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April 24, 2022

Daily Tech News 24 April 2022

Top Story

  • Wait, is that mochi? Is all of that mochi? Is the mochi section at my local supermarket now larger than the gluten-free section?


  • The US government is planning to spend up to $6 billion to keep nuclear power plants in operation. (AP)

    After spending decades working to make nuclear power unaffordable, they've more or less succeeded in killing off the only readily deliverable gluten-free carbon-neutral base load energy source.

    Now they have to prop it up and piss off their anti-nuclear base or allow it to be replaced with natural gas and piss off their anti-global-warming base.

    The action itself probably makes sense - we need more investment in nuclear power, not less - but I won't lose any sleep over the inevitable internecine vitriol. Unless I need to make a late-night popcorn run.

Questions and Answers

  • From GnuBreed:
    Isn't there some kind of quantum limit on how narrow the channels are between individual chip lanes, before 'crosstalk' (or sometimes called quantum tunneling) becomes a major issue? If you keep lowering the barrier, soon there will be pain.
    Indeed there is, and if 2nm chips really had circuit elements measuring 2nm they'd be on the wrong side of that limit.

    Fortunately the numbers for process nodes are derived by a complex formula from actual measurements, by which I mean they are completely fictional, so we have a few more years before we hit that limit.

  • From Long-time Commenter, First-time Reader:
    My teenager wants to play Valorant. I have been hesitant to install it on the family PC because of some things I read about the Vanguard anti-cheating software, namely, the root level of control it has. Am I right to be concerned or am I over-reacting?
    I know that people did complain about Valorant's always-on anti-cheat software when it first came out - calling it a rootkit - but I haven't heard of it actually being connected with any hacking events.

  • From Minimal gp-Based Barrier:
    I volunteered to manage a legacy static website for a radio club. The original creators and maintainers are gone, of course. I've been simply hand-editing the html, and that's easy for me.
    Now the club wants me to choose a 'drag-and-drop' tool, so that 'anybody' can take over for me when I leave. I do agree it's good to plan for succession.
    The last web builders I used were FrontPage and Dreamweaver. (I hated them.) So I'm way out of date on choosing a current tool. I see most of them are SaaS now, e.g., Wix.
    Ideally, what I'd like is: Free, or at least non-subscription. Not locked into a particular domain provider. Won't obsolete in the next five years.
    Do you have any suggestions? Thanks again!
    That's a good question, but unfortunately I don't have a good answer. Dreamweaver still exists, but it's not at all what you want for that kind of thing. I'll poke around a bit and see if I can come up with suggestions.

  • From vmom stabby stabby stabby stabamillion:
    Are you going to do any traditional moving rituals for the new domicile? (example: first thing moved into house is salt, rice, money; house blessing or sage burning, etc)
    I'll perform the ritual plugging of a sacrificial device into the built-in USB charging ports (new house) and fill the wine fridge with bottles of Pepsi Max.

  • From Legion of Boom:
    Moving into new house with brand new Ethernet wiring. 2.5G Ethernet at lest, puncher's chance of 10G (all but 2 runs depending on length).
    What is a good book or detailed tutorial on more advanced networking (managed switches, L2/L3, vlan)? Counted, have ~45 devices with IPs, 2 home businesses, Synology NAS, so probably overdue to think about network layout.
    I don't know how standardised managed switches are. There are plenty of books on Cisco equipment, but how much of that translates over to cheaper stuff from Ubiquiti or QNAP or Netgear? The concepts will - a VLAN is a VLAN - but the commands probably won't.

    Another one I'll have to do a bit of digging on.

  • From Lost In Space:
    Your dev work is seemingly done on all manner of platforms. How much of your work time is spent using each of the main ones?
    Almost all my work runs on Ubuntu, though I use Windows as my desktop OS.
    2. How much fiddley biting do you have to do to get the various Chromium browsers to behave? Theoretically it should be zero fiddley biting but we are dealing with code, nothing is ever what is seems to be. This goes up by a factor of 10 once you are dealing 3 lines of code.
    As little as I can possibly get away with. I use Bootstrap for most of my web work and that helps hide the differences between browsers.

    It's Safari that's usually the pain; the various flavours of Chromium mostly behave themselves.

  • From webley silvernail:
    I have an old MSI all-in-one desktop gaming computer, with an Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4870HQ CPU @ 2.50GHz and 16 GB of RAM. It was pretty hot stuff back when I bought it, but it's slowly dying now. I had to replace a SSD a year or so back, and it's never been the same. It used to boot up in 30seconds or less, now it takes several minutes and only after a bunch of error messages. Can you recommend a gaming laptop replacement? Thanx.
    If a mid-range mobile graphics solution - an RTX 3060 or 3070 - is sufficient for the games you want to play, I'd suggest taking a look at Intel's NUC X15.

    Which despite the name is a laptop. (YouTube)

    It has a 6 or 8 core 11th gen Intel CPU, RTX 3060 or 3070 graphics, a 240Hz 1080p or 165Hz 1440p screen, and a mechanical keyboard. Room for 64GB of RAM and two SSDs, plus Thunderbolt 4, and 2.5Gb wired Ethernet.

    You can buy the bare notebook and add components and install Windows, or there are various retailers / resellers who will sell you a complete system.

  • From az_desert_rate:
    I want to set up a remote disk for external storage for an old Mac and a couple of Linux machines, and maybe an old XP. I want to use the remote disk as a primitive Dropbox. I am looking for a cheap solution.
    I don't know if it makes a difference but everything is on powerline ethernet. No wifi because my computers are located in sheet metal outbuildings.
    Western Digital has some convenient dual-disk network drives that come preconfigured as RAID-1. Just plug them in and start saving files, and if the red light starts flashing on one disk, replace that one and keep on going. They're reasonably priced and no fuss at all.

  • From Daniel Ream:
    Is there any Windows 10/11 compatible full disk encryption software with no known back doors - so open source and trivially compilable?
    Lest anyone think I'm up to anything nefarious, I live in Canada. Using Patreon could retroactively make me a terrorist when I'm not looking.
    There are some projects but most of them seem to be dead, with no updates in at least a year. VeraCrypt is at least alive, but I don't know how well it works, if at all.

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