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November 27, 2021

Daily Tech News 27 November 2021

Top Story

  • Gluten-free chicken nuggets acquired. After my fifth grocery order in three weeks.

    I also have bread and rice, so now it's just gluten-free breakfast cereal that's out of stock everywhere. Well, the crappy brands are readily available, but inedible. The good brands, which are Kellogg's and no-one else, are not to be found.

  • Correlates of Coddling: How an entire generation of college students came down with brain worms. (PsyArXiv)

    It's a psychological study following up on the 2018 book The Coddling of the American Mind. Only problem is psychological studies are barely in a better state than those college students:
    A total of 812 participants began the study. After removing the data of participants who did not finish the study, the final sample consisted of 786 participants (653 female, 127 male, 6 other/unspecified).
    Yeesh. No selection bias here.

Tech News

  • The Seaberry is a mini-ITX carrier board for the Raspberry Pi CM4. (Jeff Geerling)

    It has four mini-PCIe slots, four M.2 2230 slots, one M.2 2280 slot, a full-size PCIe x16 slot, and a PCIe x1 slot on the edge of the board for custom expansion. Plus two Ethernet ports, two HDMI ports, and two USB ports.

    The only problem is that the largest model of the Pi CM4 - with 8GB RAM and 32GB built-in flash storage - costs $90, and this motherboard costs $435. That's partly because it's a low-volume board for prototyping and hobby projects, and partly because the chip that expands the Pi to deliver all those PCIe slots costs $125 all by itself.

    Also it's not available. The initial batch sold out in five minutes.

  • This new Gigabyte power supply doesn't explode. (Tom's Hardware)

    It's still not great - it's about average - but it doesn't explode.

    Gigabyte had a batch - apparently a large batch - of power supplies that had the over-power protection cutoff set far too high. Like protecting a 10A circuit with a 100A fuse; by the time the protection kicked in things were already on fire.

    This new model doesn't do that.

  • California port truckers downing in supply chain inefficiencies. (FreightWaves)
    "Our operations are normal and wait times are normal (no delays)," Bernando (communications director of the Port of Oakland) told FreightWaves. "Who are you going to believe, us or the lying live camera view of the two mile long line of trucks waiting to enter the port?"
    Who indeed, Mr Bernando. Who indeed.

    Hololive JP Gen 6's La+ Darkness next to Gen 4's Kiryu Coco

  • AWS has reduced its bandwidth pricing. (Amazon)

    By how much, you ask. I have no fucking idea, I reply. Not only does the official announcement fail to tell you, it doesn't even provide a link to the new pricing details.

  • Lossless image compression in O(n) time. (Phobos Lab)

    QOI - the Quite OK Image Format - is similar in its goals to PNG, with similar levels of image compression, but thirty times faster. The difference for reading images is smaller but even there it's three times faster.

    And the algorithm is dead simple - it's about 300 lines of C in its current form.

  • That's racist: The Biden Administration has banned travel from eight African nations. (Politico)

    South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini-

    Now you're just making things up.

    Swaziland king renames country 'the Kingdom of eSwatini'. (BBC)

    Apparently iSwatini was already taken.

  • Samsung won't be offering a Note model next year. (9to5Google)

    Seems to be a distinction without a difference, though, because the S22 Ultra is going to ship with a stylus and have the same little slot to hold that stylus.

  • Microsoft cannot resist the urge to fuck everything up. (Windows Central)

    It's only a few weeks since they broke the Windows 11 preview release with an ad, and now they are shoving buy now, pay later features into the Edge browser.

    No, you idiots. To have any value at all your operating system has to be a neutral platform. No fucking ads. No fixed news streams.

    And if you offer a browser, the same rules apply.

  • When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a museum on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. (New York Times)

    Just now figured that out, did you guys?

    Technically the Smithsonian was built on tidal mud flats within a coastal floodplain, rather than a swamp. The swamp grew up around it.

    Hololive JP Gen 6's La+ Darkness next to Gen 4's Himemori Luna

  • Reddit engineer details how the new M1 Max MacBook Pro can save devs time and money. (9to5Mac)

    In short: We've forgotten how to do incremental compilation. Bring back TurboPascal.

  • JetBrains data tools have been updated. (DevClass)

    As well as their IDEs for programming - IntelliJ for Java, PyCharm for Python, CLion for C, C++, Rust, Swift, and Python - quite good value if you can't afford the license for the entire suite, they offer DataGrip for managing database modelling and queries and DataSpell for data science.

    I got the suite license back when they made an unpopular licensing change and got an angry flood of emails, and walked the changes most of the way back. So I'm grandfathered in at half price. Since I spend all day every day with at least one of their IDEs open, it's worth it.

  • MongoDB 5.1 is here, only not. (The Register)

    If you're using their cloud offering, called hang on while I look this up, in which case you are an idiot because cloud databases are terrible, you have it now.

    Community users and also on-premises enterprise customers can apparently get fucked.
    Kimberly Wilkins, MongoDB technical lead at open source support and services company Percona, said release stability was a much greater concern among the developer base.

    She pointed out that MongoDB was only providing one major release per year for on-premises and via the community edition, "with all other dot point releases going only to their customers that are using Atlas."

    The versions following 5.0 "have been problematic for users so far," she claimed, with bugs impacting through to the release of MongoDB v5.0.3 on September 21, 2021.

    Those first three releases were all labelled with the warning: "MongoDB version 5.0.0 is not recommended for production use due to critical issues..." The bugs caused issues such as duplicate unique keys, omitting a page of data, data loss, and problems restarting.

    Yeah, I was wondering why the Percona release of MongoDB was stuck at 4.4. The fact that 5.0 is broken and Percona tries not to release broken databases would explain it.

    I was going to be working on a migration to MongoDB 5.0, but got swamped with other tasks. Sounds like that was a blessing in disguise.

  • MariaDB 10.7 is in release candidate. (MariaDB)

    I'm migrating everything from MySQL to MariaDB to take advantage of temporal tables, which are a bit of a pain when it comes to schema updates but a life changer when it comes to reporting and data safety. I was working with 10.5, the last release to support TokuDB, but InnoDB with ZFS compression is just as good.

    TokuDB is apparently still supported in Percona's release of MySQL 8.0, but MySQL 8.0 doesn't have temporal tables. Losing TokuDB means paying a bit more for larger, faster SSDs; losing temporal tables means writing and validating and maintaining equivalent code for every application you write.

    Not a hard choice.

  • FastAPI is a lightweight Python web framework aimed at building APIs. (FastAPI)

    Since that's my job - since that's supposed to be my job - this is of signficant interest. I've been using CherryPy for years because it just works, but it doesn't provide the benefits some of the newer frameworks do.

    In this case, it's dramatically faster (in pure Python mode, anyway, but in production we run CherryPy under uWSGI so there's much less difference), uses Python 3 type hinting throughout so you don't need explicit parameter conversion, automatically generates OpenAPI and JSON Schema docs, and has built-in support for async and websockets.

    It's not an async framework, though. Well, it is, given the way Python's async works, but you can code methods as sync or async as you please and it all just works so long as you don't cross the streams - don't use blocking calls in an async method or try to make async calls in a sync method.

    It's built on Starlette which runs on top of Uvicorn, which is the actual underlying async web server.

Party Like It's 1979 Video of the Day

Pleading (relative) youth here. I've heard this song innumerable times, but didn't know who it was by or what it was called.

Party Like It's Ninja Hololive Team Gatchaman Video of the Day

I think HoloJP Gen 6 counts as a success. One day, one channel, 165,000 live viewers, 1.7 million total views, 317,000 subscribers.

Her name is La+ Darkness, and if you think that because she's some kind of demon girl that it's a pun on Laplace's demon then you're absolutely correct. I'm not sure about previous generations but all the HoloEN Gen 2 names are multilingual puns, ranging from the obvious (avatar of chaos Hakos Baelz - Bae to her fans - is an anagram of Khaos Blaze) to the subtle (one possible meaning of Nanashi Mumei is nobody no name).

Also YouTube itself translates her name to Laplace which rather gives the game away.

On those height comparisons: Hololive provide the height and birthday for every one of their talents. We know the official birthdays are adjusted for reasons of practicality, because a couple of them have had two birthdays in one year in their professional and personal capacities. We don't have much direct info about the height, but it's probably something close to reality because they do concerts using 3D motion capture and adjusting the model heights and making everything sync up when the characters are interacting is way outside of what's practical for a live performance right now. If they tried to do it, it would be immediately obvious.

Coco's human persona isn't as busty as she's depicted in 3D - I think she's the only one we have direct evidence of for that - and perhaps not quite as tall, but she can certainly pull off a Bayonetta cosplay.
All of which means that Gura, Luna, and Laplace are tiny.

Disclaimer: Except Cocoa Pops. Gluten-free Cocoa Pops they have.
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