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May 15, 2021

Daily Tech News 15 May 2021

Top Story

  • TSMC and Samsung are looking to massively expand chip production in the US after Europe has proved itself useless. (Retuers)

    Existing European chip makers - and yes, there are some - are protesting the idea of subsidies for leading-edge chipmakers, saying that subsidies should only go to companies producing chips on older nodes. They have a point, though, since those chips are mostly embedded controllers used in vehicles and appliances and a shortage of $1 engine timing controllers can shut down an entire production line of $40,000 cars.

    And coincidentally, those are precisely the chips they make.

    In any case, TSMC is looking to not only build the announced 5nm plant in Arizona, but up to five additional plants using even more advanced technology - where each could cost $10 billion or more. Two thirds of TSMC's revenue comes from North America, and only 6% from Europe.

Anime of the day is K-On! Kyoto Animation's classic story of schoolgirls sitting around eating cake. Oh, and they're in a rock band. But mostly cake.

Tech News

  • AmigaOS 3.2 is out. (Hyperion Entertainment)

    For all those of you who still have working Amigas, which I probably don't, for while there are a couple sitting in a closet in the spare bedroom I haven't looked at them in years and it's highly likely they've suffered a battery or capacitor accident in all that time.

    Easier to emulate these days - I mean, there are emulators that even encode to NTSC and back again to produce historically realistic colour - though I applaud those who keep classic hardware working.

  • Guido van Rossum, creator of Python, is seeking to make the language twice as fast. (ZDNet)

    It's called PyPy, it already exists, and it's four times as fast.

  • The DarkSide hacking group has outlived its usefulness and been discarded. (Bleeping Computer)

    Shockingly, there's no word of anyone actually being arrested.

  • It looks like the Radeon 6600 and 6600XT have leaked. (Tom's Hardware)

    And the Radeon 6500 as well. (WCCFTech)

    The 6600 XT isn't much smaller than the 6700 XT - 2048 shaders vs. 2560 - but it has one third the on-chip RAM, which AMD calls "Infinity Cache". That will mean it's much less capable at higher resolutions; 4K will be out for any even slightly recent game and 1440p dubious. It should make a decent 1080p card, though; it will easily crush the RX 580 that I'm still using.

    The 6500 is half of a 6600 XT and will be fine for basic stuff, older games, and modern indie and casual titles. It should also give us an idea of how AMD's upcoming APUs will perform. It's the first low-end RDNA2 part to be released. I mean, it hasn't been released yet, or even announced, but when it is, it will be.

    The advantage of reducing the RAM size is that these will be much smaller chips and easy to pump out in volume. They'll also be of little interest to crypto miners; respective quirks of AMD and Nvidia's current generations mean that an Nvidia card with a certain level of gaming performance is much better at mining than an equal ranked AMD card. In the last generation, the opposite was true.

  • Even the tame Apple press doesn't want to buy Apple's new products. (Six Colors)

    They blame the pandemic, rather than Apple's overpriced toys, but they still don't want to buy Apple's overpriced toys.

  • Mammals can breathe through their arseholes. (Gizmodo)

    Unsurprising considering how many of them talk out theirs.

  • Given that we're living through Heinlein's Crazy Years and Stop Making Sense is not just a concert film but the Eleventh Commandment, it should be no surprise that the Jehovah's Witnesses have filed a copyright suit against Lego stop-motion animations on YouTube. (TorrentFreak)

    And yet, somehow, it does.

  • What idiot at YouTube decided that Base64 was a good encoding for video IDs?

I For One Welcome Our New Recursively Oppressive Overlords

It's a lovely touch that a video discussing a government ban on protests against COVID lockdowns carries a forced message linking to official government COVID propa - cough - information.

Another K-On! Anime Music Video of the Day

There are a lot of these. I could spend all week just posting the good ones. But I won't.


Just As I Misremembered Hololive Video of the Day

Just yesterday Cover Corp got blanket permission to stream Square Enix games, and today Pekora (Hololive's resident Bugs Bunny character) has jumped head first into Final Fantasy X.

It's the first Final Fantasy game I ever played, and looks just like I remember, which tells you what memory is worth because I played it on the PS2 on an S-Video TV and Pekora is streaming the remastered HD version.

Also wasn't Rikku's ship scarlet red? Or was that another one you got later in the game?

This is streaming live, so if you click the play button you're likely to drop right into the middle of a scene of chocobo slavery or something.

Disclaimer: Plus ca change, plus a'lorange.
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