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April 28, 2021

Daily Tech News 28 April 2021

Top Story
  • I have two brand new development servers. Well, virtual servers, but big ones: 12 cores, 48GB RAM, 720GB of SSD. I already had a development server, but it was smaller - only 6 cores and 24 GB of RAM - but more importantly it was in Los Angeles.

    These are right here in Sydney, so they're a 7ms ping away rather than 180ms. If you've never spent your days maintaining servers on the other side of the planet I can just say, you haven't missed much.

    These are really going to make my life easier. They're big enough that I can drop a complete copy of this site on there to try things out in isolation.

    If these work out well I won't need to keep a Linux server at home anymore. At $20 per month for the pair (prepaid for a year) it makes little economic sense to run my own, plus they have faster internet connections than I can get where I live.

    (In theory Australia's NBN has offered gigabit speeds for years. In practice, you simply can't get it. I remember one mid-sized ISP here saying that they had a total of four customers on the gigabit plan. I could get 5G, but I barely rate one bar even on 4G.)



Slayers Next, the second of four - or five, depending on how you count - Slayers TV seasons. Song by Megumi Hayashibara, of course.

Kind of annoying trying to find clean clips of these songs, but I got banned from YouTube for nearly ten years for uploading exactly this kind of clip so I'm going with what's available.



Tech News
  • Arm has announced their V1 and N2 server cores. (AnandTech)

    With the existing N1 core, an 80 core CPU can more-or-less match AMD's 64 core Epyc Rome parts from last year. But you can get an 80 core Arm CPU and AMD currently maxes out at 64 cores, so it's a fair comparison.

    N2 and the even faster V1 will ship in products next year, though by then AMD will be shipping their fourth-generation Genoa server CPUs with 96 cores.

    Intel meanwhile voted present.


  • Speaking of AMD, they just posted another record quarter, though it was last quarter that was the real standout. (Tom's Hardware)

    Revenues were up 96% over Q1 2020, but only 6% over Q4, when sales of the new consoles kicked in.

    These numbers prove that AMD really is shipping a lot of chips. The fact that you can't buy any of them anywhere proves that demand is even higher than supply.

    (I could get a Ryzen 5950X server right now, but it costs as much per month as the two dev servers I just got cost per year. Nice as it would be, we have enough capacity for now and I just need to get it all organised.)

    It's a huge turnaround given that as recently as 2016, AMD was teetering on the edge of simply evaporating and never being seen or heard from again.

    Microsoft also posted strong quarterly results bolstered by the new Xbox lineup which is - hang on - oh, okay, at least the cheaper Xbox Series S is actually in stock.


  • Never run Google ads. (Dan Fabulich)

    The headline is never run Google ads on your site if you're an Android app developer, because if Google decides to remove you from AdSense they might also delete your app from the Play Store, just because. They won't tell you why, and any appeal is automatically rejected the moment you submit it.

    What if you don't run Google ads? What if you have carefully separated your business account from your personal account, but your personal account is tenuously connected to the personal account of a different developer who runs Google ads?

    Fuck you, account terminated. (Medium)

    Google offers a one-stop shop where your email address is your blog login is your video account is your spreadsheet and word processor and web hosting and mobile phone and your fucking doorbell and if you say the wrong thing or speak to the wrong person - or even if you don't - they will burn you to the ground and you will have no recourse.

    Amazon, same.

    Apple, same.

    Microsoft, if you know what you're doing, you can still use a local Windows login and avoid all that bullshit. Yes, they want you to use their online login service, but enterprise customers would riot so there has to be a workaround.

    This is why my development servers are with a different provider to my two main servers, which are with different providers at different locations, and my backup server is with yet another provider. Though it turns out after doing a bit of digging that the backup server is probably in the same building as one of the two main servers, so if the whole place burns down we'd be down to just one server and I'd have to restore backups from here in Australia.

  • GitHub - owned by Microsoft - has blocked Google's FLoC IOP project. (Bleeping Computer)

    Where IOP of course means invasion of privacy, because that is the sole function of FloC.

    Of course, we did that first. Actually, I need to apply the same change over on the main server now that it's alive again.


  • Mangadex got hacked and their database was indeed leaked. (Bleeping Computer)

    The site hosts about a billion pages of fan-translated Japanese, Korean, and Chinese comics, or at least it did. After the hack - possibly an inside job by a disgruntled contributor - they shut down to do critical code rewrites, and have now been off the air for four weeks.

    This update confirms that hashed passwords were indeed exfiltrated, so if you are still sharing passwords between sites, that's bad news.


  • Apple's new privacy settings will protect you from other companies' data collection. (ZDNet)

    Apple, of course, will continue to watch everything you do, and will go so far as to tunnel through your firewall if you try to block them in MacOS. We saw this recently when for several hours users on the latest version of MacOS - everywhere in the world - were unable to open apps due to a single misconfigured server at Apple.

    Oh, and if you were confused about why your computer was suddenly playing up and rebooted in an attempt to fix it, it wouldn't reboot either.


  • Another one bites the dust. (CNBC)

    A second cryptocurrency exchange has collapsed in Turkey, though in this case everyone was arrested before they could flee to Albania. Or very possibly, Erdogan being what he is, they were arrested for no very good reason and the company collapsed because all its executives were in a Turkish jail.


  • Speaking of Turkish jails, one conspiracy-minded commenter on another site made a very good point about the University of Minnesota Linux kernel patch debacle.

    While on the surface it looks like your standard everyday wildly unethical pointless sociology experiment - there's hardly a shortage of those - it should be investigated as espionage. In particular as Chinese espionage, but other suspects are also plausible.

    There's nothing they'd like better than a list of known and controlled defects in the operating system that runs the internet.


  • Google meanwhile is definitely not engaging in witness tampering. (CNBC)

    Google legitimately thought that the witness had a nice business and it would be a shame if anything happened to it.

    No, not Roku. Another witness.


  • Startup Mighty wants to make Chrome faster by sending you a video stream rather than running it locally. (9to5Google)

    These people are retards. The people funding them are retards. The people putting money into the people funding them are retards. I don't know what city they're based in but the sooner it falls into a volcano the better it will be for all of us.


  • There's a new update for MacOS that fixes half the bugs introduced by the previous version while adding hundreds of new bugs for you to enjoy. (Me Macintosh)

    Yeah, no.

    Another reason to avoid the new Arm-based Macs. Whatever their putative virtues, they can't run an of the older versions of MacOS, or for that matter Windows or Linux. My 2015 iMac can.


Akai Haato Video of the Day



The first of my two new development servers is named Akai, after Akai Haato, or Haachama, Hololive's resident spider-eating crazy Ausssie. As part of Hololive's Generation One she's one of the earliest members, and at 19 she's also the youngest.

She is, um, quite creative.


Atsuko Kagari Video of the Day



The second server - one is for experiments and the other for stable stuff like my GitLab server - is named Akko after the star of Little Witch Academia. LWA, consisting of two movies and a subsequent TV series that isn't quite in the same continuity, is one of the best anime series of recent years. If you have kids or just like anime yourself you really can't go wrong with this one.


Megumi Hayashibara Theme Song Video of the Day



This one is even harder to find; last time I looked it wasn't on YouTube at all; even a recent live performance by Ms. Hayashibara got hit by a copyright strike and removed.

This six-part OAV is a minor classic; watch it if you can find it. The subsequent TV series was a remake and not a sequel, and wasn't nearly as good.

Disclaimer: Okay, bad. It was bad.
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