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Wednesday, March 31


Daily News Stuff 31 March 2021

Gremlin Inversion Edition

Tech News

  • Rocket Lake is here and it's crap.  (AnandTech)

    They previously got their hands on the i7-11700K and it was decidedly underwhelming, but also not the top of the line part.  Now they have the i9-11900K and...  Yeesh.

    What do you think, Steve?

    Steve's unimpressed.  What about you, Aussie Steve?

    Not ones to mince words, are Steve and Steve.

    The 8-core 11th-gen die is 25% larger than the 10-core 10th-gen die, and slower at multi-threaded and often at single-threaded tasks, while using more power.  It's not bad, not on the level of Bulldozer, but it's not better than its predecessor or its competition.

    Performance is not objectively bad, but it doesn't provide a reason not to simply buy AMD.

    In fact, given availability and pricing, the Ryzen 3900X is looking pretty good right now.  Particularly since you can upgrade later to a 5900X or 5950X, and there is no upgrade path at all for the 11900K.

  • Let's find out what mongod --repair does, shall we?

  • Arm has announced Armv9.  It has stuff.  (AnandTech)

    Notably it has support for some kind of micro-hypervisor architecture that can protect VMs running on Arm hardware even if the host node is hacked.  To an extent, anyway; if you have root access to the host you can shut it all down and maybe delete all the data; what you can't do is access the data within the VMs.  I believe that Epyc also supports this.

    They also discussed the next two generations of mobile cores, which will bring 30% total IPC improvements, presumably over the current high-end X1 core.

    The first of these cores will arrive this year, with consumer devices early in 2022.

  • Dimgrey Cavefish is on its way.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is probably the Radeon 6600 XT.  It seems that this will have just 32MB of inifinity cache, which will make for a much smaller die - cache is about 1mm2 per MB on TSMC's 7nm node.  Not much less on 5nm either; that scales well for logic but not for memory.

  • Speaking of which, TSMC plans to ship 4nm parts this year.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Production was originally scheduled for next year, but they're ahead of schedule.  3nm is on track for late next year.

    If they don't run out of water.  They can have some of ours, frankly.  We're full.  For now, Taiwan is praying for typhoons.  Yurie, your country...  Another country needs you.

  • The Ubiquiti breach was bad.  (Krebs on Security)

    Intruders gained access to Ubiquiti's AWS account, set up their own VMs on the network, installed backdoors on the servers, and basically had full access to everything.

Hololive Minecraft Stream No Video of the Day

Not one Minecraft stream in 24 hours.  They got permission to stream Capcom games and they've run off in all directions.

Nene will be back shortly though, Kiara tomorrow, and Reine after that.

And there's at least a thousand hours of archives I haven't seen.

Oh, if you watch VTubers - on YouTube, anyway, not Twitch - Holodex is a pretty nice tool.  Despite the name it works for Nijisanji and VOMS and others I'm not familiar with.  The interface is a little awkward in spots, but it's nonetheless impressive for a fan-created project.

Update: Pekora jumps in to save the day with a unscheduled stream - she seems to be experimenting with some kind of steam-powered dimensional turtle transport system.

Update: Oh, Towa is streaming too.  Chaos ensues in 3...  2...

Yep, there we go.  Towa showed Pekora her water slide of death, but Pekora has enchanted armor and didn't die.  Then Pekora showed Towa one of the death traps - uh, attractions - in Pekoland, but Towa wriggled her way out of the trap and got stuck inside the mechanism.

I like the way all this complicated stuff in Minecraft only barely works at all.  It's great training for real life.

Disclaimer: Turtle house!

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Tuesday, March 30


Daily News Stuff 30 March 2021

Gone Fishing Edition

Tech News

  • Want an RTX 3060 but you accidentally built your computer in a shoebox?  Asus is here to help.  (Tom's Hardware)

    At 7"x5"x2" it should fit most cases, but it is two-and-a-half slots wide.

  • Mine Bitcoin on your Game Boy.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Only about 100 trillion times slower than dedicated hardware.

  • The database I repaired last night - this morning, really - has not yet failed again.  This is good.

    Update: It failed again.  Less good.  I realised that I'm initialising the replicas from live snapshots, so I'm doing it again from a snapshot after a clean shutdown.  it shouldn't break either way, but it does.

    Specifically it reports I/O errors, but there are no I/O errors being logged at the kernel or hardware level.  As in, zero, total, since the server was rebuilt after one of the SSDs failed entirely.

  • Pigz is your friend.  

    Pigz is a parallelised Gzip.  MongoDB can optionally gzip your backups, but it's one thread per table, so if 95% of your database is two large tables you'll be sitting there waiting forever while 126 of your 128 cores are basically idle.

    If you don't gzip the output directly but have ZFS configured to use gzip compression, it's automatically multi-threaded and much faster, but if you then transfer the backup across the network it transfers it uncompressed.

    Solution is to backup uncompressed - let ZFS do its thing, it's not hurting you - and then Pigz everything in the dump directory, data and scheme files alike.  It's much faster and the MongoDB import will read it all just fine.

    Someone has a script to do incremental backups in MongoDB which I should take a look at.

    I'm not sure why they don't support it directly; all the necessary infrastructure is there as long as you run the incremental backup before the oplog flushes.  You can even do overlapping incremental backups, so you can still restore if some of the incrementals are missing.

    Sure, snapshots are easier, but a snapshot of a database with a corrupted index is just going to give you heartburn when you restore it.

  • Nobody thought to specify how to write IPv4 addresses until IPv6 arrived.  (

    Since IPv4 had been around for a long time by then, the specification was based on existing practices, and existing practices were based on BSD. 

    Turns out that 0177.1 is a perfectly valid IP address.  If you read yesterday's post you can likely figure out what for.

  • There are 30 malicious images on Docker Hub that contain crypto mining code alongside or instead of what they are supposed to contain.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Which doesn't automatically mean disaster; there's a ton of stuff on Docker Hub.

    But those 30 images have been downloaded an aggregate 20 million times.

The Dark Queen Rises Video of the Day

10,000 people waiting in line with twenty minutes to go.

Update: She had to postpone it by half an hour, so now it's nearly 19,000 people waiting with twenty minutes to go.

Your Shark Is the Shark That Will Pierce the Heavens Video of the Day

Gura doesn't sound at all like an Iowa farm girl here, which is what I suspect she is.

Disclaimer: I have literally no idea what she's going to do.

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Daily News Stuff 29 March 2021

Turn Of The Tide Edition

Tech News

  • That crazy Aussie sheila has returned.

  • There are currently zero 3060Ti, 3070, 3080, or even 3090 cards available in Australia, as far as I can tell.  Oh, wait, there's a couple of 3090s now.  And one 3060 non-Ti for a thousand bucks.  Click the In Stock filter at the top to watch everything disappear.

    There are, however, 6700XTs and 6900XTs in stock.  Marked up around 50%, but in stock.

    There is a supply of prebuilt systems with most cards from both Nvidia and AMD.  Just not the cards by themselves.

  • Is the ship still stuck?  (


    What a relief.

  • Looks like we have a checksum error in one block in one index on one table in a 6TB database.  This reveals itself by crashing MongoDB in the replicas.

    Turns out I can delete that table.  We don't need all the history; it's been kept in case we something went wrong and we needed to reprocess it.  If it's causing problems, it can simply be yeeted.  I don't need to fix it.

    Update: MongoDB bug?  Found another affected database.  ZFS has logged no errors.  I've updated to the latest point release of 4.2 for now; I'll upgrade to 4.4 later.

    Update 2: Nasty bad table deleted.  12TB of archived data vanished into the ether never to bother me at 2AM again. 

    That's the raw size of the records; the database and filesystem are both compressed so a database containing a table containing 12TB of data plus many other tables plus indexes is less than half that size in total.

    The fun part was getting the cluster working long enough to delete the table that was breaking the cluster in the first place; otherwise I'd have had to revert to a single node and then configure the cluster again from the beginning.

  • One open source developer politely informed another open source developer that his code was released using an incompatible license, being released under the MIT license when it included code licensed under GPL.

    The second open source developer kindly thanked the first, removed the mis-licensed version of his code from GitHub, and re-released it under GPL.

    And broke 577,148 projects.  (The Register)

    Someone is having a worse day than me.  Lots of someones, probably.

    The code that caused all this?  A database of common MIMEtypes.  It may not even be protected by copyright, let alone GPL restrictions.

  • Feeling left out, Node.js discovered a vulnerability in....  That's ridiculous.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Turns out the netmask package, downloaded 238 million times and used by 278,000 other projects, does the right thing and everyone else is insane.

    If you point your browser at, that's localhost.  If you point it at 0127.0.0.1, that's something completely different - it's interpreted as octal.  What idiot thought that was a good...  Oh.  The IETF.  

  • PHP got compromised.  (Phoronix)

    Not only did their Git server get hacked over the weekend, the hackers actually introduced two vulnerabilities into the code.

    The PHP Project immediately shut down their server and has redeployed to GitHub.

  • I have cows, sheeps, one chicken, no pigs (he escaped, probably off to watch the Haachama stream), a cat, and every possible dye colour except brown.

    I watched a stream where Risu spent about 90 minutes wandering about the Holoserver looking for brown wool for her Korone doll.  Turns out they didn't have any at the time, since the only way to make brown dye is to find a jungle biome and retrieve cocoa pods.  Brown sheep also occur naturally, but they're the rarest colour.

    The only way to create green dye - and then lime and cyan - is to find a desert biome and harvest a cactus, but once you find a desert biome locating a cactus takes about three seconds.  Finding cocoa pods in a jungle is a little harder.

    You only need two pods, though.  Even one would do.  Once you have the pod, you dye a sheep, turning it brown.  Since brown dye doesn't mix with any other colour, 50% of that sheep's offspring with any other sheep will also be brown.  If you breed a red sheep with a yellow sheep, by contrast, you can get red, yellow, or orange sheeplets.

Tunnel Boring Video of the Day

I was wondering if this was even possible.  Turns out yes, but it's just a wee bit complicated.

Disclaimer: Maybe two corrupt indexes.  Why only on the replica though?

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Sunday, March 28


Daily News Stuff 28 March 2021

I've Got A Couple Of Friends And They're Both Named Dave Edition

Tech News

  • So Dave - the new server at my day job - has arrived.  Dual 64 core Epyc 7702, 256GB RAM, two 15TB Micron 9300 Pro NVMe drives, and a 16TB Seagate Exos drive for local backups.

    That backup drive was yanked from Theodore, which is so messed up right now that it can't even rsync without crashing.  I'm currently copying all the files off, then will reformat and copy all the files back just in case there are filesystem errors.  ZFS is good at handling that, but maybe not on broken hardware.

  • Oh, and I found sheep, pigs, cows, and chickens all in one place - across the river and over the hill in the savannah biome.  It's a bit of a hike from my house by the spawn point, but it's in a straight line and just by coincidence is right above the main tunnel for my diamond mine where I've started laying railroad track.

    So I'll dig stairs up to the surface and build a little farmstead there.  Or maybe relocate since even my remodeled house isn't anything special.

  • Ugh.  Data corruption in one of the other nodes in our largest MongoDB cluster.  With one node down and another having data errors, it's not currently a cluster at all.  Fortunately that one doesn't cause huge dramas if it's down for a few hours; it's mainly for data ingestion and analysis, and not directly customer-facing except for one specific page where you can see your own data.

    Currently shipping a fresh snapshot over to both the bad node and the new one.  There's a reason we got 10Gb Ethernet for these.  Maybe 25GbE would have been worthwhile.

  • Testing Intel's NUC 11 Pro as a tiny server.  (Serve the Home)

    Sure, it's slower than a last-generation Ryzen 4750GE APU on every benchmark, but it's only a four-core part so it would be.

  • Slashdot is a cesspool of idiocy.  It's no longer even useful for links to other sites.

  • Haachama isn't back yet, but all her streams are.  (Reddit)

    Her avant garde psychological horror improv series got canned by Cover Corp; they're not saying exactly why but at the time they did it multiple Hololive channels were affected by shadowbans, demonetisations, and in one case, getting deleted outright.

    Following that more and more of her recent streams were switched to private, including some nice relaxing Minecraft content that couldn't possibly offend anyone.

    But now all of it is back, and apparently unaltered.  Hopefully the crazy Aussie will be back soon herself.

Disclaimer: Ugh.  Wait, one piece of good news.  Half ugh.

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Saturday, March 27


Daily News Stuff 27 March 2021

No News Is No News Edition

Tech News

  • Congress spent five hours asking stupid questions of Big Tech CEOs, and Big Tech CEOs spent five hours giving stupid answers.  (Substack)

    The sum total of human knowledge decreased on Thursday.

  • Factorio as a tech interview.  (Erik McClure)

    On the one hand, it's a very good tool to gauge ability.

    On the other hand, it takes about twenty hours.

  • Which Epyc Milan CPU is right for you?  (Serve the Home)

    Probably not the 64 core models, unless you need maximum performance per server.  If you're looking for something cost-effective, the 24 core single-socket 7443P costs only a little more than its predecessor, but offers 20% better IPC and 20% higher boost clocks.

     If you want something slightly larger, two 28 core 7453 CPUs cost about the same as one 32 core 7513.  The 7453 is aimed directly at Intel's Xeon 6258R (also 28 cores), which is a half-price version of the 8280, but the Epyc part is 60% cheaper even than that.

    Still waiting for my dual Epyc Rome system to complete setup.

  • I found a diamond in Minecraft.  Never played enough to get one before.  Would download the trial, die a lot, and give up.

    Also, I have yet to even see a sheep, so nights are a bit of a problem.

Disclaimer: And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.  Eight zombies, two skeletons, two spiders, and three creepers was a bit much when I didn't even have iron yet.

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Daily News Stuff 26 March 2021

Doom Rabbit Edition

Tech News

  • Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 780G, a new high-midrange mobile chip.  (AnandTech)

    This brings the A78 core and 5nm technology to the midrange phones.

  • Razer is preparing new laptops with Ryzen 5000 APUs and RTX 3000 graphics.  (WCCFTech)

    The real Ryzen 5000 APUs - the Zen 3 models, not the rebadged Zen 2 models.

    If these have the Four Essential Keys they might be worth the price, since Razer laptops are otherwise quite good.  But I rather doubt that will happen.

  • Is the ship still stuck?  (


    Costing about $10 billion a day in delayed trade.  Ships are beginning to reroute the long way 'round.

  • All the uwus.  (GitHub)

    A multi-threaded vectorised uwuifier that can uwuify two gigabytes of text per second.

    There's even an app for Windows that lives in your systray.

  • A $69 million 404 error waiting to happen.  (The Verge)

    NFTs are suddenly hot and don't actually store any of the content they represent on the blockchain.  Some use IPFS, but people are pointing out that some of the IPFS files are already missing.

    There are technical solutions to this, but you can't do it on Ethereum at present because it's a couple of orders of magnitude too slow and five orders of magnitude too expensive.

  • The HP Spectre X360 13 2021 doesn't suck.  (Hot Hardware)

    It's Intel rather than AMD, but the 11th gen Intel laptop parts are pretty good (unlike the desktop version).  It does have the Four Essential Keys.  It also has one of those weird Intel H10 drives with 32GB of Optane and 512GB of flash storage, which might partly make up for being limited to 16GB of RAM.

  • Speaking of essential keys, the current model XPS 13 has them.  Not in my favoured arrangement at the side, but they are there and dedicated keys.

    The XPS 15 and 17, having a lot more room for an optimal keyboard arrangement....  Don't.

Possible Explosions Video of the Day

Disclaimer: Yes?  No?  Maybe?

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Thursday, March 25


Daily News Stuff 25 March 2021

Holobirds Are Go Edition

Tech News

  • My request to replace the splat 24 core Threadripper with a new dual Epyc 7702 was approved immediately, since I have better things to do than fuss with broken servers.

    It's slower single-threaded (by about 25%) but faster multi-threaded (by about 150%), and has twice the RAM and SSD.  Should be nice.

    Except for the whole single point of failure thing, it could probably run all our applications by itself.

    Tech support swapped the drives for the broken server into a brand new system - and it's still broken.  It's giving me memory errors - except when I run a memory test.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

  • Samsung is sampling 512GB DDR5 modules for next-gen servers.  (Tom's Hardware)

    These are still using 16Gbit dies - nobody has anything denser yet.  The DDR5 spec allows for dies to be stacked up to eight high, twice as much as DDR4, hence the higher capacity.

    DDR5 also allows for 24Gbit dies, which are more feasible than jumping straight to 32Gbit.  With AMD's next gen Epyc rumoured to have 12 channel memory, we could see weird memory sizes with two factors of three - 9216GB for one socket and one DIMM per channel.

  • Genshin Impact has raked in a billion dollars.  (WCCFTech)

    Meanwhile I'm sort of generally aware that it's a thing that exists.  There's a character called Paimon, yes?

  • Apple may be violating European privacy laws even while boasting of protecting users' privacy.  (Politico)

    Or not.  The laws are European, so they mean whatever it is convenient for them to mean, just like Apple's privacy policy.

  • Researchers are injecting tiny robots into mouse brains.  (Science Robotics)

    Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Steve, Stop, They're Already Dead Videos of the Day

Disclaimer: I think so, Brain, but where would we find five hundred gallons of lime jello and a polo pony at this time of night?

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Wednesday, March 24


Daily News Stuff 24 March 2021

And Then Exploded Edition

Tech News

Mom, I Need A 3090 So I Can Play Minecraft Video of the Day

Gura just got herself a new PC with a 3090.  The 3090 is overkill and horribly expensive, but because of the steep price it is actually available when not much else is.

Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Minecraft Dungeon Video of the Day

Okay, that's slightly impressive.

Disclaimer: Not the bees, not the bees!

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Tuesday, March 23


Daily News Stuff 23 March 2021

Hextuple Panic Edition

Tech News

  • One of our Threadripper servers stopped working this morning.  Got it rebooted, started up all the VMs, and it died again.  Tried starting up just the critical VMs, everything looked good...  Then it died again.

    Rebooted again with all the VMs shutdown, and it died just sitting at the command line, so I'm thinking probably not a software problem.  They're running diagnostics now.

  • Also set myself up with a Minecraft server, then discovered that Minecraft gives me a headache.  Or maybe I started with a headache because I was dealing with a sick server half the day, because I don't recall that happening last time.

    Setting up a Minecraft server is very straightforward; the only difficulty I had was that it's behind three firewalls so I had to poke two holes and make a tunnel in between.

  • Crystal has gone 1.0.  (Crystal-Lang)

    This release doesn't include major changes or full Windows support - it wasn't intended do.  Rather, it says that the language is now ready for production, and that there won't be any breaking changes before 2.0.

    A lot of projects need to learn that lesson.  Elasticsearch, looking at you.

  • MangaDex is offline for code updates after a possible database breach.

    An attacker did access an admin account, and to a previous version of their codebase.  They haven't confirmed a database breach but are taking measures based on that assumption.

    The site will likely remain offline for the next two weeks while they do a thorough review.

  • HP's Envy x360 15 2021 edition has it almost all.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Four essential keys, check.
    Ryzen 5700U, check.
    Optional 4K OLED display, check.
    1TB NVMe SSD, check.

    Wait.... 5700U.  That's Zen 2 - a rebadged 4800U.  You bastards!

    Also, it maxes out at 16GB of RAM, which is not bad, but not enough for serious work these days.

  • My PC: I can't work anymore.  I don't have a C drive.
    Me: You just booted from your C drive.
    PC: No C drive.
    Me: Let's open Explorer.
    PC: Don't have one of those.
    Me: Open WSL.
    PC: Sure.
    Me: df
    PC: C:\ D:\ F:\ G:\ H:\
    Me: What's that?
    PC: What's what?
    Me: That's a C drive.
    PC: I don't have a C drive.
    Me: ...
    Me: <unplugs missing external drive that should be mapped to E:>
    PC: <spontaneously opens 17 explorer windows for C:>
    PC: <also somehow has lost my VPN settings>

Disclaimer: Bah.

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Monday, March 22


Daily News Stuff 22 March 2021

Necromancers R Us Edition

Tech News

Disclaimer: Here are Necromancers R Us we have everything for the discerning dark sorcerer!  Now stocking the full range of My Little Zombies from Hadbro!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 10:52 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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