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July 09, 2021

Daily Tech News 9 July 2021

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Anime of the day is Little Witch Academia. Actually, I thought I had already done this one, but I checked and I had only posted an AMV.

This originated in 2013 as a short film produced on a small budget, followed in 2015 by a second, longer film with funds raised on Kickstarter. It hit its funding target in five hours - that first film was very popular among the anime community.

And that was followed by a 25-episode TV series in 2017, which is what I'm discussing here. The TV series doesn't quite follow the continuity of the two movies - it starts earlier and events play out differently - but the characters and motivations are all the same, so the movies work just fine either as an introduction or as side stories.

If you think of this as Harriet Potter you won't be too far wrong, except that our heroine Akko is kind of an inverse of Harry Potter. Her parents are supportive of her pursuit of magic, but rather than being her generation's designated hero from the outset, she's just plain not very good at it.

She's surrounded by a wonderful supporting cast, ranging from mushroom queen Sucy to token sane person Lotte to not-very-well-hidden-secret-identity Professor Ursula. The story wanders a bit, but it's enjoyable throughout, and when it all comes together in the last few episodes it's really great stuff.

In my opinion this is the best anime series of the last five years. Highly, highly recommended.




Tech News

  • Ethereum miners are dumping used video cards onto the second-hand market. (Tom's Hardware)

    Don't buy them, they're probably fried from being run 24/7 in an overheated server room, by which I mean a tin shed somewhere outside Shenzhen.

    My benchmark 6700 XT still hasn't dropped below A$1000, but availability is vastly improved from a few weeks ago. All models from both AMD and Nvidia are in stock from multiple brands in multiple online stores.


  • The new Atari console is kind of crap. (Tom's Hardware)

    It's not a hardware issue; with an AMD Ryzen APU and 8GB of RAM, it has more than enough horsepower. The software, on the other hand, is kind of broken, even at the BIOS level. You can install Windows 10, since it's really jut a PC, but good luck getting it to run apps without constantly throwing up errors.

    Unfortunately you're much better off with a Raspberry Pi and your choice of free emulators.


  • The Radeon 6600 XT will reportedly launch next month with an MSRP of $399. (WCCFTech)

    If the 6700 XT was selling for anything like its MSRP of $479 it would be a no-brainer to go for the faster card. In reality it's selling at a premium of about 60% here in Australia and 80% in the US, so any real comparison will hhave to wait for street prices of the 6600 XT.

    The new card has 80% of the shaders, 66% of the memory and memory bandwidth, and just 33% of the on-chip cache. So how it performs will be very dependent on the game you're playing.

    Wait for benchmarks.


  • There are many options for API pagination. (GitHub)

    All of them are annoying.


  • Don't buy the Lexar NM620 NVMe SSD. (Serve the Home)

    Once it fills its pseudo-SLC cache, sequential writes drop to the speed of a regular disk drive.

    A laptop drive.

    From around 1998.

    Probably just a firmware issue, but that's their problem.


  • Google is dropping Play Services support for Android Jelly Bean. (ZDNet)

    I'm totally fine with this. That's versions 4.1 through 4.3, and the new baseline for ongoing support will be Kit Kat - Android 4.4.

    Even my 2013 Nexus 7 has updated to Android 6. If you have something still running on 4.1 with no way to upgrade, well, congratulations on keeping it going for eight or ten years, but maybe time to look at something slightly newer?


  • California exodus is just a myth, says.... California. (SFGate)

    The University of California's Department of Denying Reality looked into the question and said, and I quote, Nuh-uh.


  • Also there are no problems with the water supply in the state. (Axios)

    You just can't have any.



Little Witch Anime Music Videos of the Day



One of my favourites AMVs from this series; it highlights a lot of great character moments, though you won't realise their impact until you've seen the show.




The other instant classic LWA AMV, this one focuses on Sucy and particularly on the Sucy episode, which is a better introduction to philosophy than any university is likely to offer these days.



Disclaimer: Not that that is saying very much.
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posted by Pixy Misa at 05:05 AM

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