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Saturday Overnight Open Thread (6/26/21) | Main | EMT 6/27/21
June 27, 2021

Daily Tech News 27 June 2021

Top Story

  • You know what else also can't run Windows 11? Microsoft's $3499 Surface Studio 2. (The Verge)

    Yesterday's recommended CPU list has overnight become a mandatory CPU list.

    Which excludes Microsoft's own current flagship desktop system.

    Oh, and all Windows 11 mobile hardware must have a camera, says Microsoft. Because fuck you, that's why.

    Well, Microsoft, I have a roll of black electrical tape. Because fuck you too.

  • Windows 11 recommends a TPM 2.0 module, but will install with a warning on older systems with TPM 1.2, right? Because TPM 2.0 only came out a few years ago. That would make sense.

    No. Again, that was yesterday. (CRN)

    Microsoft - with its two trillion dollar market cap - changed the hardware requirements for its biggest product announcement in five years THE DAY AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT and consigned hundreds of millions of perfectly functional computers to landfill.

  • Even some three year old computers may not be able to run the OS. (Tom's Hardware)

    I bought this one - named Rally, after Rally Vincent from Gunsmith Cats - on the 4th of July 2018. So check. I might be able to fiddle with something in the BIOS settings. Now multiply me doing that by a couple of hundred million people, many of whom don't know BIOS settings from a hole in the ground.

    If you have a nice modern system with a 7700K or even a 16-core Threadripper 1950X you've just been unpersoned.

    And apart from TPM 2.0 and CPU requirements you'll also need UEFI secure boot active. Which means if you have Windows 10 installed using a conventional BIOS boot mode, you also can't upgrade without first converting your boot record, an operation that itself may or may not work.

  • And you will - at least officially - need Windows 11 Pro to upgrade without locking yourself to an online account. (Ars Technica)

    Not clear what that means for free upgrades from existing Windows 10 systems.

    Though since it's possible that none of my computers can run Windows 11 given today's update to the hardware requirements, that point is slightly moot.

    Long live Windows 10, or something.

  • Literally top story - and a pleasant break from Microsoft's self-inflicted injuries - The Assassins of Thasalon is the tenth story in the Penric and Desdemona series from Lois McMaster Bujold.

    These are mostly novella length - around a hundred pages each - but this one is a short novel by itself at 240 pages. The stories are being collected into print volumes but if you want them on Kindle you'll need to buy them individually.

    If you haven't read Bujold before you're seriously missing out. If you like science fiction you should check out the Vorkosigan series, starting with either Shards of Honor or The Warrior's Apprentice. Either entry point works fine. (I actually entered with Weatherman, the first part of the fourth novel in the series, and then backtracked.)

    If you like fantasy, The Curse of Chalion - together with its sequel / conclusion Paladin of Souls - is one of the best constructed and most intelligently written fantasy novels of the past twenty years.

    The Penric stories are set in the same world as Chalion but 150 years earlier than the events in that novel, but there's no need to read them first. Just proceed in publication order.

Anime of the day is Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar from 2001. Sure, it's cute cotton candy for kids, but it's very well-made cute cotton candy for kids. And that opening song is really catchy.


Tech News

  • Google's plan to roll out a new totally-not-tracking-anyway tracking system called FLoC has been delayed by two years. (Ars Technica)

    Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Mozilla, and all the smaller browser providers have come out against Google's new scheme, which would replace all the current privacy-destroying tracking mechanisms on the web with a brand new privacy-destroying tracking mechanism controlled entirely by Google.

  • Intel's DG2 GPU performs similarly to the GTX 1050. (Tom's Hardware)

    On the one hand, that's an entry-level gaming card from five years ago.

    On the other hand, the DG2 may be the secondary integrated graphics on Alder Lake mobile parts, which should be enough to compete with AMD's upcoming Rembrandt parts.

  • Speaking of AMD APUs the 4700S Desktop Kit is now officially a thing. (WCCFTech)

    These are rebadged Xbox Series X (or S) dies with faults in the integrated graphics. That leaves you with a perfectly good 8 core Zen 2 CPU. Even so, in normal times they'd likely just get scrapped as a cost of doing business.

    The kit includes the CPU, a mini-ITX motherboard, and... 16GB of high-performance GDDR6 RAM. Because that's what the Xbox chip is designed to use.

    There are only two SATA ports for storage, and the PCIe slot runs at x4... At 2.0 speeds. I don't know why it's limited like that; the Xbox supports PCIe storage at higher speeds.

    It officially only supports low-end graphics like the Radeon RX 580 - which is what I have.

    If have no idea whether it comes bundled with a TPM report for Windows 11 Annoying Edition

  • Genocide, schmenocide, says YouTube. (Reuters)

    A human rights organisation highlighting abuses by China in Xinjiang province was blocked by YouTube because - this is amazing - they were flagged for "cyberbullying and harassment".

    YouTube prohibits personally identifying information of third parties in videos, including, it turns out, proof that your family has been the victim of government-sponsored mass murder.

    The channel was reinstated, but individual videos continue to receive strikes and get taken offline by YouTube's fascist algorithm of death.

  • Huawei sus. (Phoronix)

    The tech arm of the PLA has proposed putting a transactional database inside the Linux kernel.

    The Linux maintainers are skeptical.

  • WhyNotWin11 gives you a detailed report of why Windows 11 won't run on your computer. (Bleeping Computer)

    Which is helpful because all the official Microsoft tool says is NOPE. This utility checks your boot mode and security, CPU architecture and version, core count and frequency, DirectX support, disk partitioning mode, memory size, available storage, and TPM report.

    Source code and binaries are available on GitHub.

    Chrome doesn't want you to download it.

    Windows 10 doesn't want you to run it.

  • Because, you see, it's not signed by a recognised publisher, unlike, oh, the Chinese Netfilter rootkit that received the official blessing of Microsoft themselves. (Bleeping Computer)

    Oops, as Dr Gregory House would say.

  • The new Arm-based MacBook Air makes a suitable replacement for an Intel iMac - if the iMac is from 2013. (ZDNet)

    My late 2015 iMac is holding up pretty well. Hardware wise. MacOS has been rather a disappointment and I regret the purchase. It was not cheap, between Apple being Apple and the Aussie dollar being dead in a ditch at the time.

    The two dekstops and two laptops I've bought since then came to about the same total price as that iMac.

    Okay, true, I got those laptops from HP when they had two overlapping 50% sales at the same time, only they sold out and gave me a free upgrade to a higher-end model. About a $4500 system for $1100.

  • You might not be able to upgrade to Windows 11 but NASA can at least do a software update on a robot helicopter on Mars. (CNN)

    That's actually pretty cool.

Endless Eight All Over Again Video of the Day

Sentient ribbon vtuber Pomu Rainpuff threatened her fans with singing God Knows from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya one hundred times in a row.
She delivered. It ended up being her celebration for 100,000 subscribers and at the end over 5000 people were watching. And they demanded a 101st rendition of the song as an encore.

Her voice held up surprisingly well for a nine-hour live concert.

Disclaimer: Don't know I'd last nine minutes.
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