Why did you say six months?
He's coming.
This matters. This is important. Why did you say six months?
Why did you say five minutes?

Wednesday, December 08

Geek

Daily News Stuff December 8 2021

So That Happened Edition

Top Story

  • Twitter has bought chat platform Quill.  (Quill)

    If you use Quill, you have three days to download your history before they turn the servers off.  I'm not being snarky, they are literally doing that.
    Can I export my team’s Direct Messages (DMs)?

    No, we do not allow the export of Direct Messages.

    If I don’t export, will you delete my data?

    Yes. On 1pm PST, Saturday, December 11th 2021 we will delete all user data, whether or not you’ve exported it.

    Well, thanks.


  • So, that happened.


Tech News


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day




Disclaimer: There's a time when all the world's asleep, except for sysadmins who are tearing their hair out because critical online services have gone offline for the seventeenth consecutive day.

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Geek

Morning News Stuff December 8 2021

Woke up to customer panic and my keyboard not working.

The first was due to AWS which is really good because we have a nice big target to blame and we have already advised that customer that work is under way to decouple our system from AWS.  (We're not using AWS for core services, but we rely on other companies that do, so this is kind of complicated.)


Now I get to spend the rest of the day cleaning up the mess.  Though after a couple of incidents where AWS was having trouble but we had to report to our customers that no, we had a bug in our platform, it sure is nice to be able to drop all the blame on someone else for a day.

The second problem was that the . key on my keyboard wasn't working.  I fixed the immediate problem via percussive maintenance, but this particular keyboard isn't made any more.  


I found a retailer here in Australia that still had three gathering dust in their warehouse and ordered two of them.  This one has already lasted four years and a couple of drink spills so I'm hoping by the time both of those wear out someone will be making something that I like again.


I might try Microsoft's Bluetooth Desktop.  Microsoft does make pretty good hardware.  But the model I have pairs with up to three devices and supports systems without Bluetooth via a USB widget, which is very nice when I'm about to have eight systems all running at once.


Not related to the outage, just my how they've grown.

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Tuesday, December 07

Geek

Daily News Stuff 7 December 2021

Control Surface Edition

Top Story

  • With the new software lab buildout I'm going to end up with eight computers on my desk - half laptops and half NUCs, so they don't take up much room.  And it's a big desk.  Huge actually, it's made from the oak floorboards of an old wool warehouse and weighs about three thousand pounds.

    Anyway, with three or possibly four monitors each with four inputs, there'll be no problem plugging everything in to a display.  But then there's sound.  What I want is all of those systems wired up to a single good speaker system, so it doesn't matter what the sound source is, it comes through loud and clear.

    I could use a Behringer mixer; they're easy to find and reasonably priced.  But they are mono, and designed for XLR or at best 1/4" phone jacks, so for each 1/8" stereo input I'd need a cable to convert to it two 1/4" mono plugs, which again, easy to get, but having eight of those plugged into a 16 channel mixer seems like overkill.

    If only there were something small, cheap, and purposed-designed to take five 1/8" stereo inputs, provide suitable fader, gain, and balance controls, and deliver three 1/8" outputs at line, speaker, and headphone levels respectively and maybe - stop me if I'm dreaming - have a special cable to loop multiple units together like the Maker Hart Loop Mixer (Amazon) oh wait that's just what I need hang on (clicking noises) right that should arrive next week.


  • Included in my lab shopping list is regrettably a MacBook Air because I will need to test some things on a Mac.  Plan is - with all four notebooks - that they will sit on a shelf while plugged in to two 27" monitors each, and rarely actually move.  They're laptops in potentia.

    That's fine with Windows.  Do it all the time.  Scaling support isn't perfect but it works.

    On an M1 Mac though if you venture outside standard 4k resolution the results are likely to be poop which is odd because Apple doesn't make a computer with a 4k screen.  (The Register)

    MacBook Air is 2560x1600; MacBook Pro 14" and 16" are 3024x1964 and 3456x2234 respectively; the 24" iMac is 4480x2420 and the 27" 5120x2880; and the Pro Display You Can't Afford It Edition is 6016x3384.

    So it's kind of curious why M1 Macs only give reliable results on third-party monitors if they run natively at 4k.

    But credit to Apple for creating new opportunities for independent software developers fixing their shitty operating system.


  • The jelly beans arrived too.  Amazon still won't let me order more, even though they're in stock.

    Were they really worth the wait?

    ...

    Yeah, actually.  These are pretty good.


Tech News



Hold Me Closer Tiny Mixer Video of the Day



That's the mixer I just ordered.  Apparently it's halfway decent, which is all I ask.  If I end up doing audio engineering that isn't 100% digital I'll buy something else.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day





Disclaimer: Oi, the name's Sharon ya berk.

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Monday, December 06

Geek

Daily News Stuff 6 December 2021

Hark The Herald Tribune Sings Edition

Top Story

  • Tech companies should pay their engineers more. (Medium)

    Yes.

    ...

    After a few lean years the small company where I work found itself in the right place at the right time and customers have been pounding on the doors and shoving money through the mailbox. Which resulted in some crazy work hours but also a couple of substantial pay rises, which you might have noted when I went from discussing the latest new laptops to discussing the latest new laptops which I have personally bought. (Actually not that exciting because they're all Dell.)

    It's a good analysis. Finding or training the right people for high-level engineering roles is hard and expensive. Losing good people is even more expensive. Paying your best staff more doesn't solve all the problems, but it's simple, obvious, and works better than not doing so.


Tech News

  • Control your NPM dependencies. (Medium)

    Rule One of NPM Dependency Club is Don't use NPM.

    NPM is a shitstorm in a dumpster fire in a toxic waste factory that is also on fire.

    PHP is justly criticised, but the entire programming language with all its built-in functionality uses just 79 external libraries.

    Creating a single, empty React app using NPM installs close to 2000.
    is-even has 160k weekly downloads and itself depends on is-odd, which has 430k weekly downloads. Both of these packages are single line functions. At one point, babel was using the is-odd package.
    Don't use NPM. Don't let anyone else use it. Don't use software that uses it. If you see it installed on a server, shut that server down, set it on fire, and sow the rack with salt so that nothing can be provisioned there ever again.


  • Don't share NFTs on the blockchain. Share function pointers. (Stephen Diehl)

    No on second thought, let's not go to the blockchain. It is a silly place.


  • You wouldn't download a Mac would you? (Tom's Hardware)

    If you're planning to download a Mac, the article recommends downloading it with Catalina, since that's the most compatible with the emulator.


  • How to opt out of sharing your WhatsApp data with Facebook. (WhatsApp)

    Oh.


  • Hackers are sending phishing emails to Twitter bluechecks telling them to log in and update their accounts or risk losing their sacred azure splots. (Bleeping Computer)

    Which is not at all believable because why would Twitter go around removing the blue splots from accounts they had already-

    Play stupid games, get stupid prizes taken away.


  • May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits. (ZDNet)

    Voting in Australia is compulsory.

    New South Wales (where I live) instituted optional on-line voting for local council elections that everyone ignores anyway.

    It didn't work.
    However NSWEC said any eligible voter who "applied to use iVote" but was unable to cast their ballot would be excused from paying the AU$55 penalty.
    So generous. You stole my vote - well, not mine, because I'm not going to use an i-anything - and now in your glorious munificence you will excuse me from paying for your failure? And that's the least of it:
    "Every serious investigation of iVote found serious problems," Teague tweeted on Saturday. That even includes a review [PDF] commissioned by NSWEC itself as recently as July.

    "What happened today should surprise nobody," Teague said.

    "[NSWEC] apologises to voters not able to vote as a result of the outage; no apology to candidates who may or may not have failed to get elected as a consequence of their supporters being excluded."
    Experts are not impressed:
    Justin Warren, chief analyst at PivotNine, continues to be amused by this resistance -- not only in electoral matters but right across government.

    "We keep trying to help governments to be good at computers, but they are remarkably resistant to being helped," Warren told ZDNet.

    "One thing I've learned from consulting is that sometimes people insist on shoving beans up their nose and there's nothing you can do to stop them. You have to wait patiently until they ask for help getting them out."

    Sometimes when dealing with government the best you can hope for is that they will occupy themselves shoving beans up their nose, because they could very easily be shoving something else up somewhere else.

  • Apple's solution to developers being able to move payments off-platform appears to involve a combination of extortion and burglary. (9to5Mac)

    Tim Apple appears to have grown bored with antitrust suits and is now inviting RICO charges.


Party Like It's Hololololive Video of the Day



I didn't know Fifth Gen - all of Fifth Gen - had done this song. EN, your time is now.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day



I'm not used to Chris Rea looking that young.


That's more like it.



Disclaimer: Not that there's anything wrong with - get off my lawn, Chris!

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Sunday, December 05

Geek

Daily News Stuff 5 December 2021

Notched Quanta Edition

Top Story

  • "I'm going to need your smallest violin."
    "This is the Stradicaster 50000.  Each one is hand-crafted by an ancient order of Bolivian nuns from a single neutrino.  Only three of its kind exist, and nobody knows where the other two are.  The price is-"
    "I'll take it."

    Right-wing activists are openly 'weaponizing' Twitter's new private media policy. (CNN Business)

    You'd have to have a heart of basalt not to collapse in a fit of giggles.  Twitter's latest attempt to curtail unapproved speech has backfired because it turns out - as everybody except apparently the room-temperature IQ goldfish running Twitter immediately realised - that the new policy banning the sharing of photos, even those taken at public events, without the explicit consent of everyone depicted therein directly targets the most popular pastime of Twitter's own core audience of rabid Maoist lunatics, which is to say, doxxing and destroying the lives of everyone with whom they disagree.

    Twitter thought they were targeting conservative pushback against violent left-wing nutcases, but what the rule actually says is that nobody can post photos of people without their consent.

    So everyone to the right of Kropotkin has started reporting the offenders en masse and they're getting them banned.
    In January, Samuel Braslow was covering an anti-mask protest at a Los Angeles mall for the Beverly Hills Courier, the 56-year-old local newspaper where he is a staff reporter.  During the public event, Braslow tweeted a video of a standoff between anti-maskers and a mall official — a common practice in the age of digital reporting.

    Braslow couldn't have known that, this week, someone would file a report about that same photojournalism and cause Twitter to lock down his account.  The complaint led to Braslow being unable to tweet until he either successfully appealed the report or deleted the old tweets.  He was stuck.
    Ahahahahahaha.
    "The videos in [my] post clearly represent newsworthy content, as they subsequently were picked up for broadcast by multiple affiliate stations and national outlets," said Braslow, who has previously appeared on CNN discussing his coverage of anti-vaccine rallies.
    Let me see where Twitter's policy has an exemption for newsworthiness....

    Oh wait, it doesn't, because the entire point of this policy is to shut down free speech.
    The rapidly unfolding campaign highlights how a tool intended to help protect vulnerable individuals has quickly evolved to help shield others from the scrutiny that might stem from their public actions.
    Funny how nobody predicted that this is exactly what would happen.  Oh wait.
    "It's really important to view the current mass-reporting actions by the far right as just the latest salvo in an ongoing, concerted effort to memory-hole evidence of their crimes," said Chad Loder, an anti-fascist activist* who said they use their Twitter account to document examples of far-right extremism and police misconduct.
    Translator's note: "Anti-fascist activist" means fascist.
    On Thursday, Loder said they were trapped in an "endless cycle" of reports, account locks and appeals as one of their tweets was reported under the policy, restored by Twitter following an appeal, and then reported again on the same day, resulting in another temporary suspension linked to the same tweet.
    I am so upset by this that I have the hiccups.
    The speed, scale and enthusiasm with which some groups have invoked the policy — along with numerous enforcement errors — have prompted some experts to conclude that Twitter's policy is backfiring.
    Where would we be without experts?

    Probably Alpha Centauri.

    Even that idiot Popehat is weighing in:
    It's impossible they didn't know this would happen, and it's inexplicable they didn't plan for it.
    No, Ken, that's easy to explain.  They're morons.


Tech News

  • Apple's M1 Max CPU has a secret interconnect bus. (Tom's Hardware)

    And when I say secret, not only did Apple fail to mention it, they edited the published die photos to hide it.

    Not until someone sacrificed an expensive MacBook Pro and took their own die photos was this discovered.

    There are rumours that Apple is working on 20 core and 40 core Arm CPUs to replace Intel in their high-end systems, and now we know exactly how they plan to do that.  The M1 Max is a 10 core chip, so two or four of those connected together will produce the rumoured high-end parts.

    AMD has been doing this for years - the 32 core Epyc server processors released in 2017 were simply four 8 core desktop chips wired together using the built-in interconnect.

    AMD has also done the secret feature trick more recently - apparently all Zen 3 chips shipped in the past year have the circuitry needed for the expanded cache in the recently announced high-end Milan-X server chips.

    It costs a lot of money to design a new chip and prepare it for production, so if you can bundle in a feature that you're not going to need for a year without delaying anything else, that can make commercial sense.

    It's likely that the interconnect, while present, isn't 100% functional yet, and there will be either a respin or a whole new version before the high-end multi-die processors can ship.  But in the meantime Apple has an unlimited supply of test units.


  • ActiLizzard management are not nice people. (WCCFTech)

    "I am shocked, shocked, to find bad behaviour going on in the gaming industry."
    "Your underaged Belorussian sex slave sir."
    "Oh, thank you very much."


  • Windows 11 now lets you set a default browser. (Bleeping Computer)

    In earlier releases you had to track down at least four separate settings.
    "Through the Windows Insider Program you will continue to see us try new things based on customer feedback and testing.  Most of them will be complete shit because ninety percent of our UX team is on meth, but what are you gonna do?  No, seriously, what are we gonna do?  These idiots are killing me."


  • A hermaphroditic cannibal has washed up dead on a beach near San Diego. (MSN)

    Hrm.

    Oh, fish.  A hermaphroditic cannibal fish has washed up dead on a beach near San Diego.

    That's normal.


  • Python library of the day is LocalStack, which provides a local test version of AWS. (GitHub)

    Without the Amazon part.  Install it on your own hardware or hosted server and spin up whichever services you need.

    The free version doesn't support every single AWS feature, but it goes a long way:

    • ACM
    • API Gateway
    • CloudFormation
    • CloudWatch
    • CloudWatch Logs
    • DynamoDB
    • DynamoDB Streams
    • EC2
    • Elasticsearch Service
    • EventBridge (CloudWatch Events)
    • Firehose
    • IAM
    • Kinesis
    • KMS
    • Lambda
    • Redshift
    • Route53
    • S3
    • SecretsManager
    • SES
    • SNS
    • SQS
    • SSM
    • StepFunctions
    • STS

    There's a paid version for €20 per month per developer that has even more features, but that's kind of a problem.  What happens to the software running on my own server if I stop paying the monthly license fee?

    The answer seems to be, don't do that.  Inviting as it might be, this is for testing not for persistent data.  Even the paid version has only a very basic persistence mechanism.  The free version uses a replay log to restore the state - if you reboot it starts with a blank slate and just runs every API call you've send since you last explicitly reset the data.


What If Everything Were Spiders?

No people. No language. No war. Only spiders.

We communicate through sensation alone, touch, smell, taste. Feeling with our eight long legs. Beady black eyes look out, only to see a swarm of our brothers and sisters. They look back. We click. We scamper.

No air. No sea. No land. Only spiders.

We crawl over the bodies of one another. Suffocate against one another. A dark, writhing mass. We eat one another for sustenance. We lay our eggs in the carcasses of the deceased. Life and death cycle as it can, the living spring from the dead to have their turn. We breed. We rot.

No heat. No time. No space. Only spiders.

Were a wayward, miraculous human scientist to somehow observe us, it could be speculated that our atoms and molecules resemble the mass of our whole selves. Were a wayward, miraculous human scientist to somehow speculate on our universe, the shape of it could be thought to have a large abdomen, and eight scampering legs. We are, everything is spiders.



A Long Walk Down a Windy Beach Video of the Day



Old and Busted / New Hotness Video of the Day



She has a point.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day



I think this is the stage of the party where it's getting late and the couples are slow dancing and I'm in the corner talking to the cat.



Disclaimer: You're the only intelligent person here, Miss Fluffyboots.

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Saturday, December 04

Geek

Daily News Stuff 4 December 2021

Aargh Edition

Top Story

  • This server is beginning to annoy me.  I disabled the audible monitoring alert while I was fixing it from the last crash and forgot to turn it back on, so all I got this time was an email, which is not always sufficient to wake me up despite my hypertrophied site outage senses honed to a microtome edge by nearly two decades of pain.

    Server move imminent.  Got three weeks off starting the 18th.  I know I'm going the get interrupted by work stuff and three weeks will turn into two, but that's better than my usual Christmas break which is one week turning into zero.


  • I found another source for the perennially out of stock gluten free jelly beans I'm currently waiting on from Amazon.  They're a little more expensive, but only by about 10% if you buy in bulk, and you can buy in bulk, which Amazon won't let me.  They also have jelly babies from the same brand, which I didn't know were sold separately; I've only had them before in their "party mix" which has too much stuff I don't like to be worth the trouble.

    Their site tracks expiry dates of the products and they're all late next year.  So I'm considering buying 12 pounds of candy a month after Halloween.


  • We're number one.  Again.  (The Guardian)
    Frequency of being drunk – top 10 countries

    1 Australia
    2 Denmark
    3 Finland
    4 US
    5 UK
    6 Canada
    7 Ireland
    8 France
    9 Sweden
    10 Netherlands
    Also of note, Russia is suffering crippling alcohol shortages and New Zealand is lying.


  • Apple has started test production on the M3 chip using TSMC's 3nm process.  (WCCFTech)

    While that's a rumour and Apple hasn't said anything about it, Apple was TSMC's first customer on 5nm and 7nm, so it's implausible that Apple hasn't already started testing on the new production node. 

    The details of the rumour are that there will be M2 chips in between on either 5nm or 4nm.  That's also plausible since it's not expected that 3nm will deliver in volume until early 2023, with a few more months beyond that before products using the chips can reach customers.



Tech News

Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day



I don't think I've heard the extended album version of this song before, and I certainly haven't seen this video.  Everything about it is great.



Disclaimer: Well I'm cold-blooded; I'm a lizard you see.  If there's a cold snap I'll fall out of a tree.

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Friday, December 03

Geek

Daily News Stuff 3 December 2021

Parenthetical Ellipses Edition

Top Story

  • Ellipse and ellipsis have the same plural.  That's annoying.


  • Twitter has banned 2000 genocide apologist accounts linked to the Chinese Communist Party.  (ZDNet)

    That's good.

    Also:
    "Every account and piece of content associated with these operations has been permanently removed from the service," Twitter said.
    That's retarded.

    Yes, remove their access, but leave their posts there so that everyone can see what bullshit they were up to.

    This paranoid need to erase everything considered bad utterly from existence is a trait entirely shared by Twitter and the CCP.


Tech News

  • People who attended Anime NYC last month might have a mild case of the sniffles.  (CBS)

    It's a convention, in New York, in November, so...  Yeah.


  • Google has delisted the Pirate Bay and 100 related domains within the Netherlands following a court order.  (TorrentFreak)

    The thing is, the court order didn't apply to Google.  They decided to do this all on their own.


  • The FTC has filed a lawsuit to block Nvidia's acquisition of Arm.  (Anandtech)

    Eh.  Whatever.


  • TSMC has entered risk production of 3nm chips.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Risk production is the silicon equivalent of early access on Steam.  It's not 100% done, and there's no refunds, but if you want to get access early you can start right away.

    Well, except that it takes as much as 20 weeks for a chip to traverse the manufacturing pipeline, so if you start right away you might get something back some time in April.

    Volume production is expected to start late next year, with products shipping in 2023.

    It's a pretty big advance though, packing up to 70% more transistors into a given area than 5nm, which in turn is 80% denser than the 7nm process that is common right now.  (The computer I'm typing this on is 14nm, which is positively antediluvian.)


  • Microsoft has daddy issues.  (Bleeping Computer)

    If you load up Edge and try to download Chrome - from which codebase Edge is derived - it throws a tantrum.

    Well, allegedly.  I see the ad in Bing search, but not all of the other items listed in the article.  Though I've stomped pretty hard on notifications throughout Windows and my default search engine even in Edge is DuckDuckGo.


  • If you have a WiFi router, it's almost  certainly insecure, and you should set it on fire right now.  (Bleeping Computer)

    If you have an Asus, um, whatever model it was I used to have, it might even helpfully do this for you.  When I saw the smoke coming out of it I grabbed the power plug and yanked it out right away.  But I grabbed it at the router end and it turned out that what I was grabbing was boiling hot molten plastic, so that was not a lot of fun.

    Much simpler to act now and just throw all your electronics in the nearest dumpster.

Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day




Disclaimer: Well, there's something in the air alright.

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Thursday, December 02

Geek

Daily News Stuff 2 December 2021

Sentient Ribbons 'R' Us Edition

Top Story

  • Qualcomm has announced the 8cx Gen 3, its new Arm-based chip for PCs.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Unlike the 8cx Gen 2, this actually seems to be a new chip - the Gen 2 was exactly the same silicon as the Gen 1, and both were, to put it mildly, bad.

    The Gen 3 is supposedly 85% faster and built on a 5nm process, which is interesting because that means it's not the same device as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 announced yesterday.  In fact, it is most likely last year's Snapdragon 888, which - if true - would further cement the fact that Qualcomm just doesn't give a shit about the PC market.  PCs need more power, not less, and last year's chips just don't cut it.

    The 888 and also the newer 8 Gen 1 are also limited to 16GB of RAM, which also doesn't cut it.  That's enough for many users, but it's not enough when it's the maximum your chip can support.

    This being a Qualcomm announcement, there is no specific information about anything.  There never is.


Tech News

  • This shouldn't have happened.  (Project Zero)

    Mozilla's NSS library had a 2k buffer for digital signatures.  What happened if you gave it more than that?

    If you think the answer is memory corruption and a security nightmare, you win a kewpie doll.  (Horrible things, kewpie dolls.)

    The bug was there for 9 years before being discovered, despite extensive testing.

    Stop writing code in a language best described as a portable PDP-8 assembler and start using something modern, well-designed, and with a solid team behind it like...

    Okay, yeah, point taken.  Keep using C, but treat any fixed-length buffers as radioactive waste.


  • Nvidia has confirmed the RTX 2060 will be available soon.  (Tom's Hardware)

    Yes, the 2060 launched more than three years ago.  It will also be available soon.


  • Intel's entry-level Alder Lake i3-12100 is faster than AMD's 2019 entry-level Ryzen 3300X.  (Tom's Hardware)

    I mean, it would be kind of embarrassing if it weren't.


  • Making websites small.  (Santurce Software)

    Not every image needs to be 2 megapixels.

    And not all text needs to be font-weight: 500.

    Why is it that sites espousing a faster, lighter web are so often themselves fucking awful?


  • The hack is coming from inside the house.  (Bleeping Computer)

    Networking company Ubiquiti was the target of a hacking and extortion attempt earlier this year, with the hacker leaking damaging information to the media in an attempt to get the company to pay up.

    It was one of their own staff.

    Not only did he allegedly hack the company, steal confidential data, and attempt to extort them out of $2 million, the FBI claims he doubled down on this activity after they raided his home and seized evidence of his crimes thus far.

    Ten out of ten for determination but minus several million for good thinking.

    Of course, this is the FBI, so there's at least an even-money chance they did it all themselves.


  • Square is now Block.  (BusinessWire)

    Jack Dorsey's other company, which owns Cash App, TIDAL, and TBD54566975, has a new name.

    That's it.  That's the story.


  • Qualcomm and Razer are partnering in a new Android-based handheld gaming device.  (Hot Hardware)

    The device is based on the all new Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, which, this being a Qualcomm announcement, we know absolutely nothing about.


Party Like it's 1979 Video of the Day



Stop me if you've heard this one.



Disclaimer: No?  No-one?

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Geek

Sentient Ribbon Inbound

I've been pricing up different configs for my new development lab for something like three months, and last night I decided the hell with it and ordered another Inspiron 16 Plus.

Same config - 8-core i7 11800H, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, RTX 3060.  Windows 10 Pro.  Should arrive just before Christmas.

I'll be upgrading both with an extra 32GB of RAM and a 4TB QLC secondary SSD.  (While I'd rather avoid QLC, at that size the SLC cache is huge and performance and endurance are actually pretty good.  And 4TB TLC options are limited and pricey.)

The idea is that one will primarily be my desktop system and the other will primarily run Linux VMs, but they'll have identical configs so that either one can do it all.

That will leave me with 128GB of DDR4 SODIMMs from the two laptops and my two old desktops, so I'll be looking for some cheap NUCs to complete the lab with a Linux cluster.

First Inspiron 16 is named Sana, new one will be Pomu.  The Inspiron 14 is Pina.  Yes, I do have a lot of new computers all of a sudden.

Side note: Two Dell Inspiron 16s each with 64GB RAM* and 5TB of SSD cost around $100 less than one 16" MacBook Pro with 64GB RAM and 4TB of SSD.  On the other hand the MacBook Pro CPU is around 8% faster, so Apple has that going for them.

* And a 6GB RTX 3060.

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Wednesday, December 01

Geek

Daily News Stuff 1 December 2021

As The Year Sinks Slowly In The West Edition

Top Story


Tech News

  • There's no dumb 4K TV, just large-format computer monitors with integrated soundbars.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The Philips Momentum 559M1RYV is a 55" 4k monitor with three HDMI inputs as well as DisplayPort and USB-C.  Refresh rate goes up to 144Hz, colour gamut covers 90% of DCI-P3, and it supports DisplayHDR 1000.  Plus an integrated 40W 2.1 channel soundbar.

    No Ethernet.  No WiFi.  No Bluetooth.  No networking of any kind.  And no operating system.

    So if you don't want your TV spying on you, this one is physically incapable of doing so.


  • The Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 16 G650 has Rembrandt.  (WCCFTech)

    That's the next generation AMD laptop chip with Zen 3+ cores and integrated RDNA2 graphics.  (The current Xbox and PlayStation use Zen 2 and RDNA2.)

    And a mobile version of the 3080 Ti.  Making the fast new integrated graphics somewhat redundant.


  • Twitter has a new CEO.  What's the fastest way for him to drive the company into the ground?  (Stratechery)
    Actually charging for Twitter would, of course, reduce the userbase to some degree; moreover, there are a lot of users with multiple accounts, and plenty of non-human users on Twitter. And, of course, Apple and Google would take their share. Still, even if you cut the userbase by a third to 141 million daily addicted users —which I think vastly overstates Twitter’s elasticity of demand amongst its core user base — Twitter would only need to charge $4/month (including App Store fees) to exceed the $4.8 billion in revenue it made over the last twelve months.
    This guy is retarded.  If you charged people to access Twitter it would vanish overnight.  The blue checks would see their audience evaporate and they'd follow.

    There's a small core of lunatics willing to pay for Twitter, but that requires all the other lunatics to remain.

    A far better option is the one I proposed earlier this year: Allow users to bid to have other users banned.


  • Tales of Seven Proxies.  (Mangadex)

    This stuff is only of interest if you run large public websites, but if you do - and particularly if you're on a tight budget - the volunteers running Mangadex produce a better tech blog than almost any actual tech company.


  • Will we ever get rid of COVID-19?  No.  (Quanta)

    Nice, simple, to the point, and not what government officials want to hear.


  • Twitter will ban sharing of photos and videos without the subjects' consent.  (ZDNet)

    This rule will be abused for political ends in 3... 2...


  • AWS goes all in on serverless.  (ZDNet)

    There is no serverless, there is only someone else's server, which you now have even less control over than before.

    Plus it's probably in someone's bathroom.  (Tech Crunch)


  • Microsoft, you are two trillion dollars worth of shit.





  • Which quote end-to-end encrypted unquote messaging apps can the FBI steal the data from?  (The record)

    Avoid WhatsApp, iMessage, and Line unless you for some bizarre reason trust the government.  Signal looks like the best option.


  • UK regulators have ordered Facebook to divest Giphy.  (Axios)

    To preserve competition in the critical annoying blinking crap space.


  • Why can I only order six bags of gluten-free jellybeans at once?  If they're going to be out of stock for weeks at a time, I'll happily buy a dozen when they are in stock.  The shelf life is something like a year after all.


Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day


Great guitar and bass work and a not nearly so great chorus.  This one must have absolutely saturated the radio waves in Australia when I was a wee Pixy because it's drilled into my brain when I wasn't really musically aware until the 80s.

I listened to a video of the top songs each month through the 1980s, and almost all of them brought up an associated memory.  That continues on through the early 90s, though by then I'd started listening to more stuff outside the mainstream and the Headless Chickens and Big Pig tend not to show up on music roundups like that.

They should though.



1970s mostly the reaction is, yeah, I've heard that, because who hasn't heard that?  But no association.


Disclaimer: Maybe I should have set this blog to cruise control.

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