Meet you back here in half an hour.
What are you going to do?
What I always do - stay out of trouble... Badly.

Wednesday, May 12


Daily News Stuff 12 May 2021

Pastel Is The New Primary Edition

Top Story

  • Intel's high-end 11th generation Tiger Lake laptop parts are here - and they appear to actually be good.  (AnandTech)

    AMD had a decisive edge in the laptop market with their eight-core processors, where Intel only went up to four cores with their newest chips.  This fixes that, while retaining the new Ice Lake core and 10nm process.  Tiger Lake on the desktop also goes up to eight cores but has been back-ported to the older 14nm process and as a result uses up to 300W at full load.

    No benchmarks just yet, so take any performance claims with a pound of salt, but current Ice Lake laptop parts do perform very well on single-core workloads.

Today we go back to...  I don't know exactly.  The original Cutie Honey aired in 1973 while the latest version, Cutie Honey Universe, came out in 2018.  Cutie Honey creator Go Nagai has been writing manga longer than I've been alive.

This one in particular is from the 1995 second part of the New Cutie Honey OVA series.

Tech News

Unexpectedly Apropos Hololive Music Video of the Day

Best doggo Korone has 1.5 million subscribers for a reason.  She consistently shows impeccable taste in anime and video games that came out before she was born.  Oh, and music too - in one of her Doom streams (so popular that the developers added an easter egg that changed the title to Doog) she started singing Lollipop by the Chordettes.

RGB Considered Harmful Video of the Day

Fake software for controlling your fancy new blinkenlights instead stole your crypto wallet.  Sympathy. 

Just...  Not very much.

Aha, Found It Anime Openings Video of the Day

This syncs up the songs from Cutie Honey (1973), New Cutie Honey (1994), Cutie Honey Flash (1997), and Re: Cutie Honey (2004).  The latest series, Cutie Honey Universe (2018) has an entirely different song.

I'd seen this before but the copy I had bookmarked has since been deleted; this is a fresh upload.

Disclaimer: Which is little short of sacrilege, to be honest.

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Tuesday, May 11


Daily News Stuff 11 May 2021

Totally Normal Edition

Top Story

Going all the way back to 1981 today with the first of many opening themes from Urusei Yatsura.  The show ran for 196 episodes, with 12 OVA specials and 6 theatrical movies.

Rumiko Takahashi has always been great at starting stories, but only once managed to finish one.

Tech News

Subsidising Bad Behaviour Video of the Day

The one factor working in our favour is that our self-appointed fascist overlords are really, really dumb.

Disclaimer: The question is whether they are dumb enough.  And the answer is yes, they are all the dumb.

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Monday, May 10


Daily News Stuff 10 May 2021

Haachama Monday Edition

Top Story

  • AMD's server market share grew in Q1 at the fastest pace in 15 years.  (Tom's Hardware)

    AMD's overall CPU market share for the quarter declined slightly, because while they sold every chip they could make, they couldn't make enough.

    Intel meanwhile has its own fabs.  They might be stuck a generation behind, for the most part, but they don't have to fight Apple for access to production capacity.

    Meanwhile I just checked online stock at two Australian PC stores and both had the full Ryzen 5000 range listed.  The higher end models (12 and 16 cores) are limited to one per customer, but they are at least available.

The opening credits for season three of Haachama Channel.  If you know who Haachama is, you might argue that this isn't anime.  To which I say: Look, in the latest episode she ate worm sushi, died, and was reborn via a computer glitch in the same body but with entirely different memories.

If that's not anime, nothing is.

Tech News

Haachama Cooking OVA Opening Theme Video of the Day

Disclaimer: I wasn't kidding about the worm sushi.

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Sunday, May 09


Daily News Stuff 9 May 2021

Straight Into My Veins Edition

Top Story

  • AMD's upcoming Rembrandt APU will feature 8 Zen 3+ cores and 12 RDNA2 GPU cores with support for PCIe 4.0, USB 4, and DDR 5 on TSMC's 6nm process unless it doesn't.  (WCCFTech)

    The two big changes are the much faster integrated GPU, and the much faster DDR5 memory support to match.  One isn't really much good without the other.  AMD hasn't released PCIe 4.0 for laptop parts yet because of the increased power consumption, so this will be the first part with that as well.

    These are expected to arrive early next year for both laptops and desktops, with the updated Zen 4 desktop CPUs coming later in the year.  Both will require new motherboards, because DDR5 memory uses a different socket.  (Not unreasonable since it runs twice as fast.)

    Straight Zen 3+ CPUs have reportedly been cancelled, but this will combine Zen 3 CPU cores with RDNA 2 graphics for the first time. The new Xbox and PlayStation consoles have RDNA 2 graphics but use the older Zen 2 cores.

Notice me senpai!

Anime is Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, a high-school romantic comedy that has that rarest of all traits - it knows when to end, and does.

Tech News

High School Romantic Comedy Video of the Derp

I like this series because the characters aren't idiots, they just keep falling into the gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

Disclaimer: Which is the most many of us ever achieve in life.

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Saturday, May 08


Daily News Stuff 8 May 2021

Not Entirely Hopeless Edition

Top Stories

A Dirty Pair AMV I haven't seen before?  How?  It was only created a month ago?

Will wonders never cease?

The second half is Dirty Pair Flash - the prequel series made instead of the planned sequel because the original actress for Yuri had retired and moved to America - but makes it look good.

Tech News

  • AMD has desktop APUs - their term for CPUs with integrated graphics - in theory, but in practice only the older, lower-end parts are in stock anywhere.  Intel meanwhile has no shortage of desktop CPUs with integrated graphics.  Unless you buy an F part, or a high-end i9, all of them have graphics.

    But how do they compete?  Badly.  (AnandTech)

    Intel's latest laptop parts - the 11th generation, codenamed Tiger Lake - compete closely with AMD on both CPU and graphics tests, except in heavily multi-threaded workloads where AMD pulls ahead.

    But where AMD's scarce desktop APUs have the same graphics cores as their laptop parts, Intel's only have one third - or even one quarter - of the graphics capacity.  The resulting performance is not good.

    On the third hand, you can actually buy one right now.

  • Instead of iPhone, package contained live bobcat.  (WCCFTech)

    Five stars.  Better than I could have hoped.

  • Discovery is a bitch part one: 128 million iOS users received free bonus malware as part of a hack that affected over 4000 apps.  (Motherboard)

    We knew this happened, but the numbers are only coming to light now as part of Epic's lawsuit against Apple.

  • Discovery is a bitch part two: Apple tells companies that it prevents from releasing their apps on the App Store to release a web app instead.  But Apple deliberately cripples its browser to make web app experience inferior to native apps.  (The Verge)

    Oh, and Apple forbids other browsers from the App Store.  Yes, you can download Chrome, but all you get is Safari in a paper hat.

    And, of course, you can't distribute iOS apps except via the App Store.

  • Inland is a budget-priced store brand for Microcenter.  Turns out that it doesn't suck.  (Serve the Home)

    They tested the Inland Premium 1TB SSD, and it's as fast as any competing PCIe 3.0 SSD - and in fact 10% faster than is own listed specs - while being one of the cheapest models in its class.

  • If you use Foxit Reader to read PDFs, update now.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Or just uninstall it.  Chrome and Chromium-based browsers like Edge have PDF support built in.

  • Speaking of Edge the current release crashes while watching YouTube videos in full screen mode  (Bleeping Computer)

    Hah.  You think that's bad?  Chrome crashed my entire computer playing YouTube videos.

    Admittedly I was playing multiple videos at once, and also two different games, but it still shouldn't crash.

  • Only criminals use encryption says the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, or NKVD.  (ZDNet)

    "Show me the man", said an NKVD spokesperson on conditions of utter secrecy, "and we'll lock him up.  But better us than the Victorian Police, mate.  Those bastards are crazy.  Don't tell them I said that."

  • Everything old is on fire again.  (Science)

    Specifically, Chernobyl.

The Criminal Princess of Pekoland Video of the Day

I've mentioned before that the Hololive JP Minecraft server is a cross between Disneyland and World War III.  Here we see the unveiling of an actual theme park on the server - it's quite an impressive build - and  a couple of the ensuing deaths.

Lies In Advertising Anime Opening Theme 

This coulda been great.  It coulda been a contender.

Disclaimer: No, not really.  Nice upscale tho'.

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Friday, May 07


Daily News Stuff 7 May 2021

Hypocrisy R Us Edition

Top Stories

There's a word for nostalgia for a past you never experienced, but I've forgotten what it is.  When I was a kid my parents moved to the very outskirts of Sydney.  Our backyard was Kuringai Chase National Park, where Skippy was filmed.  A schoolfriend was the son of the head park ranger.  Great for catching tadpoles in spring; not so good when it all caught fire.

Tech News

  • IBM has shown off the world's first 2nm chip.  (Tom's Hardware)

    AnandTech also has the story, with different details.

    The big news isn't that this is 2nm, because nothing about the chip is actually 2nm in size; it's just a marketing number.  The big news is that this is the first GAAFET chip, using an advanced new transistor design.

    A few years ago, at the 20nm node, Intel introduced FINFETs - transistors that stick up vertically like fins - while the rest of the industry bet that it could get another generation out of regular, planar, FETS.  Intel was right and everyone else was wrong, and it took years for the rest of the industry to recover.

    This is part of why AMD was so far behind until the launch of Ryzen in 2017 - they had an inefficient CPU design and an inefficient fabrication process from Global Foundries.  Not a good combination.

    GAAFET is required for the next few generations, from 2nm (meaningless number) down to 1.2nm (meaningless number).  I'm not sure exactly where this train will end; there's at least four full generations to come as well as in-between generations like 6nm and 4nm, but without seeing the actual transistor density, power, and frequency numbers - not to mention costs - it's impossible to know what any of it means.

  • For example Sony is reportedly planning to update the PlayStation 5 to TSMC's 6nm process.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This is 18% denser than the current 7nm process but otherwise very similar, so it might be cheaper than switching to an entirely new process node.  This is an expensive task and not something you do unless you're churning out millions of devices, but Sony is churning out millions of devices.  Even with the industry-wide supply constraints they've sold over 8 million of these consoles.

  • China's greenhouse emissions now exceed those of all the OECD nations combined.  (BNN Bloomberg)

    One easy way to reduce greenhouse emissions is to export all your industrial capacity.  Not saying it's a good idea, just an easy one.

  • The Surface Laptop 4 doesn't have the four essential keys.  (AnandTech)

    Even on the 15" model which has tons of space all around the keyboard.

    It's available with either a 13" or 15" 3:2 screen, and a choice of 11th gen Intel or 4th gen AMD processors.  For me, without those keys, it's a non-starter even if they cut the price by half.

  • Delayed ACKs and Nagle's algorithm don't mix.  (WizardZines)

    Tracking down why the simplest requests take 50ms when the client and the server are on the same network.  In this case it's an HTTP POST and might not matter, but this could be crippling if you're using something like Redis or Memcached, or even a regular database.

  • Google is going to automatically enroll users for 2FA - two-factor authentication.  (ZDNet)
    You may not realize it, but passwords are the single biggest threat to your online security
    said Google, as news surfaced of the thirtieth major corporate data breach this week.

  • The HP ZBook Fury 15 G7 has the four essential keys.  (Hot Hardware)

    It has a full numeric keypad and the four essential keys.  The CPU is an 8 core Xeon W-10885M with a top speed of 5.3GHz, paired with an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 with 16GB of RAM.  The screen is a 15.6" 4K panel with 100% DCI-P3 colour and an eye-searing 600 nits max brightness.

    Main memory goes up to 128GB, and it has three user-accessible M.2 slots so you can install 24TB of storage if you really want to.  It comes with two Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort, two regular USB ports, a full-size SD card slot, 1/8" headphone jack, wired Ethernet, and a dedicated charging port for the provided 200W brick.

    Not surprisingly given those specs, prices start at $2299 and go upwards pretty fast.  But if you need a no-compromises laptop for work - and the company is paying - this could be it.

Change of Pace Anime Music Video of the Day

Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is a fun little series that doesn't have a mean-spirited bone in its body but is not kid-safe.  Tohru is in love with Kobayashi and though nothing ever happens on screen there's also nothing platonic about it.  Also she's a fifty foot long dragon.

Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Thursday, May 06


Daily News Stuff 6 May 2021

Mep Edition

Had to work late so keeping things short today.

Top Story

  • Bootstrap 5 is out.  (GetBootstrap)

    Bootstrap is a CSS framework for designing websites.  It's from Twitter, and it's the only good thing they've done, and it's still pretty bad.

    There's going to be a lot of swearing as front-end web developers migrate to the new version, because Twitter understands backwards-compatibility the way sea slugs understand calculus.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Ugh.

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Wednesday, May 05


Daily News Stuff 5 May 2021

Top Story

  • Well, not news exactly, but I bought a new phone and a new tablet today.  I've wanted a new tablet for quite a while, but I've been looking for an 8" Android tablet with at least a 1920x1200 screen to replace my ancient Nexus 7, and those to a first approximation do not exist.  A Kindle Fire might suit, but those simply aren't sold in Australia.  Before Amazon opened operations here they were hard to get; now they're impossible.

    So instead I got a Lenovo M10 FHD 2nd Gen (apparently also called the FHD Plus) which as the name suggests is a 10" tablet with a 1920x1200 screen.  It's about 50% heavier than the Nexus 7, but that puts it at the same weight as premium tablets like the iPad Air - at a quarter of the price.

    And it has expandable storage and a headphone jack, which iPads don't.  4GB RAM and 128GB storage built in, which will be a relief because the ever-growing Google apps have choked the 32GB available on the Nexus 7.  Price was A$250 on a one-day sale; it's now gone back up to A$300.

    Phone is an Oppo A91, last year's model, because for some unfathomable reason this year's cheap models have all gone back down to 720p screens.  It's a 2400x1080 90Hz AMOLED screen with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage.  Again, it includes a headphone jack and expandable storage.  And I have two spare 400GB microSD cards that I bought in the Cyber Monday sale last year, so those are finally going to see use.  Price just under A$350.

    If I can't get one device the size I prefer, at least I can bracket it with two devices.

The opening for Record of Lodoss War, the biggest-budget - and best - anime adaptation of literally someone's D&D game of all time.  Heaven knows they've thrown more money at dumber things with worse results.

Tech News

  • The price of Chia - the blockchain storage fiasco token - is dropping, but not before it consumed 2EB of storage.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That's two billion gigabytes, wasted.  On the other hand, it's fantastically more power-efficient than Ethereum or Bitcoin.  Hard drives that are mostly just sitting there spinning use a lot less power than a box full of video cards or even custom ASICs, and Bitcoin uses over 10,000 times as much electricity as Chia.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch TeamGroup has launched a Chia farming SSD.

    I mentioned before that the heavy write workloads that Chia generates would fry a cheap consumer SSD.  While TeamGroup is at best a second-tier SSD provider, these drives are rated for up to 12PB of lifetime writes - matching enterprise SSDs from Samsung like the one in our main server.

  • Don't wait up: AMD's Zen 4 might not arrive until Q4 next year.  (WCCFTech)

    That's a big gap in AMD's schedule compared to the last four years.  Intel - assuming they stay on target - is expected to have their 12th generation parts out this year, after an underwhelming 11th generation launch also this year.

  • Cinder is a performance-oriented fork of Python from Instagram.  (GitHub)

    I'm not sure why it is, given that Cinder is unsupported while PyPy, a fast Python JIT compiler, has been around for years and is being used in production by many companies.

  • Well, fuck: A driver installed during Dell's BIOS update process allows local privilege escalation.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Which means that if you have updated your Dell system's BIOS at any time in the last - oh, wonderful - the last twelve years, your computer is at risk.

    I avoid updating BIOS unless there is some specific problem I need to address, because I have ended up with expensive bricks when the update went wrong, but I have done this at least once on a Dell system I have in use right now.

    This bug doesn't mean you have been hacked, and it doesn't directly allow you to be hacked, but it potentially allows hackers to take complete control of your system if they get in some other way, and (for example) disable your virus scanner so that you never know anything is wrong.

  • Meanwhile a bug that's ben lurking in the Exim mail server for 17 years puts 60% of the world's email - and email servers - at risk.  (The Record)

    My mail server did an automated update of Exim just a few hours ago, before I even saw this article.  I get a notification for every application that gets patched.  Usually it's PHP, which has always been a huge bowl of bug soup.  Seeing Exim on the list is a little more rare.

  • Signal tried to run a truth-in-targeted-advertising campaign on Instagram.  That got shut down very quickly.  (ZDNet)

    Terrorism?  It's complicated.

    Showing users exactly how they are being tracked?  Gone in 60 Seconds.

  • Since it is illegal for the US government to spy on  its own citizens without a warrant the US government is paying private companies to do it instead.  (CNN)

    This is obviously illegal too - in fact, it is precisely as illegal for precisely the same reasons - but it ticks a box on the "wasn't me" checklist so nobody goes to jail twice as hard. 

Anime Theme Song Videos of the Day

Today's 90's nostalgia is Devil Hunter Yohko, a six episode OVA series that ran from 1990 to 1995.  Like Bubblegum Crisis, it has a substantial soundtrack for such a short series, with each episode getting a new theme song.  This is Touch My Heart from episode 6.

And this is Full Moonlight from - I think episode 4 which was a musical episode.  I probably bought this around 1996 or so, on VHS tape, with just one episode per tape, special import from the US, for around A$60.

I had fewer expenses back then.

Disclaimer: Also my back didn't hurt.

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Tuesday, May 04


Daily News Stuff 4 May 2021

And He Has Gills Edition

Top Story

  • Future tense, present tense, what's the difference?
    "Today, approximately 3.5 million premises across Australia can access the NBN Home Ultrafast wholesale speed tier with wholesale download speeds of 500 Mbps to close to 1 Gbps, on demand."
    Oh, really?  I'd like to sign up then.

    I can't?  No fucking surprise, because it took you bastards twelve fucking years just to wire up suburban Sydney.

    I do at least have 80M down and 40M up now, though, which is a hell of an improvement from the 14/2 I had a year ago.

I mentioned yesterday the clean transition between the opening argument and sparse visuals in Dominion Tank Police, and the show itself and the opening theme.  But I don't think that transition has ever been handled better than in the first episode of Bubblegum Crisis.

It introduces the story and all the major characters with nothing more than a song and a few lines of police radio chatter.  It doesn't hurt that the show owes a huge debt to Blade Runner, so the setting is already somewhat familiar, but it's still one of the most memorable anime openings ever.

Tech News

  • You can still get the Ryzen 3700X.  (AnandTech)

    It may not be the very latest technology, but it's a solid chip, and it's reasonably priced.  The i9-11900K is 12% faster on multi-threaded workloads, but costs twice as much - and even in theory uses twice as much power.

  • Nvidia's new 3080 Ti has started showing up on this side of the International Date Line which is slightly odd because the difference is only a day and launch date isn't for two weeks.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Right now, checking my local store, I can get a 3060 for $1000 or a 3090 for $3000.  One model of each.  That's it.

    There are several AMD 6700XT and 6900XT cards in stock, though.  AMD's current cards aren't as good at mining as Nvidia's, even when you line them up by similar game performance, so they are slightly less impossible to obtain.

    The difference in mining performance is probably down to AMD's new design, where they reduced memory bandwidth and compensated with a very large (96MB or 128MB, depending on the card) on-chip cache.  That works fine for most games, but poorly for crypto mining.

  • Macromedia Flash is disappearing from Windows in July.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Adobe abandoned it at the end of last year, so that's no surprise.

    If you just realised that you'll never again be able to play Penguin Golf, fear not.  Blue Maxima's Flashpoint has you covered.

    All the Penguin Golf games and 70,000 more, plus 8000 Flash animations.  You'll need a little over a terabyte of disk to download the entire archive, though.  It's a 478GB 7Z file that uncompresses to 532GB of individual games.

    They also have an installer that just downloads the games you want; that's a mere 500MB download and 2GB minimum disk space.

  • Sony has taken an ownership stake in Discore and will be integrating it into their PlayStation Network.  (Polygon)

    Again, not a surprise.  Discord recently broke off acquisition talks with Microsoft, and it's unlikely they'd have done that without some other funds being on the table.

  • Awful high-tech fashion company meets awful game exclusivity company in court, observers try to figure out how they can both lose.  (9to5Mac)

    This is Epic's lawsuit against Apple over the business practices of the App Store.  Epic paints Apple as overbearing all-devouring monopolistic bastards, which is true.  Apple in turn paints Epic as bottom-feeding vermin who want everything for free and never produced anything of value, which is also true, but - and this is the one point in Epic's favour - not illegal.

Eight Episode AMV Video of the Day

There aren't a lot of AMVs for the original Bubblegum Crisis, partly because it's an older show, but mostly because the show itself is pretty much a six hour AMV.

Here's Soldier Girls from episode one.

Solar Freaking Roadways Video of the Day

Solar panels have their place, particularly if you live somewhere horrifyingly sunny like northern Australia or southern Spain.  But where that place most definitely is not is directly on the fucking ground.

Disclaimer: Solar roadways - the idiot that keeps on idioting.

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Monday, May 03


Daily News Stuff 3 May 2021

Tomato Panda Edition

Top Story

  • Docker is a free and open source container management system.  Want to skip an update because it could interrupt your workflow?  That's a paid feature.

I was looking for a clip of the opening credits for Dominion Tank Police that included this argument between the police chief and the mayor.  I still haven't found such a clip - but I did find the full first episode, which starts with that argument and flows smoothly - a nice bit of directing here - into the story and the opening credits.

This lacks the musical sophistication of some of the other items - basically it's a Casio keyboard and vocals by Sharon from marketing - and yet it fits the show perfectly.

Tech News

Anna Puma Enjoys the Spotlight Video of the Day

It Takes a Village Video of the Day

Kiara Takanashi of Hololive telling the Minecraft villagers she rescued how things are going to work around here (artist interpretation).

Disclaimer: Gotta wonder who cleans the drain in their shower with that much hair.  Also how much they spend on shampoo.

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