WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEA?

Monday, December 04

Geek

Daily News Stuff 4 December 2023

Shuba Diver Edition

Top Story


Tech News


Disclaimer: Orange sauce.

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Sunday, December 03

Geek

Daily News Stuff 3 December 2023

Journalistic Wellness Check Edition

Top Story

  • Rule One of Online Publishing: A hate click is still a click.

    How are things going for the boys and girls over at Tech Crunch?

    Not great, it seems.  The article - by the managing editor - on Tesla shipping the Cybertruck to customers is titled The end of Elon.  (Tech Crunch)

    The comments at Tech Crunch are heavily censored, but even so 95% are asking if the writer needs a bottle and a nap.


  • How are things going for the boys and girls over at Kotaku?

    Never mind, it's Kotaku.  (Tech Crunch)

    After a solid decade of autistic screeching over breast physics in computer games (life tip: breasts do move if you are jumping around) the site is absolutely giddy over, uh, dick physics.


Tech News

  • How are things going for the boys and girls over at The Verge?

    The Ember Tumbler is overpriced, over-teched garbage that nobody should buy.  (The Verge)

    Oh.  Good.

    It's a $199 electrically heated cup that keeps your coffee at the perfect temperature - but does a worse job at it than a $30 brand name insulated mug.

    And The Verge actually tested that, measuring temperatures over the course of an entire day, both before and after the Ember's battery ran out.


  • Google is escalating its war on ad blockers.  (Ars Technica)

    The coming "Manifest V3" update to Chrome is already planned to cripple adblock extensions.

    What Google has done now is to change the rules further so that updates to adblock filter rules have to go through the Chrome Web Store - and be approved by Google every time - instead of downloading directly from the adblock developer or a public repository.

    I recommend Brave and Vivaldi. 


  • A former Wall Street banker paid $2 million for an old coal mine with the hope of reopening it.  Then he conducted a study of the mine's potential with the Department of Energy and discovered an estimated $37 billion worth of rare earth elements.  (Yahoo Finance)

    The trick here is that rare earth elements aren't actually rare.  They're just expensive and messy to extract, so we allowed China to take on that job.

    With increasing use of electrical vehicles we need a source that isn't asshole, the same thing that is driving lithium mining in Australia.

    This mine - the Brook Mine in Wyoming - originally operated from 1914 to 1940.  Apparently it still contains a billion tons of coal as well as the rare earths.  (These details aren't in the article, but it's amazing what you can find on the internet.)

    Mining operations for both coal and rare earths are planned to commence in Q4 of 2023.  (Mining Technology)

    Which is now.


  • ChatGPT is successful at convincing people it is human 14% of the time.  (Ars Technica)

    ELIZA, a chat bot written in 1964, is successful 27% of the time.

    Humans meanwhile are successful 63% of the time.  Don't knock it, it's a passing grade.


  • Amazon's new AI platform, Q, has severe "hallucinations" - that is, it lies constantly - and also leaks confidential data.  (Platformer)

    That's a pretty solid combination.

    Great subhed to the article:
    Some hallucinations could "potentially induce cardiac incidents in Legal," according to internal documents
    Amazon, of course, denies everything.


  • Google has released the Android studio hedgehog.  (Thurrott)

    I hope it can survive in the wild with winter coming - wait, that's a version name?

    Never mind.


  • ChatGPT isn't coming for your coding job, because it's shit.  (Wired)

    ChatGPT - LLMs in general - are very good at form but absolutely terrible at function.  That's because they are supercharged autocorrect engines; they know only what words fit where, statistically.

    They can make a legal filing that looks correct, but it will reference laws and decisions that don't even exist.

    They perform slightly better at coding - because it's easy to run the generated code to see if it at least compiles - but not much.

    Where they genuinely are transformative is in visual art, because there form largely is function.  In a remarkably short time AI image generation has progressed from putting too many fingers on hands - or attaching hands at the elbow - to putting the hinges on the wrong side of the door.  (As in, adjacent to the doorknob.)

    I haven't had time to play with AI art much lately but I'd like to get back into it.  Last time I tested it it fell apart when you tried to put more than one character in a scene, and I'm hoping for some progress there.


Disclaimer: New slow cooker arrived.  I'm going to test it out next week with a duck.  That was not the plan but somehow the supermarket is out of chickens.

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Saturday, December 02

Geek

Daily News Stuff 2 December 2023

Bacon Pancakes Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • This is a real photo taken with a real iPhone.  (Apple Insider)

    This is an artifact of Apple's computational photography, where the camera takes multiple photos and stitches them together.  Or maybe it's a side-effect of a rolling shutter, something that affects other models of digital camera.  Or maybe it's a fake.

    Or maybe mirrors are portals to another dimension.


  • Tech startup Prophetic has announced the Halo, a $2000 device that triggers lucid dreams through focused beams of ultrasound.  (Fortune)  (archive site)

    The company says that this will allow programmers to write code in their sleep.

    Which is the least implausible part of this story, because getting developers to work 24/7 is the dream of the entire tech industry.

    Frankly, anyone who buys one of these paperweights deserves to lose their money.


  • After a surge in sales when everyone was locked in their homes during the Wuhan Bat Soup Death Plague, followed by a slump when nothing much happened, PC sales are growing again except they're not, this is a forecast, and it's shit.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Canalys says that the two drivers of growth will be AI and Arm, with AI powered PCs making up 19% of the market in 2024, and Arm taking 30% of the market in 2026.

    Coughbullshitcough.


Disclaimer: Bacon pancakes!

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Friday, December 01

Geek

Daily News Stuff 1 December 2023

Pinecorn Edition

Top Story



Tech News

  • How come tech founders don't give a crap about sustainability.  (Tech Crunch)

    Because nobody does.  It's almost entirely a grift.  And if the secondary grift interferes with the primary grift, out it goes.


  • The weirdest bug I've seen yet.  (Gusto)

    Not me, but the person writing the blog.

    Tracking down why the company's internal customer support application would crash Chrome...  Sometimes.


  • ASRock has a new mini-ITX Ryzen server motherboard.  (Serve the Home)

    With four memory slots, dual 10Gb Ethernet ports, and remote management.

    Awesome.  Sounds perfect for my little NAS cases.  How many SATA ports does it have?

    Oh.

    Zero.


  • Yes, Virginia, you can have too many cores.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Ampere's new Arm-based server CPUs have 192 cores.  And you can put two of them on a motherboard.

    Only problem is the Linux Arm kernel supports a maximum of 256 cores, so with two of these chips it just won't boot.

    In fact, the smallest model of these chips has 136 cores, so any two-socket server will refuse to boot under Linux.


Disclaimer: Do or do not, there is no spoon.

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Thursday, November 30

Geek

Daily News Stuff 30 November 2023

Be Fruitful And Multiply Edition

Top Story



Tech News

  • BBC Basic is back in a big way.  (Hackaday)

    The new version runs on Windows, Mac, Linux (including Raspberry Pi), Android, and iOS.  It supports up to 256MB of memory, which isn't that much these days but I don't even want to think about a Basic program that would need more than that.

    You can download it...  Well, you can't.  Site's down.


  • Dollar Tree was affected by a data breach and information including social security numbers for two million people was stolen.  (Bleeping Computer)

    You might ask why Dollar Tree was keeping social security numbers of two million people, and the answer turns out to be, it wasn't.

    The service provider handling Dollar Tree's payroll got hacked, and Dollar Tree's staff were among the two million people affected.


  • Inside of you there are two sciences.  (Nature)

    One is being destroyed from within by socialism and incompetence.

    The other has already been destroyed by socialism and incompetence.

    You might want to consider an enema.



Disclaimer: Duck.

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Wednesday, November 29

Geek

Daily News Stuff 29 November 2023

Cocoa Banana Edition

Top Story

  • The Google Play Store keeps banning a third-party web browser.  (Ars Technica)

    Not because Google hates third-party web browsers, but because this web browser keeps getting hit by nonsensical DMCA takedown notices.

    Like it containing "Properties of Warner Bros. Discovery Inc." when you load the Warner Bros. web site.  Which is kind of what a web browser does.

    I have a sneaking suspicion why this particular browser is getting hit: It integrates a file explorer, and is called Downloader.


Tech News



Disclaimer: MongoDB is web scale.

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Tuesday, November 28

Geek

Daily News Stuff 28 November 2023

All The Ti In China Edition

Top Story

  • A land grab is under way in Australia for lithium mining rights.  (Financial Times)

    For the most part it's major Australian companies blocking foreign takeovers of lithium mining startups.

    Despite a collapse in lithium prices, sales by Australia quadrupled in the first half of this year compared with 2022.  All by itself that generated a 1% annual growth in Australia's GDP.

Tech News



Disclaimer: If you're going to make fake AI personas, do something believable like a talking duck.

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Monday, November 27

Geek

Daily News Stuff 27 November 2023

The Bat Came Back Edition

Top Story

  • While Americans are slowly waking up from their food comas, those crafty Chinese are preparing to start manufacturing 5nm chips...  Sort of.  (WCCFTech)

    China has been banned from buying the machines to make chips below the 14nm node.  They can make 12nm chips because 12nm is really just a tweaked version of 14nm.  And they can make 7nm via a technique called double-patterning, which was used before EUV technology (extreme ultra-violet) made direct 7nm and smaller nodes possible.

    Double-patterning is expensive and fussy and wrecks your yield - the percentage of good chips you get from a wafer - but it does work.

    To get 5nm they would need to go to quad patterning, which is also a proven technology but even more expensive and a whole lot fussier, and the resulting yields would be in the toilet.

    China can build its own machines, but to do so it will first need to build the machines for that, and currently it lacks the machines to build those machines.  It's very complicated and requires incredible precision, and there really isn't any way to rush it.


Tech News

  • Beej's Gude to Interprocess Communication.  (Beej.us)

    It's amazing how little this stuff has change since I was a baby programmer logging on to my first Unix system.


  • So Cyber Monday is here, and with it lots of amazing computer deals like...

    Nothing, really.  I mean, the 4TB Samsung 990 Pro can be found for $250, but that was already true.

    I got some cutlery and a fancy slow cooker.  I bought a cheap Kmart slow cooker when I moved to a colder climate last year, and I use it all the time.  This new one is bigger and has a timer and a temperature probe, and can allegedly roast an entire chicken.

    I'll give that a try because it's not something I bother with very often because I hate cleaning the oven.  With a slow cooker you can just put the cooking pot and the lid in the dishwasher and forget about it.


Disclaimer: How many programmers does it take to clean an oven?  None, that's a hardware problem.

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Sunday, November 26

Geek

Daily News Stuff 26 November 2023

Trigger Words Edition

Top Story

Tech News

Disclaimer: Burp.

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Saturday, November 25

Geek

Daily News Stuff 25 November 2023

Istanbul Is Constantinople Edition

Top Story

Tech News

  • Researchers have bypassed Windows Hello secure logins.  (Bleeping Computer)

    All they needed to do was (checks notes) completely disassemble and rewire the laptop.

    Windows Hello is designed to be secure even if you do that, but that's a pretty difficult task when your partners building the CPUs, laptops, and fingerprint scanners fail to follow the specs.


  • AMD's Ryzen 8000 laptop chips are expected to be announced early next year, likely at CES.  (WCCFTech)

    These are a major advance over the already very good Ryzen 7000 chips.  Although they still use Zen 4 cores, and are still limited to 8 cores, and still use RDNA3 graphics, and still only 12 graphics cores, and are still limited to DDR5 memory, and...

    Wait, these aren't an advance at all.  These are the same chips with the numbers changed.


Disclaimer: Stand back!  I have a five pound pork roast and I'm not afraid to use it!

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