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May 19, 2021

Daily Tech News 19 May 2021

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  • Which weird hybrid SSD should you buy? (AnandTech)

    The short answer is no, but in fact both drives have particular strengths that produce convincing wins on certain benchmarks.

    The Enmotus FuzeDrive has 128GB of SLC cache to speed up its 1.4TB of QLC storage. QLC flash is cheap but slow; SLC flash is, unsurprisingly, exactly four times as expensive, but can be more than four times as fast in certain cases.

    Where this drive shines is when it's full. Consumer SSDs slow down significantly when they're full, because they have to spend more and more time erasing and remapping blocks to store new data. Because the FuzeDrive always writes to its very fast SLC cache and only later flushes to the main QLC storage, it never really slows down at all, even when it's 99% full.

    The Intel H20 pairs up to 1TB of QLC flash with 32GB of Optane storage - another technology entirely. The H20 doesn't excel at bandwidth tests because the flash and Optane halves of the drive are on separate PCIe lanes, each getting only half of the available bandwidth.

    But on latency tests - how long it takes to read a single, small chunk of data - it is up to five times faster than a regular SSD.

    On the third hand, this drive only works with an 11th gen Intel CPU, a 500-series chipset, and a special driver. Lacking any of those what you have is - at best - a third rate and severely overpriced SSD.

Anime of the day is Patlabor, and here specifically the 7-episode OVA series from 1988. This was followed up by a TV series, a second OVA series, three movies - I've only seen the second one, I think, but it is very good, albeit darker and more political than the OVA.

Tech News

  • movcc is a C compiler. (GitHub)

    This one is slightly different to your typical C compiler, though: The code it produces consists exclusively of MOV instructions. MOV on the x86 architecture (and many other designs) is Turing complete, so although no-one sane would want to do so, you can write any program with just that one instruction.
    Q: Why did you make this? A: I thought it would be funny.

  • Chrome can now automatically fix stolen passwords. (Tech Crunch)

    If Google detects that a password you've saved is out in the wild, Chrome will automatically log in to that site with the old passwords, generate a new password, replace the old with the new, and remember the new one for you.

    They're only doing this for certain specific whitelisted sites at the moment, but nowhere in the article does it mention opting in to the program. That question doesn't even seem to occur to these people.

  • Ethereum's switch from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake will cut power consumption by more than 99%. (Crypto Briefing)

    When this will happen is another question entirely. There's good money right now in mining Ethereum, and this change will erase that. The miners are not enthused at the prospect.

    Without this change, though, Ethereum is dead. Recent spikes in the price of ETH and load on the blockchain have pushed the cost of even the simplest transactions over $20.

  • Twitter is now co-operating with Russia. (TorrentFreak)

    The Russian authorities have already been spying on Twitter traffic and throttling the bandwidth to force the company to comply.

    I'd be far more sympathetic with Russia if they'd just banned Twitter for causing rats in laboratory cancer, or with Twitter if they just told Russia to go fuck themselves with a railroad spike, but neither of those much desired outcomes actually eventuated.

Bonus Anime Opening Video of the Day

It's Luna Varga, a four-episode OVA from 1991.

Yes, Luna is sitting on the forehead of an enormous rampaging dinosaur. Let's go with that. This is Japan, there certainly wouldn't be anything weird going on.

Dude, Don't Get A Dell Video of the Dell

With video cards in desperately short supply, it's tempting to buy a pre-built system from a major OEM rather than build your own.

But don't buy a Dell G5 5000, because it's such a piece of poop they had to break the review into two episodes to cover all the problems.

Disclaimer: Yes we have no Minecraft, we have no Minecraft streams today. And someone please tell Ollie she was logging in to a ghost server.
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