, and their user interface, but you can just install Nova Launcher to fix that.
- Asus says what, we got hacked, and a million of our laptops too? (Tom's Hardware)
Rare triple facepalm.
- Fire the whole goddamn lot of them. MEPs who just voted to destroy the internet say oops, we pushed the wrong button. (TechDirt)
- Google just made email radically more annoying and probably less secure. (Tech Crunch)
With any luck they'll kill it in six months.
- 42 is the new 33. (Quanta)
Now that a solution has been found for 33, 42 is the only number less than 100 that has not either been shown to be the sum of three cubes or proven not to be.
Numberphile did a video just over three years ago discussing the problem.
And now has a video where they talk to the discoverer of the answer for 33.
- UC Browser, which I have never heard of but apparently has 500 million users is dangerously insecure and should be shot on sight (Bleeping Computer)
- Everything you didn't want to know about Apples new content platform and couldn't be bothered to ask. (Six Colors)
- Discord employs crazy people to censor your speech. (One Angry Gamer)
Anime Opening of the Day
Hinamatsuri. I completely missed it when it aired last year, and it's really good. One of those shows that you watch in one go and then Google the name plus "season 2".
Apparently there's plenty of manga remaining for another season, but Blu-Ray sales have been disappointing.
Tuesday, March 26
- You probably can't scroll to the bottom of this page right now. I know why and will have it fixed tomorrow.
Update: Hmm. No, seems to just be Firefox. Will fix anyway.
- Swift 5.0 is out, available right away on MacOS and Ubuntu and approximately never on every other platform.
I need to choose a language that can compile to a standalone binary for a small side project. Go would certainly work. Since I've never used it before I spent an hour yesterday learning it.
Go sucks. The implementation may be fine, but the language design is 50 years of congealed bad ideas.
Swift is a much better language - not great, but not something that would cause constant severe abdominal pain - but can't, so far as I know, produce standalone binaries.
C and C++ are out because are you freaking kidding me.
Julia is probably out, because while it's actually a fine language, the static compilation story is meh at best.
Crystal might work, but it hasn't reached 1.0 yet. Same with Nim.
Nuitka might actually work. The project is active, and since it compiles Python to standalone binaries I don't need to fuss about with a new language and new libraries.
I shall try Nuitka.
- CLion now supports remote toolchains over SSH so you can now sit at your Windows PC and build Linux apps. But the CLion Python plugin doesn't. PyCharm does, of course, but then it doesn't support all the other languages CLion adds (C, C++, Objective-C, Rust, Swift, and, for some reason, Fortran).
- Uber decides it isn't losing money fast enough, steps on the gas. (Tech Crunch)
- I've switched from Chrome to Firefox for these posts. It works much better. I originally switched from Firefox to Chrome because Chrome coped better when I had many tabs open; now the situation has reversed. Also the latest versions of Chrome act weird with this editor which I have a replacement for but have yet to actually replace.
- About a million Asus laptops have been compromised after Asus Live Updater got hacked. (Bleeping Computer)
The nasty files fed to users by this channel were thus signed and supposedly verified by Asus.
It looks like this was a targeted attack, and the malware was dormant for most users. Not clear yet who was behind it, or why, but for select users it would download a second set of malware and send data off to a remote server.
- Final Fantasy apparently includes a species of rabbit that reproduces via parthenogenesis and this has made some people very angry (One Angry Gamer)
[Imagine a picture of said rabbits here only the forced redirect to HTTPS that I'm testing here has broken uploading which is exactly why I'm testing it here before rolling it out to everyone.]
Social Media News
- The European Union has passed its terrible horrible no good very bad copyright legislation into law. (CNet)
Any company offering internet services of any kind in any EU country is out of its mind.
- New Zealand is still rounding up wrongthinkers and locking them up without bail because this is a democracy you see which means you have no right to either free speech or due process. (TechDirt)
Git pull request for Tom Wolfe: The dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe and New Zealand.
Also, you may well ask what the hell is going on in the comments at TechDirt. I'm going to go with "performance art".
- Meanwhile, Australia's Parliament of Clowns wants to enact criminal penalties for video streaming services whose users stream videos of violent crimes. (ZDNet)
Leaving such streams up for minutes is simply not good enough.
"They can get an ad to you in half a second; they should be able to pull down this sort of terrorist material and other types of very dangerous material in the same sort of time frame."I regret to report that Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is retarded.
- After spending three years screwing up the stories of Trump's political rise, Russia's political meddling, and the blatantly nonsensical allegations of collusion between the two, the American mainstream news media has learned... Precisely nothing.
CNN prez Jeff Zucker: "We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did." https://t.co/DiUjr7Nkbg— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) March 26, 2019
- They're just not very bright.
Mueller came forward right away when he felt he’d been misrepresented even indirectly by Buzzfeed. You think he’d allow Barr to misquote him? It’s amazing people won’t let this go. https://t.co/jZ3ABy0CQr— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) March 26, 2019
I hope I'm not putting this too harshly, but you have to be the world's dumbest person to believe Mueller filled his report with incriminating collusion claims, but he - and his whole team - are sitting silently while his long-time friend Bob Barr lies about what's in his report.— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 25, 2019
- Neither is this guy.
.@MichaelAvenatti tweeted Monday that he planned to hold a news conference about @Nike. Less than 45 minutes later, federal prosecutors charged him with trying to extort the company. https://t.co/noxBAOFXdQ— The Associated Press (@AP) March 25, 2019
Don't Drop the Bunny of the Day
Monday, March 25
Sing Along Edition
- Well, that should free up some time.
I've appealed the suspension, but a platform that suspends users over such things is a platform that is rapidly dying, probably of sepsis. Now I just need to get back to work and push the little daisies and make them come up.*
Currently not suspended on Facebook, YouTube, Reddit. Actually I am still suspended on YouTube but because I'm a paying Google Music subscriber and have bought a couple of videos on Google Play they accidentally gave me a new premium account and linked it to my Gmail. Shrug.
Twitter could offer a new feature where for a monthly fee they have potential suspensions reviewed by a human being who is slightly smarter than paint before they take effect, but they seem to be doubling down on the social media equivalent of necrotising fasciitis.
* I don't think I ever really listened to that song before, just heard snippets of it on the radio back in the day. I just looked on YouTube (status: not banned). First, that was a guy? Second, fuck, that is terrible.
- Apple's future is cable TV only worse. (Tech Crunch)
It's a bright sunshiny day for Cupertino.
- PyPy 7.1 is out.
This is mainly an update to its Unicode string handling, with improvements to both performance and memory usage. Python 3.6 support is still beta, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.
- Telegram now lets you delete any message you sent in the last 48 hours from both your device and the recipient's. (Bleeping Computer)
There's no possible way that will be immediately and massively abused baby one more time.
- New Zealand is... (One Angry Gamer)
Seriously, their Prime Minister is a day tripper, possibly a one-way ticket.
New Zealand isn't just BANNING the shooter's manifesto.— Nick Monroe (@nickmon1112) March 25, 2019
They're SELLING it. https://t.co/987bzD6pfz
Click on "Exemption info form The Great Replacement"
A document will download.
It says "to proceed with a formal application, please note that this will incur a fee of $102.20. " pic.twitter.com/siQmtL6Lct
- A team of quantum mechanics working late at the local quantum garage has built a thing that does stuff. (Quanta)
But they don't have the wings and they wonder why.
Social Media News
- Discord also just banned oatmeal. These people are retarded.
And said "doctor, ain't there nothin' I can take?"
Video of the Day
The internet is now drowning in a sea of schadenfreude, possibly even auf ihrem Weg zum Horizont.
Sunday, March 24
- Moravec's Paradox: Thinking is easy. Moving is hard.
To put it another way, the "Hard Problem of Consciousness" is the easy part, and getting a motorised suitcase to navigate a busy airport terminal is the hard part.
- Apple wants to reinvent itself as a services company. (Bloomberg)
(Looks at iTunes.)
Social Media News
- New Zealand's Ministries of Peace and Truth have worked together to make the anti-Muslim terrorist's manifesto illegal to read. (One Angry Gamer)
Great. Wonderful. What could possibly go wrong?
- Matt Taibbi has a long and mostly solid piece on the massive media malfeasance of "Russiagate".
Worth reading. Bring snacks.
- Garth Nix has a fifth book out in the Old Kingdom trilogy.
Clariel (book 4) was a prequel. Goldenhand (book 5) is a sequel simultaneously to Abhorsen (book 3), and to Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case from the short story collection Across the Wall. You don't need to read that but it's worth it.
Saturday, March 23
- Need a 21" 4K OLED monitor? Got too much money? Asus can solve both your problems! (AnandTech)
Their shiny new ProART PQ22UC starts at a mere £4,799.
This is apparently one of those fancy new inkjet-printed panels. Whatever the advantages of that process, price does not seem to be among them.
- Which is the better high-end chipset, AMD's X399 or Intel's X299? (Tom's Hardware)
A lot of this will depend on which CPU you have, because the compatibility between the two is zero.
- The Nokia 7 Plus stole your personal data and shipped it off to China. (Ars Technica)
This came down to an error in software installation. Only models intended for sale within China were meant to have the violate-all-privacy feature enabled.
(The data only consisted of phone identifying details, not your email address or passwords, so this is a worrying sign rather than a huge problem in itself.)
- GitHub 11.9 is out with automatic secrets detection. (GitLab)
That is, it will tell you if you've put passwords and API keys into your project. Which, as we noted yesterday, is something that happens a lot.
- FEMA leaked the personal details of 2.3M disaster survivors and the Oregon Department of Human Services (do they have a department of inhuman services?) leaked 2 million emails. (Bleeping Computer)
- The latest version of Chrome is bloody annoying.
- Apple is phasing out support of 32 bit apps and with it a whole bunch of video codecs and other QuickTime functionality that they haven't bothered to port to 64 bit. (Six Colors)
Which means that some older video files will simply become unplayable on new Macs.
- Security researchers have found 36 new flaws in the LTE protocol. (ZDNet)
LTE is the new secure mobile protocol that replaced the old insecure protocols.
- Google's Stadia streaming game platform will be dead within 3 years because Google is run by idiots. (One Angry Gamer)
That's a scary thumbnail but it's a cool video.
Friday, March 22
Beep Beep I'm A Sheep Edition
- Ryzen motherboards are getting BIOS updates to support the upcoming Ryzen 3000 series chips and as a result new details of the design and configuration are leaking. (TechPowerup)
- Infinity Fabric 2 at 100GB/s is twice as fast as Infinity Fabric 1, and that's apparently down to increased clocks and not wider channels. And that means the latency is potentially halved, which will help mitigate the off-die memory controller.
- The AM4 dual-die parts will have an IF link between the two dies as well as the necessary link from CPU die to I/O die. That means 100GB/s between the CPUs in addition to the 100GB/s to the system.
It's not entirely clear how this will work for Epyc and Threadripper, which can have up to 8 CPU chiplets. Certainly there won't be 56 separate IF interconnects. AMD are supporting additional NUMA layouts, so some chiplets will be directly connected, and others will need to hop via the I/O die. (And in a two-socket system potentially CPU<->I/O<->I/O<->CPU, which is one more hop than the current Naples platform.)
- Over 100,000 GitHub repos have security keys in them. (ZDNet)
This is disturbingly easy to do if you don't follow safe practices at all times. Git will happily hoover up every single file in your project directory, and many IDEs will do so by default.
- Julia, a rather nice language for scientific computing, now comes in interpreter flavour.
This is mainly for interactive development and debugging, but might also make Julia attractive as an alternative to languages like Python and Ruby, sine a fully-supported JIT compiler is just a config flag away.
There is also a static compiler, though it's an optional package. If they can get that better supported and integrated it will make the Julia option that much more enticing.
- Got a bunch of laptops and/or all-in-one dekstops with 5Gbps USB but only 1Gbps Ethernet? Club 3D has you covered. (AnandTech)
They offer Type A and Type C versions delivering 2.5GBASE-T. The effective throughput of USB 3.0 is only 3.2Gbps, so there's not much reason for going faster. Also, 2.5GBASE-T works over standard Cat 5e and will probably work over short runs of older Cat 5, so it's a drop-in replacement for gigabit Ethernet.
Now you just need a switch. MicroTik, how's that pricing coming along?
- Google's Stadia game streaming service may run aground on the rocks of reality. (TechDirt)
- Intel announced their 9th generation Core i9 H-series chips only they somehow managed to do it without saying what they were. (Tom's Hardware)
45W parts with 8 cores, actual specs to arrive eventually. The Ryzen 2700E is also an 8 core 45W part and came out last September, so Intel is play catch up again.
- Need 1TB of RAM in your iMac Pro? Samsung has you covered. (Serve the Home)
Not sure if that configuration will actually work, but 256GB LRDIMMs are here.
- VirtualBox and VMWare have new exploits. (Bleeping Computer)
Also Safari. Updates inbound.
- If a 1TB NVMe SSD for $100 doesn't do it for you how about 2TB for $200? (Tech Report)
Social Media News
- Facebook stored hundreds of millions of passwords in plain text. (Krebs on Security)
Don't worry though. They were only accessible by 20,000 Facebook employees for 7 years who only accessed the data 9 million times.
The article mentions that GitHub and Twitter have had the same problem: Passwords are stored securely in the authentication database, and encrypted over HTTPS, but if you keep a full log of the request stream on internal servers for operations or debugging, and you don't employ a secure password protocol like SRP then a minor log configuration error can store handily decrypted passwords all over your proxy servers.
Now, most companies don't employ SRP, but most companies aren't running the single largest website in the world with billions in profits, and most companies don't have this sort of problem sitting undetected for seven years.
NSFW Sheeps of the Day
Complete Goddamn Movie of the Day
(Dirty Pair: Project Eden is on YouTube; unsurprisingly it's blocked in the US and Canada.)
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