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June 05, 2021

Daily Tech News 5 June 2021

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Anime of the day is Hidamari Sketch, which ran for four TV seasons and four OVA episodes between 2007 and 2013. You might call it K-On! with watercolours; it follows four girls - later six - studying at a high school with an art track.

They're all living away from their families to study at this school, staying at the luxurious (cough) Hidamari Apartments nearby. Well, they're better maintained than Maison Ikkoku anyway.

Nothing particularly dramatic happens during the series; no explosions, no major fires, just daily life. But then the biggest point of excitement in Non Non Biyori is when the girls get mugged by a squirrel, and that show is one of the best of the past decade. Not every show has to feature a PT boat shooting down a helicopter. Maybe only one or two a year.




Tech News

  • It's getting cold here in Sydney, which this being a subtropical coastal region means that in the middle of winter if you sit in an unheated house for hours doing nothing more energetic than occasionally moving the mouse you will eventually notice that you're cold and turn on the reverse cycle on the AC.

    It's snowed here exactly once in my lifetime, in one location, and it melted within the hour.


  • Do not adjust your vBIOS. (Tom's Hardware)

    Alienware laptops with RTX 3070s have been shipping with 10% of the GPU cores missing. Dell is rolling out a patch, because while that's a hardware problem it's not a hardware problem.


  • Nvidia says that smart phones aren't ready for ray-tracing. (Tom's Hardware)

    What they mean by that is that Apple and AMD are either shipping or preparing mobile chips with ray-tracing - it's currently in high-end iPads and coming soon to a range of Samsung mobile products using AMD graphics - and Nvidia and Arm don't have anything to compete.

    On the other hand, AMD said something similar about Nvidia's first attempts at ray-tracing on the desktop.

    On the third hand... They were right, at the time.


  • Speaking of which, if you're finding video cards just too darn cheap and readily available, AMD is bringing out their Radeon Pro W6800. (Tom's Hardware)

    The GPU is equivalent to a fully-configured 6900 XT, but with 32GB of GDDR6 RAM rather than 16. It also has six DisplayPort outputs so you can run six 4K monitors at once - though apparently only one 8K monitor. Not sure how many people are using multiple 8K monitors just yet, anyway; the only readily available model I know of will set you back four grand.

    That said, 6800 and 6800 XT cards seem to be showing up again. At roughly double the launch price, true, but they are in stock at online stores.


  • The usual suspects are fleeing Medium after a memo from CEO and Twitter co-founder Ev Williams asked them to at least try not to be complete shitbiscuits on company time. (Tech Crunch)

    Frankly this seems like a brilliant way to simultaneously reduce expenses and boost productivity: Just leak a milquetoast memo suggesting the employees should be a tad bit less woke and the worst offenders will self-identify and storm out and you won't even need to pay severance.

    The employees quoted in the article are just comically un-self-aware.


  • DON'T CONNECT CRITICAL FUCKING INFRASTRUCTURE DIRECTLY TO THE INTERNET. (Ars Technica)

    There's a level 9.8 vulnerability in VMware, allowing anyone to stroll in and take over servers - if they already have access to the management network.

    There's actually a site that tracks exposed software like this. Great for hackers, but network admins should also go there and check that they are not on the list.



  • Nothing more expensive than a free tier. (Cloud Irregular)

    I vastly prefer fixed-price services over cloud, particularly anything that promises to automatically scale with load. It sounds great but you're one mistake away from a maxed-out credit card. Lately I've got some servers that are prepaid a year at a time; the cost saving against billed-by-the-hour AWS is huge.

    Anyway, the specific problem in this case is Amazon's promise of an "always free" tier of services in AWS that will immediately start charging the card you use for Amazon purchases the moment you step outside their Byzantine grimoire of limits and quotas.

    The AWS management interface is, on the whole, insane. Some serious problems have persisted for fifteen years. Even IBM does it better. Google does it far better.


  • Russia again. The last big Xcode trojan attack was from China though.


    This thing doesn't attack users directly; it infects the machines of iOS developers, and then secretly inserts vulnerabilities into their code.


  • Steak is back on the menu. (Bleeping Computer)

    JBS says it is fully operational again and delivering delicious beef and bacon (and in Australia, lamb) to a hungry world.

    I had some pork steaks for lunch yesterday. No idea if they were processed by JBS; I just added them to my grocery order and they showed up on my doorstep at the appointed time, the way nature intended.


  • iPadOS 15 will finally allow the iPad to reach its full potential. (MacWorld)

    And 2021 is the year of Linux on the desktop.

    ...

    I mean, it's taken over everything from embedded devices to supercomputers, so it's surprising that's taken as long as it has.


  • Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla are joining forces on browser extensions. (Thurrott.com)

    On my new tablet I'm using Brave exclusively. I've even given it the Chrome icon, just to rub it in. Works very well. Chrome on Android doesn't even support extensions.

    Anyway, this isn't as bad as it sounds. It's a standardisation effort, and those are even more effective than the Medium approach for sidelining your least productive staff. A standards committee appointment can keep a officious busybody distracted for decades.


  • Satire is dead: Startup company Stealth Data seeks to rip aside any pretense of anonymity on the internet in the name of because fuck you, that's why. (Slashdot)

    The main article is on a site called Bizjournals which requires a paid subscription or skill with the Chrome dev tools to read. But the idiots involved in this look like - literally, because they're pictured in the article - look like caricatures created by the idiots in the Medium story above.


  • Microsoft: Developers, developers, developers!

    Apple: Fuck you, you whiny little shits. You didn't build this. (Marco Arment)

    This comes out of Apple's posturing in the Epic Games case. Because the allegations of unfair practices are self-evidently true, and an adverse decision could slaughter its cash cow, Apple has been throwing everyone under the bus, including themselves, notably implying that CEO Tim Cook is uninvolved with operations of the company.

    Developers are the last thing on Apple's list of concerns.


Weekly Tech News Video of the Day



Steve is here with all the details. Believe it or not, I skim over the really geeky stuff.


Subaru Sits Down Video Video of the Day



So, that Vtuber who was complaining that her duck was getting more views than she was, has got 1.15 million views on an eleven second clip of her sitting on a chair. And to be clear, this is a fully-clothed 3D model.

Yes, I watch Hololive regularly. There was a fun stream just this morning where Ina was building an underwater cafe in Minecraft and their server glitched while she was transporting a cat convoy through the subway to Atlantis... Um. Doesn't mean I understand even 10% of what is going on.

Update: There's a clip of the moment I was talking about. Of course there's a clip.




I think the best introduction to this stuff is still where I came in: Korone's classic game streams.





Disclaimer: Beware, it's called the Rabbit Hole for a reason.
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