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Saturday Overnight Open Thread (11/6/21) Fall Back Edition | Main | 11/07/21
November 07, 2021

Daily Tech News 7 November 2021

Top Story

Tech News

  • Our hosting provider has 12900K servers. Not too horribly expensive either, and 60% faster on both single and multi-threaded workloads than our current main server. (The Phoronix article from yesterday included Python benchmarks, and they are very good on Alder Lake.)

    There's a problem though: Our current servers (but one) have ECC RAM. Intel desktop CPUs don't support ECC, with rare exceptions. AMD CPUs do, and that's what we currently have.

    DDR5 RAM has on-die ECC. That doesn't catch all possible errors, and I don't have any hard data on the percentage of errors it does catch, but it's something. I'd be willing to run my own servers on desktop DDR5. We survived a datacenter catching fire; we can survive the rare memory error that isn't caught by on-die ECC.

    But the biggest DDR5 server they are currently offering is only 16GB because that is also out of stock everywhere.

  • Amazon is planning to launch 7774 new communications satellites, expanding on its current fleet of, uh, zero. (The Register)

    You have to crawl before you can leap, I guess.

  • A drone tried to blow up a power substation in Pennsylvania last year. (Wired)

    Or rather, someone tried to use a drone to do so, planning to drop a thick wire across two existing conductors to short things out. The drone crashed and the attack failed, because they had disabled the camera feed to avoid being traced.

    The article discusses anti-drone technologies from signal jamming to killer drones to geofencing to actual literal eagles, but somehow doesn't ever suggest building a roof.

  • There's more - and cheaper - Alder Lake chips coming in a couple of months. (Tom's Hardware)

    The i5-12400 looks like it might be very good for the average user. Reasonably priced, relatively low power, integrated graphics if you don't want to splash out on a graphics card, and still six full-size cores. No low-power cores, but on the desktop that's not a huge loss.

    The other three models listed all lack integrated graphics, and given the pricing and availability of graphics cards right now are not nearly so enticing.

  • Speaking of Intel's desktop integrated graphics, how do they hold up? (Phoronix)

    This being Phoronix, they're testing under Linux, but it should be much the same as on Windows.

    The answer is: Poorly.

    Better than the 11th generation parts, yes, but they still get their clocks cleaned by AMD's 5700G. On gaming tests the AMD part is up to twice as fast, and on GPU compute workloads as much as five times.

    Intel has dramatically improved the performance of its integrated graphics - on its laptop parts. Their desktop parts, not so much.

  • Yikes. Thunderstorm is right on top of me.

  • Stop making students use Eclipse. (Nora Codes)

    Or NetBeans, or PyCharm, or whatever.

    Now, if you're a professional Python programmer - or just working on your own projects in the evening - you need to be using PyCharm. But there's a good argument for starting out every student with a Linux command line and nothing else.

    In fact, there's a good argument for starting out every student with a Commodore 64.

  • Spending $5k to learn how database indexing works. (Brian Anglin)


    On MySQL or PostgreSQL or, frankly, anything sane, this would have been Huh, that's not as fast as I'd have expected followed by a scan of the slow query log followed by some swearing followed by the addition of an index. Which you could likely do without any - hang on, I actually need to do that, let me see.


    Yes, without any downtime at all. Took me 0.82 seconds. I tried to do it last week while the database was under heavy load and ended up in table metadata lock hell, and had to come up with a workaround, but now that things are quiet again it's trivial. It's a pretty straightforward task but not when you're running services for a 100,000 person live event.

    Anyway, a missing query, coupled with a larcenous billing model, produced an API request that cost fifteen cents. Which may not sound like a lot, but by way of comparison we were fielding - I think the number was 280 API requests per second - during that event.

    Deploying our own services we have a $2000 per month main database server, a physical, not virtual, 96 core AMD Epyc system, with an easily understood billing structure: Every month they bill us $2000. If we'd faced the same issue described in the article, we'd have been hit with a bill for as much as $150,000 per hour.

  • The chip industry is spending $2 billion a week to scale up production. (EETimes)

    Shortages and delays are affecting every part of the production line. If you haven't already bought your electronic gadgets for Christmas, start shopping for socks, because you're probably not going to get that iPod Pro Plus Max Mini in time for Little Timmy or Aunt Tammy.

    And you may want to start planning for Christmas next year, because it's not going to get better quickly.

  • You haven't bought a new computer! Why haven't you bought a new computer? Here's our free 18 page report explaining how this is all your fault. (Microsoft)

    Get all the way fucked, Microsoft.

  • Peloton cut its revenue forecast by $1 billion and saw its stock plummet by 35% after Apple introduced new privacy controls preventing them from tracking everywhere you go and everything you do. (Yahoo Finance)

    Which is - from their own mouths - a very convincing argument that Peloton is a massive scam that needs to be erased from the face of the Earth.

Anime Opening Video of the Day

It's Komi Can't Communicate. I can't say I love the song, though maybe it will grow on me, but again, they've nailed the feel of the manga here, and the manga is wonderful.

And I can't say I've watched it, because I long since cancelled my Netflix account, and AnimeLab, formerly independent but now Funimation, doesn't carry it. This is the first show since Little Witch Academia that has made me care about Netflix at all.

Disclaimer: Kind of like a sweaty NFT.
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