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October 13, 2021

Daily Tech News 13 October 2021

Top Story

  • Alternative blockchain Polygon just raised its transaction fees by a factor of 30. (AMBCrypto)

    Well, sort of. They increased the guideline for the minimum gas price charged by validator nodes from 1 to 30. That's voluntary, but nobody's going to turn down earning 30x as much for processing transactions. On the other hand, the real gas price on Polygon hasn't been consistently 1 since around April; 8 was about the best you could get reliable transactions with, 15 was more reasonable, and sometimes it spiked over 100.

    The reason they did this, though, is the network was too cheap for its own good. It was getting flooded with millions of garbage transactions per day, because each one cost a small fraction of a cent. Now that each one costs a large fraction of a cent, transaction volume has halved and the network is much more stable.

    Sucks if your business model doesn't support spending half a cent per transaction, but blockchains do cost money to run.

  • The new NSW premier took time out from his busy schedule of restoring civil rights (not being sarcastic here, he's really doing that) to announce a $3 billion green hydrogen boondoggle. (Sydney Morning Herald)

    I'll watch for Dave from EEVBlog's thoughts on this. He loves tearing apart the claims of green energy projects, and he lives right here in Sydney.

Tech News

  • Improving Sydney's Bat Flu check-in QR codes. (GitHub)

    The simple expedient of just burn the fucking things doesn't appear to have occurred to the author.

  • AMD's Zen 4 will support PCIe 5. (Tom's Hardware)

    There was some confusion here because the first CPUs on the new Socket AM5 platform from AMD will support DDR5 memory but only PCIe 4. That will be the Rembrandt refresh of Zen 3 using the new RDNA2 graphics - the same graphics in the current Xbox and PlayStation graphics.

    So both Intel's 12th gen and AMD's 4th gen products will switch to 5th gen PCIe, and by the end of next year we might actually see cards that use it.

    The article also explains why Intel isn't using PCI 5 for the 12th gen chipset interface: Power consumption. PCIe 4 is more than twice as power hungry as PCIe 3, and PCIe 5 is likely to continue that trend. It's more efficient to simply double the link from 4 lanes to 8 than to upgrade to the new standard. And that's what Intel has done.

    On the CPU an extra 10W of power consumption isn't critical if it also doubles I/O bandwidth. On the chipset, that makes the difference between a passively cooled motherboard and one with a (potentially noisy and unreliable) chipset fan.

  • Hosting provider OVH is down. (Hacker News)

    Famous last words: No impact expected.

    I could link to OVH's status page, but it's down. Probably a failed BGP update, like the one that took out Facebook the other day.

Disclaimer: So I built another datacenter. That one burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp...
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