What happened?
Twelve years!
You hit me with a cricket bat!
Ha! Twelve years!

Tuesday, September 21

Geek

Daily News Stuff 21 September 2021

Hoarders And Wreckers Local 380 Edition

Top Story

  • The Southerly Kerfuffle continues: After the weekend protest in Melbourne, the Victorian state government - which recently lost in a pub quiz to a plate of sandwiches - decided to shut down all construction sites and throw the workers out of, well, work.

    Instantly creating an army with nothing better to do than protest.  Every.  Single.  Day.



    Long, long thread.  News outlets, politicians, their own union leaders, and other assorted communists first tried to play down the size of the protest, and then, after  the center of Melbourne had been shut down for several hours, decided that they were all Nazis, probably come from overseas just to stir up trouble.

    Yes, they booked their flights two weeks ahead and sat around in quarantine all that time because they knew on the 4th that the Victorian state government was going to shut down building sites on the 18th.

    Our politicians up here in Sydney can certainly be heavy-handed and I would like nothing better than to never see any of them disgrace my TV screen ever again, but they can't come close to the self-destructive idiocy of the mob running Melbourne. 

    Case in point: Construction sites will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity in Sydney again, even though we've had more Bat Flu cases recently and fewer protests.


  • Senate Democrats are calling for the FTC to pass privacy regulations because they are incapable of writing coherent legislation.  (The Verge)

    I'm not sure the federal government needs to get involved here, since California already has, and everyone is already failing to live up to those rules.



Tech News



Anime Girls With Surprising Voices Video of the Day One

I'm not surprised that they can sing well; that's a major factor that comes up in their auditions.  (Though some of them can't hit a note with a baseball bat.)  The surprise comes with the difference between their speaking voices and their vocal range when singing.



Pina Pengin is with Prism Project, a smaller agency that only launched this year.  Genuinely fun and talented and underappreciated.


Anime Girls With Surprising Voices Video of the Day Two

Towa from Hololive Gen 4 (the same generation as Coco) already has a deep speaking voice for a five-foot-nothing Japanese girl, but her vocals are something else.




Anime Girls Sing Bonus Video of the Day

Just tripped over this one from the early days of Hololive ID.



It's fun if you know them, but they can all sing better than that.  Moona sings like a Disney princess, and Risu sings like an entire choir of Disney princesses.  I guess the ID branch didn't have the resources back then to do what the JP branch did with the same song.



Rule One of Hololive: Luna never breaks character.

Four of the members don't sing in that one, all for reasons perfectly in character: Korone and Fubuki were sleeping after prior commitments that kept them up all night, Coco didn't get the memo, and Haachama was trapped in Australia.


Here's a more recent example with all six of the current ID members.






Disclaimer: Po pi po pi po!

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Monday, September 20

Geek

Daily News Stuff 20 September 2021

Worm Dehorser Edition

Top Story


Tech News

  • Xata is a serverless database for serverless apps.  (Xata.io)

    Serverless is one more step of wishful thinking beyond cloud.  There's no serverless, there's just someone else's servers and you have no control over what happens on them.


  • People said I was mad to embed SMB in the kernel, but I embedded it all the same.  It sank into the swamp.  (Phoronix)

    It has - surprising no-one - a security vulnerability.  Involving .. which is the first thing you check when handling a file path on Unix-like systems.

    And the patch to fix that has a buffer overflow bug.


  • You can no longer run Windows 11 in VirtualBox.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Funny thing, I was checking my desktop system for that AMD chipset driver bug yesterday, and I noticed that it has TPM 2.0, the critical requirement for running Windows 11.

    I still can't run Windows 11 because it doesn't support my CPU either.


  • The Surface Pro 8 may or may not have leaked.  (Thurrott.com)

    It will be announced in two days so the chance of accurate leaks right now is high, but there's limited information of dubious provenance, so taking this with a bucket of salt for now.


Disclaimer: Of all the salt mines, in all the deserts, in all the world, she falls into mine.

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Sunday, September 19

Geek

Daily News Stuff 19 September 2021

ATNTFTP Edition

Top Story

  • A tale of two protests: The DC protest rally didn't happen because it glowed bright enough to be seen with the naked eye from the Oort Cloud.

    The Melbourne protest went right ahead.  The police locked down public transport and major roads in the center of Melbourne in preparation...  So fifteen minutes before the event was supposed to start, the organisers simply moved it by a couple of miles.


  • AMD's next-gen graphics cards could triple the rendering power over the current generation.  (WCCFTech)

    At the high end they're also expected to cost twice as much - but twice as much as current MSRP, not twice current retail, which is close to twice MSRP anyway.  Since they're not expected to ship until late next year (ignore where it says Q4 2021, that's an error) we might actually see supply constraints somewhat improved and prices likewise.

    The mid-range 7600XT will have - according to these leaks - similar hardware to the current high-end 6900XT, but with more cache and less memory bandwidth.


Tech News



Disclaimer: And probably saved them all of $5 on the BOM.

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Saturday, September 18

Geek

Daily News Stuff 18 September 2021

Everyone Has Three Mortgages On Their Soul Edition

Top Story

  • Deliver sixteen tons what do you get
    A bottle of piss and deeper in debt
    Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
    I owe my soul to the Amazon store.
      (Bloomberg)

    On the one hand, anything that hastens the exodus from and collapse of large liberal cities is an unalloyed good.  On the other hand, all the people pushing for these company towns vote Democrat anyway and they will turn out to be just as bad as the first time around.


  • Speaking of company towns, bit of a kerfuffle in Melbourne today.  The old-school working class socialists have had quite enough of the new-wave managerial class socialists and decided to break things.

    Safe prediction: The Victorian government, which collectively has the decision-making capacity of a week-dead wombat, will promptly step in to make everything much worse.

    Update: That was indeed prompt.  Victoria has just announced lockdowns won't be lifted until 90% of the population is fully vaccinated.

    Riots it is then.

Tech News

Disclaimer: And then never use the cloud again.

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Friday, September 17

Geek

Daily News Stuff 17 September 2021

Nuke Em All And Let God Sort Em Out Edition

Top Story



Tech News

  • Slot machine chain Dotty's suffered a data breach.  (ZDNet)

    Among the customer data leaked is (deep breath) social security numbers, drivers license and state ID numbers, passport details, financial account information, health insurance, treatment information, biometric data, MEDICAL RECORDS, tax details, and credit card numbers and expiry dates.

    IT'S A FUCKING SLOT MACHINE.  YOU PUT YOUR MONEY IN, IT SPINS AND BEEPS, AND YOU LOSE YOUR MONEY.  WHY THE FUCK DO THEY HAVE YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS?


  • Ahem.


  • USB SSDs are almost here.  (AnandTech)

    Yes, you can already get SSDs with a USB interface, but they are internally either SATA or NVMe drives with an adaptor.  These new controllers connect the flash storage directly to a USB-C port.

    I've been saying for a few years now that it's time for USB to replace SATA.  USB 3.2 is four times as fast as SATA, and USB 4 is twice that again.  It provides power and data over a single convenient cable, it works the same for internal and external drives, and it supports hubs to easily expand your ports.


  • The Solana blockchain crashed.  (Bloomberg)

    This is not something that blockchains are supposed to do, but it did.

    On the other hand:



    400,000 TPS is a lot.  Ethereum does 14.  Not 14,000, 14.


  • I think I mentioned a partial leak of this before but pricing and specs are out for AMD's full Milan-X lineup.  (WCCFTech)

    These are the same CPU cores but with extra memory stacked on top of them so that they have between 3 and 6 times as much cache.  All models of Milan-X have 8 CPU chiplets, where low-end Milan-non-X have only four, so while there are low-end Milan-X models they are far more expensive than their non-X counterparts.

    At the high end the difference is only around 10%, which is promising for the desktop versions expected shortly.


  • The entire network of South Africa's Department of Justice got encrypted by a ransomware attack.  (Bleeping Computer)

    How?  How can a network of that size be so homogenous that a single attack can encrypt it all?  From what I've seen of government systems, 80% of the data would survive because the servers were too old to run the virus code.


  • Microsoft Office 2021 is out - sort of, if you're not a big corporate customer it's another couple of weeks.  But if you prefer to buy it outright rather than pay a subscription you'll...   Oh.  (Bleeping Computer)

    If you prefer to buy it outright you'll find Microsoft happy to take your money, it turns out.

    I do want Visio Pro.


  • This is rather nice.



    I watch Hololive just about every day - or just have them on as background noise, more often - and I still needed a guide to who everyone was.  Everyone is here except HoloCN (who get a shoutout on the poster) and that girl from Gen 1 whose name shall not be spoken.  That includes not just Coco and Aloe but all of Holostars as well.

    You need to click through and open the image in a new tab to appreciate it - it's 4096x1613 pixels.


The Hololive / Popotan / Aqua Crossover We Didn't Know We Needed Video of the Day




Disclaimer: What is the intersection of the Hololive and Popotan fanbases anyway?  Non-zero, it would seem.

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Thursday, September 16

Geek

Daily News Stuff 16 September 2021

Twenty Years Of Stage Two Edition

Top Story

  • TipTop's "The One" gluten-free bread is bread.  Sure it's made of tapioca starch and rice flour and - yes - soy, but it tastes like bread, has the texture of bread, doesn't fall apart the moment you butter it, and only costs twice as much as bread.

    It's the breadiest bread I've had since I was diagnosed with celiac back in 2010. 


  • Microsoft has fixed a bug that potentially let anyone hack your Azure Linux servers. (Wiz)

    They silently install a management agent on your servers if you use certain Azure services. The management agent has a hole in it - not so deep as a well, not so wide as a church-door... Actually, it pretty much is. If you don't firewall your server properly, anyone can access that agent to run any code they want without needing anything fiddly like a password.

    It's a double whammy: A remote code execution vulnerability coupled with complete failure to actually check the password. You can just waltz straight in.




  • Microsoft is now offering the option to go passwordless on your Microsoft accounts.  (Bleeping Computer)



    Just like your servers.

    What could possibly go wrong?

Tech News



Disclaimer: On the fourth hand...

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Wednesday, September 15

Geek

Daily News Stuff 15 September 2021

Every API Call Lies Edition

Top Story

  • Apple announced a new range of cameras with phones attached to them.  (The Verge)

    They're supposed to be pretty good cameras too.


  • Apple also announced a new small tablet which gets a few things right but has some bizarre marketing.  (The Verge)

    The iPad Mini 6 has an 8.3" 3:2 screen with a resoluion of 2266x1448.  That's pretty good, and the narrower ratio is better for reading than the old 4:3 screen.  At a little under 300 grams it's the a similar size to the old Nexus 7 except about 20mm wider.

    The weird part?  Apple trumpets a "new all-screen design".

    It has huge bezels.

    "An all-new enclosure features a new edge-to-edge screen, along with narrow borders and elegant rounded corners."

    It has huge bezels.

    What do they even think they're saying here?  They have a claim about the new edge-to-edge screen surrounded by photos of huge bezels.

    I don't get it.


Tech News

  • Rare earth metal prices are soaring.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Along with less rare metals like lithium - up 150% since last year, aluminium, and copper.

    China mines half of rare earth elements and processes 85% of production, because it produces pollution like nothing else.

    I mentioned earlier that the Salton Sea by itself contains enough lithium to supply two thirds of the world's demand.  There's no shortage.  It's just that extracting these materials makes a hell of a mess.


  • Kioxia - which I insist is pronounced kosher - formerly Toshiba's flash storage division is making SLC SSDs again  (Tom's Hardware)

    The disadvantage is that these drives cost tree times as much to make as typical TLC models.  The advantage is that they're up to 10 times as fast in terms of read latency, so you can sell them for five times as much.

    That still leaves them slower than Intel's Optane, which uses an entirely different technology, but Optane costs about five times as much again.


Framework Laptop Review Video of the Day



Rossman isn't afraid to tear apart products figuratively as well as literally, but he's genuinely impressed with this one.  He has some criticisms but they're relatively muted and don't require the flammenwerfer as his streams tend to (most often when talking about the city and state of New York, and the governments and property markets thereof).



Disclaimer: Hans, get the repair manual for the flammenwerfer.

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Tuesday, September 14

Geek

Daily News Stuff 14 September 2021

Revenge Of The Scottish Play Edition

Top Story

  • Facebook has unveiled a new compression algorithm called Superpack that produces files typically 20% smaller than Zip.  (Facebook)

    It does this not by using a smarter algorithm, but by generating and compiling a custom algorithm on the fly.  If the file is large you can attach the code for the new algorithm to the compressed copy and still save space.  The decompression side takes that same custom algorithm and runs it in reverse.

    Not mentioned in the article: The terms safety, security, or buffer overflow.  The words exploit and exploited do appear, but not in the context I'm concerned with.

Tech News


Break Fast at Ye Tiffaine's Video of the Day


It was the best of tiffs; it was the worst of tiffs.

But wait, there's more.




Disclaimer: You say that like it's a bad thing.

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Monday, September 13

Geek

Daily News Stuff 13 September 2021

Pyrrhus Phone Home Edition

Top Story

  • Apple won a battle to lose the war.  (500ish)

    An interesting examination of the recent ruling that suggests Apple is incapable of doing what is needed to avoid further antitrust cases - which they will eventually lose.


  • Another look at the Apple ruling.  (MacStories)

    This one gets key facts immediately and comically wrong, spinning wildly in Apple's favour, and even it says that Apple lost.


  • Ethereum sucks.  I don't mean the ecosystem or the inflationary nature or the weird cult followers or any of that, I mean the technical implementation of the blockchain.  It's fucking garbage.



Tech News



Second Order Problem Video of the Day



A nice illustration of how making one element of a system better can make the overall system worse.  The example is a little contrived for simplicity, but this has really happened in the real world, such as it is.


Disclaimer: New worlds for old!  

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Sunday, September 12

Geek

Daily News Stuff 12 September 2021

Four Cans Of Fish Paste And No Can Opener Edition

Top Story

  • Quick question not relating to computers: What's a reasonable minimum rating of pressure washer for cleaning a modest-sized back deck and front steps?  Is 125 Bar going to do a reasonable job or just be a waste of  money?


  • How to install Windows 11 without an internet connection.  (Hot Hardware)

    Microsoft really wants to lock your Windows login to an online account.  Because fuck you, that's why.

    I just got a brand new Windows 10 laptop and didn't have to bother with that, but they seem to be ramping up their efforts with Win 11.


Tech News

  • Epic is appealing the Apple ruling.  (Thurrott.com)

    There's a lot of argument over what the ruling actually ruled.  Many of the claims are patently false - e.g. those claiming that the judge made a positive ruling that Apple was not guilty of anticompetitive behaviour, rather than there just being insufficient evidence presented.  The ruling said
    these factors alone do not show antitrust conduct
    Epic is appealing that, but I'm not sure of the details yet since there aren't any details yet.


  • If accusing people of copyright infringement doesn't get a site taken down just accuse them of hosting CSAM.  (TorrentFreak)

    Boom, they're deindexed.  And most important, it doesn't matter that it's not true.


  • A pro-China misinformation campaign is attempting to exploit political division in the US.  (CNN)

    Yes, we call that CNN.


  • China has banned new video games.  (Reuters)
    This story was corrected to say China "slows down" approvals, not "suspended", in headline and paragraph 1 and 2 after SCMP clarifies. Also, corrects paragraph 2 to say China's strategy emerged after a meeting and not at the meeting.
    I repeat, China has banned new video games.


  • China tells Tencent and Netease to focus less on profit.  (CNN)

    Reminder: However bad things are where you live, you don't have a monopoly on power-crazed idiot assholes.  They're everywhere, ruining everything for everyone.


  • The average quality of the information in a social network is inversely proportional to the square of the size of the network.  (Meta.Ath0)

    And that's being optimistic, excluding deliberate fraud and bias on the part of the network.

    Details from Scientific American.  They're not what they once were, if they ever was, but at least the authors of this article are aware of the dangers of trying to combat this.
    But who decides what is fake or manipulative and what is not?  Information can come with warning labels such as the ones Facebook and Twitter have started providing, but can the people who apply those labels be trusted?  The risk that such measures could deliberately or inadvertently suppress free speech, which is vital for robust democracies, is real.  The dominance of social media platforms with global reach and close ties with governments further complicates the possibilities.


  • AMD expects to grow next year.  (Tom's Hardware)

    They're likely correct.  They'll still be supply-constrained through the end of 2022, but less so than right now as new factories and new processes continue to come on line.  They're switching to 6nm for Rembrandt - which has just started production and will ship in a few months - and 5nm for, um, I think it's Raphael, late next year.

    In the meantime they're focusing on profits.  Since they sell out of everything they can make, they want to focus on the most expensive parts.  The chiplets in a Ryzen 5600X and a Threadripper Pro 5995WX are identical, but the profit margin on the Threadripper is far higher.


  • The best budget 4K resin-based 3D printer money can't buy, maybe.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The Elegoo Mars 3 has a resolution of 4098x2560 and can't be yours for just $300.  I know Elegoo mostly from their electronics hobby kits which are also perpetually out of stock.


Disclaimer: Not that there isn't anything wrong with that.

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