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December 06, 2022

Daily Tech News 6 December 2022

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  • Moon's haunted: After a successful trip to and around the Moon, NASA's Orion spacecraft* has had some issues with ghost breakers. (WCCFTech)

    The computerised circuit breakers are supposed to trip on command or when something goes horribly wrong, but instead half of them tripped for no reason at all. And cut off half the maneuvering thrusters in the process, something that could be inconvenient if it happened at the wrong moment.

    The next Orion flight is expected in, uh, two years.

    * Not old bang-bang, sadly. See Niven & Pournelle's Footfall if you're not familiar.


  • The making of Dune II. (Read Only Memory)

    I always wondered by the sequel to the Dune computer game was in a completely different genre - the first an adventure game, the second a real-time strategy title.

    This article explains that: It wasn't a sequel, not even in the strictly temporal sense. Once the producers obtained the rights to make Dune computer games, they hired two studios to produce two entirely different games at the same time.

    Dune I was unremarkable and is largely forgotten. Dune II on the other hand pulled together all the elements of a real-time strategy game for the first time, and is the direct parent of the entire Command & Conquer series.


  • You can't let just anybody look at the sky! (Scientific American)

    The US government plans to require public release of all date from publicly-funded science. The article argues that this is bad for science, because other scientists can look at the data and, well:
    I have a friend in Minsk
    Who has a friend in Pinsk
    Whose friend in Omsk
    Has friend in Tomsk
    With friend in Akmolinsk
    His friend in Alexandrovsk
    Has friend in Petropavlovsk
    Whose friend somehow is solving now
    The problem in Dnepropetrovsk

    And when his work is done
    Haha! Begins the fun
    From Dnepropetrovsk to Petropavlovsk
    By way of Iliysk and over Novorossiysk
    To Alexandrovsk to Akmolinsk
    To Tomsk to Omsk
    To Pinsk to Minsk
    To me the news will run
    Yes, to me the news will run!

    And then I write by morning, night
    And afternoon, and pretty soon
    My name in Dnepropetrovsk is cursed
    When he finds out I published first!
    I didn't say it was a very good argument.


  • How "goblin mode" became Oxford's word of the year. (NPR)

    First, that's not a word.

    Second, people voted for it. It was an online poll. And it mopped the floor with the competition, because the competition was "metaverse" (which is at least a word) and "#IStandWith".

    Third, I wonder if that's in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. I shall take a look, because that just arrived too. (I'd love to get the full 20-volume set, but it's pretty expensive.)


  • Twitter turns its back on open-source development. (ZDNet)

    Is it true?

    No. It's just more wishcasting by another left-wing pro-censorship journalist. (Which is pretty much all of them.)

    Interesting tidbit from the article though: Twitter was developing its own custom JVM, which is a really dumb idea. The company isn't nearly big enough - let along profitable enough - to support work like that.


  • Setting up container backups on the new server. Much cleaner than the old rsync-and-hope system.

    I plan to migrate the old MyISAM tables to either Aria or InnoDB, which will make them crash safe. Not certain that the code will work correctly with InnoDB, because it's properly transactional, but Aria is just a better MyISAM.


Disclaimer: And who deserves the credit?
And who deserves the blame?
Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky is his name!
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posted by Pixy Misa at 04:00 AM

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