Is this how time normally passes? Really slowly, in the right order?

Wednesday, August 31

Geek

Daily News Stuff 31 August 2022

Fifteenth Harmonic Edition

Top Story

  • The world's leading maker of chip making equipment, ASML, can't get the chips it needs to make its equipment to make the chips it needs.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I'm not sure quite how things got this screwed up, but we've long known that a 100% efficient system can fracture under any minor stress that comes along.

    Think of a bridge, for example, that is designed to withstand exactly its predicted traffic load and not one ounce more.  Smaller, cheaper, easier to build than a more conservatively engineered bridge - and also a disaster waiting to happen, and not waiting very long.

    One of the things that complicated moving house for me was cupboards full of stuff I was keeping against the chance of eventually needing it, from tinned food to computer cables.  I threw out - maybe literally - a ton of stuff rather than packing it all up and moving it to the new house.

    But if I had suddenly needed a charge and sync dock for a Palm Pilot, or a classic 50 pin SCSI cable with matching terminators, or three cans of borlotti beans for a new stew recipe, I had them.  I didn't have to wait six months for the manufacturer to run another batch.

    Not an efficient way to manage things at all, right up until the moment that it saves your trillion dollar industry.

    I mean, I probably didn't need three cans of borlotti beans, and I doubt ASML does either.  But somewhere in between there is a better balance than the current situation.


Tech News

  • Nvidia's GPU sales were down 26% in the most recent quarter.  (Tom's Hardware)

    And AMD was down around 8%.  One of the major problems - particularly for Nvidia - is that blockchain miners have not only stopped buying cards, but are selling of the cards they already had.  Or attempting to; reportedly they have not adjusted their expectations to match the current realities of the second hand market and there's a huge glut of cards sitting unsold in China.


  • AMD could be launching their Zen 4 3D cache CPUs at CES in January.  (WCCFTech)

    They have said there will be 3D cache versions of Zen 4 / Ryzen 7000, and hinted that there will be more than one model.  With Zen 3 we only got the eight core Ryzen 5800X3D; this time there looks to be 12 and 16 core versions as well.


  • The Solana-based OptiFi decentralised finance protocol lost $661k by, uh, accidentally deleting itself.  CoinDesk)

    On the one hand, oops.  On the other hand, the amount is tiny compared to other losses and the company will reimburse its users.

    On the third hand, where does the money go in this situation?  Nothing of real value has been destroyed, it's just bits on a computer somewhere that no longer do what they are intended to do.

    If the amount were large enough you could fork the blockchain just prior to the accident and you'd get the money back.  Ethereum did just that back in 2016, which is why there is also something called "Ethereum Classic".


Actually Relevant Hololive Content Video of the Day



Hasn't streamed yet but I'll get up a little early tomorrow morning to catch this one.



Disclaimer: Ethereum Zero is still better than Diet Ethereum though.

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Tuesday, August 30

Geek

Daily News Stuff 30 August 2022

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Apple Pies But Were Afraid To Ask Edition

Top Story

  • AMD had its Ryzen 7000 launch event today.  (Serve the Home)

    Top of the line is the 7950X, with 16 cores running at up to 5.7GHz, 80MB total cache, a 170W TDP, and a $699 price tag.

    That price tag is actually $100 less than the 5950X at launch, recognising that after a few years of AMD having it their own way, Intel is catching up again.  But the 5950X is currently available for around $550, so building a system will be more expensive.

    Against that it offers average single-threaded performance increases of 29%, and a multi-threaded increase of 44%.  Most of that comes from the clock speed increase - from 4.9GHz to 5.7GHz is a big jump for one generation - and the TDP increase from 105W to 170W.

    But if you want to reduce power consumption you can adjust that in your BIOS, and AMD says that performance at 65W is 75% better than the previous generation.  That bodes well for upcoming Zen 4 laptop chips as well.

    It looks like a good launch if parts are actually available.  AMD made the right move in reducing prices of the high-end parts, and I'll be looking forward to the third-party benchmarks.  

    No discussion of the performance of the integrated graphics on these chips, which I'd expect to be pretty bad.  They reportedly have 2 graphics cores where AMDs latest mobile chips have 12, so don't expect too much there.

Tech News



Disclaimer: And your little dog too.

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Monday, August 29

Geek

Daily News Stuff 29 August 2022

All According To Keikaku Edition

Top Story

  • The scariest words in the English language are We'll just take a quick snapshot of the database and then bring it back up with replication enabled.


  • Ten years after Fukushima killed nobody despite being hit by an earthquake and a tidal wave the enemies of humanity have decided that freezing in the dark is not such a great option if it's going to apply to them.  (MSN)

    They weren't supposed to freeze in the dark.  That's for those awful poors.
    Natural gas in Europe is 10 times more expensive than it was a year ago, and the continent is now competing with Japan and other global buyers for supplies of liquified natural gas, driving up prices even more.
    Despite being proven catastrophically wrong on every front, some of the self-anointed elites retain a stranglehold on their idiocy:
    "There’s no connection between building nuclear power plants and dealing with the price spike caused by the loss of Russian gas," since they take at least a decade to construct, said Tom Burke, the chairman of E3G, a London-based climate think tank.  "Our policies have led us to utter disaster, so I see no reason to change now."


Tech News



Disclaimer: I'm from tech support.  I'm here to help.

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Sunday, August 28

Geek

Daily News Stuff 28 August 2022

Federal Protection Racket Edition

Top Story

  • Following the shocking* revelation* that the FBI strong-armed social networks including Twitter and Facebook into hiding damaging new information* about the corruption of former vice-president and now president Joe Biden, the FBI has explained that it engages in similar constitutional violations to protect its own illicit pursuit of power all the time so what are you complaining about?



    Just a few minor points:

    • They warn social media companies - but not the public.
    • They keep this secret.
    • When they say "potential threats" they mean stories they want suppressed.
    • These stories are viewed as threats because they are true.

* If, that is, you've been in a coma the last twenty years.



Tech News

  • Walmart has joined Amazon in offering blatantly obvious scams on its online store with a disclaimer that they haven't bothered to check anything about what they sell so tough shit if you get ripped off you idiot.  (Ars Technica)

    In this case a 30TB SSD for $39.  You typically get 1GB and some clever software that makes it look like it works right until you write 1.01GB.

    Oh, and while they don't warn you that everything in the product description is a lie, they do warn that it could give you cancer. If, I assume, you smoke it.


  • The Asus ProArt B660 Creator D4 is a perfectly adequate Intel motherboard.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Should work fine for current 12th generation and upcoming 13th generation CPUs.  The ProArt range is normally marked by the inclusion of Thunderbolt ports - relatively rare on desktop motherboards - but this doesn't have those.

    It is more reasonably priced than the higher-end ProArt models though, and there's nothing specifically wrong with it.  And it has DisplayPort output over USB-C if you need that.


  • More price cuts are coming for video cards next month.  (WCCFTech)

    The best deal I've seen so far was A$999 for an RX 6900XT, but that's disappeared.  So if you don't want to wait for the new cards to arrive - they'll be announced soon, but availability is another question - and see the card you want at a price you're happy with, it might be a good idea to go for it.


  • Nvidia's Orin CPU is a new high-end embedded Arm processor.  (Serve the Home)

    It has lots of interesting stuff on board: 12 A78 cores (the high-end Arm core in your phone if it's more than one but less than two years old), 5 TFLOPs worth of Ampere graphics cores (that can be split into two logical GPUs for server workloads), video encode and decode at up to 8k60 resolution, up to four 10Gb Ethernet ports, and four pairs of A52 cores running in lockstep for safety-critical tasks.

    Plus it has interconnect links so you can run up to four chips as a single system.

    There are a lot of uses for such a chip, including robotics and smart vehicles.  I'd like to see it in a home storage / media server, since the current models are either woefully underpowered or use expensive and power-hungry Intel CPUs.  Orin starts at 10W.


  • Neither party got all it wants but the judge in the Twitter / Musk trial has ordered Twitter to hand over the data it's been hiding on the real bot numbers.  (CBS)

    Remember that Twitter is suing Musk to force him to go ahead with the takeover, when just weeks ago they were vocally insisting that the bid severely undervalued the company.  One way or another, the Twitter we have all come to know and loathe isn't long for this world, and the directors and shareholders know it.

Totally Not Tech News

  • I'm watching The Saga of Tanya the Evil, an anime series set in an alternate Earth where WWI doesn't kick off until 1923.  It's not entirely historically accurate - there's a plane in an episode set in 1926 that looks very much like the Me 323, which first flew in 1942 - but this version of Germany is larger and more powerful than in our timeline, so I'll grant them a little leeway there.

    The show isn't flawless, but it does offer an unsparing look at the realities of war - and in the movie that follows season one, the realities of communism.  We see, without commentary, a Federation (Russian) officer executing soldiers who have failed to defend their base against an overwhelming Imperial (German) assault.

    Not for the squeamish; if you don't want to see what would realistically happen in trench warfare to anyone dumb enough to stick their head up for a better look, best avoid.  And the story seems to be going somewhere but hasn't got there yet; a second season is in production but not yet scheduled to air, so if you don't like to be left hanging, also best avoid.  And if you're allergic to deus ex machina the same rule applies in spades, because the series takes the phrase very literally.

    But I've always thought that if the European powderkeg hadn't been set off at Sarajevo things would have been much worse when it did inevitably explode five or ten years later, and this series examines that and comes to much the same conclusion.

    It's also worth noting that the series isn't titled The Saga of Tanya the Quite Nice Really Once You Get to Know Her.


Disclaimer: Commies.  Can't live with them, can't build bridges out of them.

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Saturday, August 27

Geek

Daily News Stuff 27 August 2022

Passion Projects Edition

Top Story



Tech News

  • After four years in development the adventure game Malasombra has been announced - for the NES.  (Vintage is the New Old)

    Or your preferred emulator, I guess.  There must be a good number of working NESes still out there, though the oldest working console I own is a Nintendo 64.


  • You can finally edit your tweets.  (WCCFTech)

    All you have to do is pay Twitter five bucks a month.

    I can't blame them for doing this seeing as how I suggested it as the only feature anyone would be willing to pay for.  But nor am I going to pay them one thin dime unless and until Elon Musk takes them over and purges their ranks with fire and sword.


  • Nvidia's RTX 4060 Ti is expected to match the RTX 3080 in performance.  (WCCFTech)

    Leaked numbers for the raw hardware performance (in TFLOPs) put it slightly ahead, and synthetic benchmarks slightly behind.

    That's not bad at all if pricing and availability are solid.  We shall see.


Hololive Music Video of the Day



This was something of a surprise.  I knew she had a song cover coming up, taken from the Japanese animated film Belle, and that it had an animated video to go with it.  But I haven't seen Belle and didn't know the song and I had forgotten what I had seen from the animator - Alice Magic - in the past.

The animation is the work of a single person.  Took five months.

The chorus is a who's who of the top singing talents in Hololive.

They knocked this one out of the park.


Disclaimer: Not by hand though.  This isn't Daicon III.

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Geek

Time To Get Off This Server, Methinks

Ugh.

At least now I get to stay in one place for more than an hour at a time so I might actually be able to get something done.

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Friday, August 26

Geek

Daily News Stuff 26 August 2022

We Are Satellites Edition

Top Story

  • Half the plots of the X-Files just got cancelled.



    Indeed, an awful lot of movies, TV episodes, and novels would be resolved instantly if someone could send one quick text message.

    Also real-world emergencies.  There's those too.


Tech News

  • More details on Starlink V2.  (The Verge)




  • The FBI got social media to quash a story inconvenient to Joe Biden - and the FBI - in the runup to the 2020 election.  (Legal Insurrection)

    We knew that, of course.  The only thing that's changed is Mark Zuckerberg has openly admitted it.


  • If you're waiting for Nvidia's RTX 4000 series rollout, you might just need to keep waiting.  (PC Magazine)

    There are a lot of RTX 3000 cards still in stock, despite some pretty significant price reductions, and those cards will turn instantly into paperweights if RTX 4000 is as good as Nvidia has been hinting.

    Since the new chips are moving from an 8nm process to a 4nm one, they have a lot more transistors to play with and they should be a lot more power-efficient, so even if it's not quite as good as they want us to think this should be a significant upgrade.

    If you need a new computer - or just to replace your graphics card - now is probably the best time in the past couple of years because components are actually available to buy.  (Ars Technica)

    But also the worst time because whatever you buy today will be obsoleterated almost immediately.


  • Sony is hiking prices of the PlayStation 5 everywhere in the world except the US.  (Tom's Hardware)

    In Australia the price has increased by $50 - about 7% - which makes no difference at all because you can't get one anyway.


  • Microsoft has said it will not be increasing the price on the Xbox.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Which makes no difference at all in Australia because you can't get aargh.

    It's in stock at my local electronics store right now.  Local to the old house, that is.  Rather a long way from New House City.

    Seems to also be in stock at Slightly Larger Country Town which is at least a much shorter trip than Sydney.  They're not offering delivery, and all the sites that do offer delivery don't have any.

    Well, not in any tearing hurry anyway.


  • HP has a couple of new computers that look interesting.  (Engadget)

    The first is the Dragonfly Folio G3, a 13.5" convertible laptop with a hinge that lets the screen flip over and lie flat on top of the keyboard to turn it into a rather bulky tablet.  I very much liked the HP Elite X2 convertible I had - that one had a detachable keyboard - except for the part where it died of battery bloat.

    Hopefully the Dragonfly won't do that because where the Elite X2 was very cheap, this is definitely not.

    The other model of interest is the 34-inch All-in-One, which is a 34-inch all-in-one.  The screen is 5120x2160 which means that you get extra real estate over a 27" 4k monitor without sacrificing clarity.

    It has a 12th generation Intel CPU, Nvidia 3050 or 3060 graphics, dual Thunderbolt ports, and up to 128GB of RAM and 4TB of SSD.  A pretty solid competitor to the 27" iMac, at least on paper.  Not that that is hard, since Apple no longer sells the 27" iMac.


Unrelated Anime Music Video of the Day



Disclaimer: PixyLab LLC makes no representation as to whether we are or are not the satellites.

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Thursday, August 25

Geek

Daily News Stuff 25 August 2022

Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers Edition

Top Story

  • Choo choo indeed: Chattanooga has launched America's first community-wide 25Gbps internet service.  (Hacker News)

    It's not exactly cheap - $1500 per month for residential customers and $12,500 per month for business - and you will need either Cat8 cabling or fiber internally, but it is available now.

    Great for schools and businesses if a little beyond the reach of the average household.  And a good way to bootstrap a small city into a regional tech hub.

    Also, I linked to Hacker News because the ISP's own web site is down.  I don't know what that says, but it says something.

Tech News



Disclaimer: We also squash moths.

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Geek

Daily News Stuff 24 August 2022

End Of The Beginning Edition

Top Story

  • So I finally got internet set up at the new place now that I'm living there full time.  I had it connected before the purchase was complete, but all through the move I've been relying on a 4G mobile hotspot.  In theory it's a 5G hotspot but I never got a 5G signal at my old house and there is no 5G in New House City just yet.

    And around lunchtime today I hit the bandwidth cap, so I had to stop being lazy and set it up.  The first router I tried kept complaining that there was no ADSL connection which is absolutely true because I don't have ADSL but not something I can fix because I don't have ADSL.

    The second router - a Netgear WiFi 6 model I bought early this year and which I was lucky enough to have already found and unpacked the box for - connected just fine once I realised that only one Ethernet port on the NBN box actually works, but wouldn't route anything.  I knew it had an internet connection because it updated its own firmware, but it wouldn't share that connection with anything else.

    After trying every setting I could find to no avail, I gave up and rebooted it one last time and it worked.

    Nominally it's the same speed as at the old place but download speeds are 35% faster - I'm somehow getting 108Mbps down on a 100/40 connection.

    The one router seems to cover the new house pretty well too, though the signal is not quite full strength at 5GHz at the opposite end of the house.


  • Twitter's former head of security says Twitter's security is crap an absolute disaster.  (Ace of Spades)

    I originally linked this CNN article but Ace has some juicier details from a long Twitter thread examining the whistleblower report - including the fact that Twitter was allowing China to doxx Chinese users and directly hiring spies for the Indian government.

    Oh, and every engineer working at Twitter has access to production servers and private user data, there's that too.

Tech News

Disclaimer: Every time you try to operate one of these weird black controls that are labelled in black on a black background, a little black light lights up black to let you know you’ve done it.

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Tuesday, August 23

Geek

Daily News Stuff 23 August 2022

Donuts Are Back On The Menu Edition

Top Story

  • Buying a house may be time consuming, overly complicated, and of course terribly expensive, but renting isn't that great either.  Particularly when having moved out of a place after fifteen years you get complaints that not everything is like new anymore.


  • The Metaverse sucks.  (The Register)

    Sucks up huge quantities of cash, for one thing, but sucks in every other way as well.  It's the signature of a programmed effort to create the Next Big Thing rather than simply creating a Good Thing: Absolutely nobody wants it.

Tech News

  • Katz's gluten free donuts are back in stock here in New House City after being absent for a few weeks.  Got two boxes today to celebrate completing the move. (modulo some annoying details that will get sorted out).


  • Apparently Cricut is pronounced "cricket".


  • Intel detailed its Ponte Vecchio server GPU which the company says offers up to 2.5 times the speed of Nvidia's A100.  (Serve the Home)

    These GPUs are not for playing Crysis or whatever the kids are into these days (I haven't even been playing Minecraft lately and am now hanging out for the next Holocure update).  They costs as much as a new car, and the only question is whether that's a cheap Korean subcompact or a fully-specced F150.


  • The Biren BR1000 is another of these expensive datacenter GPUs.  (Serve the Home)

    It can hit a little over 1 PFLOPs - albeit with 16-bit values; on conventional single-precision floating point it only does 256 TFLOPs.

    Which is still kind of a lot.  As I've mentioned before, I played Mass Effect and Dragon Age on a 1 TFLOPs graphics card at 1280x720, so this chip should be able to cope with 20480x11520.

    Of course, nobody will be using this one to play games either.


  • Lightmatter Passage brings Co-Packaged Optics and Silicon Photonics to the Chiplet Era.  (Serve the Home)

    To unpack that a little: Modern "chips" are increasingly a collection of smaller chips with high-speed interconnects.  AMD jumped on this in 2017 with their Epyc server CPUs and Threadripper workstation parts, both of which were simply multiple Ryzen desktop chips wired together.  

    Building large monolithic chips is getting fantastically expensive and everyone - even Intel - is moving towards this "chiplet" approach.

    The problem then becomes the interconnect between the chiplets, which uses far more power than the same bandwidth would on a single piece of silicon.  On large Epyc CPUs the interconnect can consume half the total power.

    One possible solution - which is what is being discussed here - is to use teeny tiny lasers and microscopic fiber optic cables instead of electronic circuits between the chips.


  • Don't eat yellow snow, and don't copy-and-paste encryption examples.  (The Register)

    Hyundai did the latter, copying not just the code but the encryption key from the AES specification.

    So unusually they got the implementation of the code exactly right; they just used a password that is written down in the same place everyone looks to find the code.


Disclaimer: Red snow on the other hand is perfectly fine.  PERFECTLY FINE.

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